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City considering permanent Water Rationing


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#51 Volare

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:44 AM

Kevin if you had a yard full of 100 year old Post Oaks you might think differently. I know there's not much for trees in some parts of Fort Worth (sprawlville), but in Oakhurst we have many. A&M says 5 million urban trees were lost during the 2011 drought- any idea what that does to air quality? Not to mention the 300 million rural trees. Any kind of rationing should include education on keeping these trees alive. But these suggestions have also been ignored...

 

Serious groupthink going on with regards to water restrictions here in Texas... where we pride ourselves on individual liberty and small government... And we push off required infrastructure on the next generation...

 

(sigh)



#52 cberen1

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:19 PM

I have to agree on the watering restrictions being a simplistic approach, although twice a week really should be plenty.  I have a great St. Augustine lawn and I only water 2X week.  It's not been a problem.



#53 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:50 PM

Speaking as somebody who is not a fan of lawns and has never watered their lawn once since they've had one, I can't say I'm bothered.


Having a laugh for a moment thinking of an alternate universe where you're squaring off with a North Dallas HOA.

#54 Volare

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:16 PM

I have to agree on the watering restrictions being a simplistic approach, although twice a week really should be plenty.  I have a great St. Augustine lawn and I only water 2X week.  It's not been a problem.

 

It's not the twice a week that is the problem. It's the government deciding for you via "designated days" on what two days a week that watering should occur. This faulty methodology ignores environmental circumstances, rain forecasts, etc. The city never polled or surveyed about designated days, only about watering twice per week.

This methology is without precedent outside of Austin and Dallas in our part of the country for a year round permanent basis regardless of drought stage.
 



#55 Volare

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:21 PM

Speaking as somebody who is not a fan of lawns and has never watered their lawn once since they've had one, I can't say I'm bothered.

 

If you've not watered what's in your yard, you no longer have a lawn, you have a collection of weeds. As much as your neighbors might be appalled by their property being devalued by your actions, I will defend your right not to maintain a lawn, as much as I prefer to pay my $$ and maintain my own.



#56 Fort Worthology

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 07:55 AM

 

Speaking as somebody who is not a fan of lawns and has never watered their lawn once since they've had one, I can't say I'm bothered.

 

If you've not watered what's in your yard, you no longer have a lawn, you have a collection of weeds. As much as your neighbors might be appalled by their property being devalued by your actions, I will defend your right not to maintain a lawn, as much as I prefer to pay my $$ and maintain my own.

 

 

Since I'm being raked over the coals here I might as well lay out my thoughts...

 

In my opinion, lawns are a waste of resources and a pointless bragging rights contest for suburban housing pods, and I long for the day when America isn't so preoccupied with them.  Considering all the major, major improvements we've done to our home, transforming it from a graffiti-covered crapbox to an attractive and welcoming structure, I'm thinking we're a net gain for the neighborhood - and once the next round of improvements to the house are complete, the lawn is getting ripped out and replaced by more appropriate plants & materials than the IMHO pointless patch of green that is the American lawn.


- Writer, musician, photographer, general nerd.

 


#57 Volare

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 08:01 AM

Like I said, I respect your opinion and your right to maintain your yard as you see fit. For my neighborhood, nestled in the Post Oak Savannah above the Trinity River floodplain, xeriscaping would be entirely inappropriate and would result in the destruction of hundreds of trees.

 

I would appreciate it if you would respect my right to maintain my yard without resorting to suburban labeling. It's not as if I do not pay for the resources I use to maintain my yard- water or otherwise. Unlike the elites, I have to pay for my water. The elites will simply drill a well and suck ground water for free and not be subject to ANY water restrictions whatsoever.



#58 johnfwd

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 12:34 PM

Permanent?  Then why are taxpayers (voters approved this last Tuesday) footing a lot of the bill for building a multi-billion dollar pipeline to carry water from East Texas to Tarrant County?  So that we can pay and suffer at the same time?

 

Maybe water usage restrictions are necessary because of the drought, but isn't the pipeline supposed to address our shortage problem in the long run?  I'm in favor of water conservation which is why I voted in favor of the pipeline project.  If that's not the solution, are we wasting our money?  And, what if we start getting rains to significantly alleviate the drought?  Are the authorities going to keep the restrictions just because it's fashionable to do so? 



#59 cberen1

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 01:36 PM

Permanent?  Then why are taxpayers (voters approved this last Tuesday) footing a lot of the bill for building a multi-billion dollar pipeline to carry water from East Texas to Tarrant County?  So that we can pay and suffer at the same time?

 

Maybe water usage restrictions are necessary because of the drought, but isn't the pipeline supposed to address our shortage problem in the long run?  I'm in favor of water conservation which is why I voted in favor of the pipeline project.  If that's not the solution, are we wasting our money?  And, what if we start getting rains to significantly alleviate the drought?  Are the authorities going to keep the restrictions just because it's fashionable to do so? 

 

I think the short answer is growth.  We're forecasting a lot of growth in the next 30 years.  http://www.visionnorthtexas.org/regionalchoices/RegChoices_NorthTexas2030.pdf

 

Got to have water to support all those people.



#60 Volare

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:21 PM

Permanent means just that. Without regards to drought state you will be forever locked in to watering on the days of the week assigned to your address. If you happen to always be out of town on that day too bad. If we receive so much rainfall that we are flushing a full days consumption over the spillways per hour like we did in the spring of 2012 oh well no change. Oh and they are going to raise your rates too since your consumption is going to fall. Meanwhile the Water Dept toots their own horn about all the necessary infrastructure improvements they are putting off by curtailing demand. I imagine the same arguments were made 25 years ago about I-35W and we see where we are now with that multi billion dollar mess.

 

The sad thing is most folks just don't care enough to get involved in the issue until it's too late. I've talked to numerous friends and family and all agree that this is a dumb idea, but they can't or won't get involved. I've talked to several engineers who work for contractors that the city often use for water projects, and they all say it's ridiculous. But they can't get involved without threatening their careers. Less than 100 people participated in three city workshops on this issue. My councilman hears from me but no one else so he will just go along with the staff recommendation.

 

Fort Worth will continue to be known as a city that doesn't invest in upgrading infrastructure until it has no choice, at a cost much higher than it otherwise would have been. The IPL (pipeline) project does not increase water capacity at all, it simply makes it easier to transfer water from the east reservoirs to the west.



#61 johnfwd

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:05 AM

The IPL (pipeline) project does not increase water capacity at all, it simply makes it easier to transfer water from the east reservoirs to the west.

I mostly agree with your sentiments, but am not sure of the accuracy of the above quote.  The 3/19/14 S-T article on the multi-billion dollar pipeline project included this excerpt:

 

"...The water district provides raw water to 98 percent of Tarrant County residents. Once it is completed, the pipeline will allow the water district to pump an additional 197 million gallons per day from the two reservoirs, near Corsicana, to Benbrook Lake. When the entire project is completed, Dallas will be able to pump up to 150 million gallons per day from Lake Palestine to Joe Pool Lake.

It should provide enough water for the water district until 2030 and perhaps until 2040, depending on population growth and water conservation efforts." (my bold face).

 

 

 



#62 cberen1

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:46 AM

I've got a friend with TRWD who said one of their big issues is evaporation loss when transporting exposed water.  Is that a factor in the pipeline equation?



#63 Volare

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:32 AM

Evaporation is THE issue. We have a water supply that is 100% subject to evaporation. This in contrast to cities like Austin and San Antonio that use groundwater. On a summer day, the reservoirs that make up our water supply evaporate as much as FOUR TIMES what the total consumption of the system is. Even on a winter day, we evaporate more than we use! This is why we can't conserve our way to having enough water for another quarter million people. Since all of our supplies are dependant upon rainfall and 100% subject to evaporation, the only way our supplies stay adequate is via rainfall. In Austin, if you save water, tomorrow it's still in the ground. You save water here, and it's gone anyway.

 

The last supply increase via reservoir construction was made nearly 25 years ago.



#64 Volare

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:14 AM

 

The IPL (pipeline) project does not increase water capacity at all, it simply makes it easier to transfer water from the east reservoirs to the west.

I mostly agree with your sentiments, but am not sure of the accuracy of the above quote.  The 3/19/14 S-T article on the multi-billion dollar pipeline project included this excerpt:

 

"...The water district provides raw water to 98 percent of Tarrant County residents. Once it is completed, the pipeline will allow the water district to pump an additional 197 million gallons per day from the two reservoirs, near Corsicana, to Benbrook Lake. When the entire project is completed, Dallas will be able to pump up to 150 million gallons per day from Lake Palestine to Joe Pool Lake.

It should provide enough water for the water district until 2030 and perhaps until 2040, depending on population growth and water conservation efforts." (my bold face).

 

 

 

 

 

They are just making the straw bigger and more efficient in it's transfer mechanism. The storage capacity of the reservoirs serving Tarrant County is unchanged.

 

The vast majority of the benefits to the IPL are on the Dallas side of the system, not the Tarrant side. (shocking I know)



#65 Volare

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:34 PM

We are organizing individuals to attend the April 1st council meeting to speak on this issue. If we can get 10 individuals to attend and fill out cards then our case can be made for ten minutes by our speaker instead of the usual 3. As someone who has addressed the council before, more than 3 minutes will be needed to address this issue. Please contact me thru this board if you are interested in learning more.



#66 Volare

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:52 PM

Our presentation tonight at the Council meeting was effective:

 

http://www.star-tele...es-default?rh=1

 

I'd encourage you to watch the council meeting online and see the full discussion.



#67 Keller Pirate

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:30 AM

Star-Telegram editorial on this subject.  http://www.star-tele...er-weakens.html

This seems to be consistent with the S-T previous opinions on the topic and mirrors the editorial they published when Arlington rejected permanent restrictions a few years ago.

 

I was at the meeting Tuesday.  There were a lot of figures tossed around during the discussion that didn't have any documentation to go with them.  The one that sat me up in my chair was from councilman Espino, he said that since 1999 water use had declined by 23%.  I don't know if that is true, but if it is, think of how many people have moved here since then and we still had a decline in usage?  To me, it was even stranger that, after making that statement, he said we need to implement this plan now.

 

The biggest problem with this new regulation is the draconian enforcement section.  I think that is what the 5 council people that voted for the postponement were most concerned about.  The city can invite themselves onto your property to inspect your sprinklers.  Councilman Zimmerman didn't like having neighbors turning in neighbors.  The big question was who will enforce these measures?  It was said code enforcement doesn't have enough people to do it.  Will the police take on this responsibility?

 

City staff was asked about making some changes to the enforcement section, but the staff seemed to be against that.  The mayor wanted to pass the ordinance and deal with the enforcement part after the fact.  There was mention of a report that has to be filed with the state by May 1 and that is why some see a sense of urgency to get this done.  Even if they had passed this Tuesday, on Wednesday the same twice a week restrictions we have been under for almost the last year would still be in effect.  The only difference would be more opportunities for bigger fines.  As far as watering goes, as long as we are in the stage 1 restrictions, this won't generate any more conservation than we are doing now.  In fact I expect we may go to stage 2 if rain keeps up the way it has.  Send the report to the state and tell them you are continuing the same plan for the time being.

 

Mention was made of all the people coming here in the next 40 years and the need to save water so allow TRWD to put off expensive infrastructure improvements and developing new sources of water and storage.  My experience is that anything you build today is going to cost less than in 10 or 20 years.  If it takes 20 years to permit and build a highway I'm sure it takes that long to build a new reservoir.  There isn't any time left to put off new infrastructure. 

 

It was pointed out that places that had enacted restrictions are in worse shape than we are.  Councilwomen Bivens said San Antonio and gone to restrictions back in the 80's and were not any better off now.  Maybe the folks in charge of developing infrastructure thought year round restrictions bought them some time and they didn't feel any urgency on their part.

 

I say send this back to staff, fix the enforcement section, take a look at the Woodard Plan, make it more about saving water than punishing citizens and building an enforcement infrastructure.  Bring it up again when that is done.  There isn't an urgent need to change anything while we are under stage 1 or 2.



#68 Volare

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:28 PM

Awesome post by the Keller Pirate. I wish I could have been there to see it in person- alas I was on the road and had to watch online.

 

A slight bit to add to your excellent post:

 

May 1 is not a "deadline". Much has been made about May 1st being a deadline to submit a revised plan to the state. In fact Kara Shuror told the Council on March 18, 2014 that some Dallas area water providers will NOT be submitting a new plan until they come out of drought stage- which could be months or years away. There is nothing preventing Fort Worth from resubmitting our current plan to the state and offering further amendments when appropriate. Our existing plan submitted 2008 has been amended twice already.



#69 RD Milhollin

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:01 AM

The proposed watering restrictions were passed by the Council. I believe that these rules are going to "trickle down" to other cities that buy from the water authority as well; Haltom City seems to always act after it sees the "big boys" take some sort of action...

 

I support rational and enforceable water conservation rules. Education is fine, common sense irrigation is fine, but the bottom line is that the rules need to be understandable and violations documentable, and if neighbors get involved reporting irresponsible neighbors so much the better. This is a real issue and does not seem to be going down the drain any time soon. Conservation will remain important for the foreseeable future, but updated infrastructure improvements are going to be necessary as well, and are not going to be cheap. 



#70 Volare

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:53 AM

Mr. Blake Woodard should be commended for his attempt to bring some facts and logic into this debate. I worked closely with Blake for the past year after working on the project solo for the first year. Blake really put in some long hours over the past few weeks to the detriment of his business and personal life.

 

Unfortuantely, fear, uncertainty and doubt won the day, and the "consultants" from Austin got their way, no matter the facts. A council and water department that was ready to sit down and finalize a compromise deal was given their marching orders by the Mayor and now we are saddled with one of the most oppresive and inefficient water conservation regulations in the country. The number of cities utilizing this method of forced conservation in non-drought times can likely be counted on one hand.

 

If you haven't watched the council meeting online from the other night on this issue, I would highly recommend it:

http://fortworthtexas.gov/fwtv/

 

Oh well, I did what I could to bring the issue to light, and Mr. Woodard did even more. We could've had 90% of the populus involved and I still think it would've ended up this way. There are some powerful and well financed forces at work here.



#71 Keller Pirate

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 09:06 AM

Last night on the channel 11 news at 6 pm they said Fort Worth was hiring more code enforcement officers to enforce the "new" permanent watering restrictions.  I watched again at 10 pm and it didn't come up.  I checked their website and didn't see it there.  I don't know if it was just a bad joke or the enforcement infrastructure is being built and everyone will pay for it.



#72 johnfwd

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 07:25 AM

Permanent?  Then why are taxpayers (voters approved this last Tuesday) footing a lot of the bill for building a multi-billion dollar pipeline to carry water from East Texas to Tarrant County?  So that we can pay and suffer at the same time?

 

Maybe water usage restrictions are necessary because of the drought, but isn't the pipeline supposed to address our shortage problem in the long run?  I'm in favor of water conservation which is why I voted in favor of the pipeline project.  If that's not the solution, are we wasting our money?  And, what if we start getting rains to significantly alleviate the drought?  Are the authorities going to keep the restrictions just because it's fashionable to do so? 

This thread is closer to the issue.  Forgive me for tooting my own prophetic horn (..."And if we start getting rains to significantly alleviate the drought?...")


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#73 RD Milhollin

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 08:11 AM

I don't know if "fashionable" is the issue; Circumstance and foresight come to mind as reasons that reasonable restrictions on water usage need to be left on the table. There is currently a glut of water, but it is not prudent from a management perspective to believe that is going to be the new norm. The trend in recent years has been lower than average rainfall, and this flooding may be just a blip on the otherwise dry long term screen. The years of recent drought should teach us that we need to make the most of water so we have enough in times of need, and the recent floods should tell us that contingency plans for flooding have been neglected in many areas. Ways to mitigate the negative effects of flooding while simultaneously storing up water for future dry times seems to me to be the policy we should be looking at in this area.

 

When the lakes were tens of feet low were there digging efforts underway to deepen them so there would be more volume to surface area (i.e. less summertime evaporation); have there been calls for more of the wetland filter fields such as upstream from Richland-Chambers to guarantee clean water at low cost for the future? Are changes being made to building codes requiring underground cisterns to hold rainwater runoff for future use? Are new subdivisions being required to mitigate excessive runoff from new non-permeable pavement and roofs by building floodwater reservoirs (that double as sports fields when dry)? Are the floodwater mitigation fees tacked onto urban water bills adjusted to account for each property's amount of non-permeable surfaces and resultant stormwater contribution to the streets and storm sewers? Water is not cheap, and we feel the effects of price on water most during drought, but floods are expensive as well, especially for people who by necessity or by choice live near conduits for running water. A reasonable price for treated water for ALL USERS would help to ration use in a rational manner while providing the needed revenue stream to plan for the future supply.



#74 Volare

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:47 AM

The answer to every question in your second paragraph is of course no.

 

We've been hoodwinked by politicans who run on platforms of creating smaller, more efficient, less intrustive government, but once in power enact feel-good policies that are precisely the opposite of those things. The billions of gallons flowing into the Gulf of Mexico compared to the thimblefull of debatable savings from these restrictions demonstrate their absurdity.

 

http://www.star-tele..._types=og.likes



#75 renamerusk

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 12:17 PM

I am sure that Betsy Price is a charming lady, but there are moments when, as a big city mayor, I wish that she could be more savvy. :no:






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