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News Review
Stage 3 Emergency Water Management Plan Effective June 1
Posted Date: 4/30/2013 2:30 PM

The City of Richardson will implement its Stage 3 water restriction measures Saturday, June 1, 2013. The implementation of Stage 3 comes at the request of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) which is facing critical shortages in its water supply.

The City of Richardson has developed the following plan based on the guidelines requested by the NTMWD.

Lawn irrigation schedule (1 time per week until further notice)
 Last digit of address  Allowed landscape water day
 0,2,4,6,8 (Even)  Saturday (irrigation prohibited between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
 1,3,5,7,9 (Odd)  Sunday (irrigation prohibited between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Additional restrictions:

  • No outdoor watering is allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. or during times of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc). 
  • Excessive water runoff from any landscaped area onto any impervious surface is prohibited.

Exemptions - the following water usage is exempt from stage 3 restrictions:

  • Use of drip irrigation systems and soaker hoses to protect foundations is allowed. Recommended maximum 2 hours when needed and not during precipitation periods.
  • Hand watering of ornamental flower beds and other ornamental landscaping is allowed; hand watering of lawns is prohibited.
  • Variances are available for watering of existing newly installed landscaping until vegetative roots are established. Any variance approved for watering new landscaping will expire 30 days after becoming effective.
  • Public athletic fields may be watered up to twice a week.
  • The operation of ornamental fountains is permitted.
  • Washing of vehicles, boats, trailers, etc. is permitted.
  • Newly constructed swimming pools, Jacuzzis and spas may be filled.
  • Pools may be drained and refilled for repairs as needed (must follow proper water disposal methods).
  • Existing swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and spas may be replenished to maintain operational levels.
  • Commercial full-service or self-service car wash facilities, including those at service stations and automobile dealership facilities is permitted.
  • Washing or hosing down of sidewalks, driveways, patios, porches, parking areas or other similar paved surfaces is permitted.
  • Activities utilizing other sources of water (wastewater, effluent, natural water springs, ponds or deep water wells) are permitted.
  • Golf courses may water greens and tee boxes as needed.
  • Smart irrigation and drip irrigation systems, provided irrigation does not occur more than once every seven days.
  • Hydroseeding, hydromulching and sprigging is permitted.

Need For Stage 3 Restrictions
The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) Board of Directors voted to implement Stage 3 of the NTMWD Water Conservation and Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan on April 25, 2013. The board vote was prompted by the adverse impact on the NTMWD’s raw water supplies due to below average rainfall and the loss of 28 percent of NTMWD’s total raw water supply from Lake Texoma.

“Our primary water supplies are below normal levels due to less than average rainfall, and projections indicate we will not get the rainfall we need going into this summer,” said Jim Parks, Executive Director of NTMWD. “We need to conserve the supplies we have and reduce our water use by at least 10 percent,” Parks added.

Both Lavon and Chapman lakes, two key NTMWD reservoirs, are down almost eight feet below normal conservation levels. In addition, the district still cannot draw water from Lake Texoma because of a zebra mussel infestation.

Construction continues on a pipeline from Lake Texoma to the NTMWD water treatment plant in Wylie, Texas that will allow the district to resume pumping water from Texoma. However, the first phase of that project will not be completed until January 2014.

Stage 3 restrictions will remain in effect until further notice. Long term forecasts indicate below average rainfall this spring and summer; however, the NTMWD Board of Directors could reconsider Stage 3 conservation measures if weather patterns change and the Lavon Lake watershed receives significant rainfall.

Within the Stage 3 water management strategies, Richardson must take action to reduce water consumption by 10 percent.

“People can help us the most through their efforts to water their lawns responsibly,” said Richardson Public Services Director Jerry Ortega. “The largest waste of water is attributed to broken or misaligned sprinkler heads. We urge all residents and business owners with automatic irrigation systems to please check their systems and make sure they are running properly. We must make what water we have in the lakes last as long as possible by using it wisely.”

More information and tips on water conservation can be found on the City’s Water Conservation website available on the City’s homepage at The site can also be accessed by using the QR code provided below. Further information is also available at and

The City’s Community Services Department has inspectors on duty 18 hours a day, seven days a week to enforce watering restrictions. Inspectors will proactively canvass neighborhoods and commercial areas to identify violations as well as respond to citizen complaints, which upon receipt will be dispatched to inspectors in the field for investigation/action.

Inspectors will also send notices when evidence of watering is observed. The purpose of the notice is to inform the violator that their sprinkler system is very likely operating on an inappropriate day or during an inappropriate time even though staff did not actually see the watering take place.

A defendant will not be required to appear in court if issued a citation for a first offence. A defendant may instead elect to plead ‘guilty’ or ‘no contest’ and pay a window fine of $150.

If a second (or subsequent) citation is issued or if a citation is written as an "aggravated offense," the defendant will be required to appear before a municipal court judge to have the case resolved.

Violators could see an up to $2,000 fine for failing to follow water conservation measures.

Reporting Water Abuse
Residents are encouraged to report violations via the MyRichardson mobile application, online at, or by calling 972-744-4111.

Variances granted for Stage 2 water restrictions in Richardson will expire on June 1, 2013 when Stage 3 water restrictions go into effect.

To meet public health and safety needs and to help maintain overall water pressure in the City’s system, the City of Richardson has certain facilities that must be watered outside the publicly mandated water restriction times. Such facilities include athletic and recreation facilities used by the public for a variety of purposes.

Though some City facilities will be watered outside times dictated by the ordinance, the City will maintain watering schedules that will meet or exceed conservation efforts. Other large public and private water users will also have variances for water usage, and will be monitored according to the guidelines in the variances for which they apply.

Anyone wishing to request a variance from Richardson’s water restrictions must contact the City’s Public Services Department at 972-744-4220.

QR for Richardson Water Conservation Website
*QR code for Richardson Water Conservation website.