The executive director for Richardson’s water provider appeared before the City Council this week to give an update on the water supply and outline what’s being done to increase access to water resources in the future.
Jim Parks of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) said the most pressing concern right now is the start of the North Texas dry season and the low water levels in the District’s reservoirs.
Lavon Lake level comparison
The continued drought and low winter and spring rainfall has caused the level of Lavon Lake to be lower at the beginning of this summer than at the same time in each of the past two years. Lavon Lake is at its full reservoir capacity at 492 feet above mean sea level (a standard measurement used for lake levels). You can see the current levels of lakes used as reservoirs by North Texas Municipal District at ntmwd.com.
As of this week, Lavon Lake, the District’s primary water source, is down more than eight feet and is losing about a half inch of water every day due to evaporation and consumption. Water is being pumped into the lake from other sources, but because of the low water supply, the District anticipates keeping Stage 3 water restrictions, implemented June 1, in effect until conditions improve.
Parks reported the largest impact to the NTMWD’s water supply has been the loss of Lake Texoma due to a zebra mussel infestation. The lake represents about 28 percent of the NTMWD’s water supply. A pipeline to carry water directly from Lake Texoma to the District’s Wylie treatment plant is under construction to restore use of the lake. It is expected to be complete in early 2014.
NTMWD has signed an agreement to be able to purchase up to 60 million gallons of water a day from the City of Dallas for three years to help boost the water supply.
At Monday’s meeting, a long-term plan was outlined showing the process of constructing Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir to meet future water needs. The reservoir will be about the same size as Lavon Lake and is expected to be usable in 2020. Long-term plans call for using additional water from Lake Texoma by 2025 and constructing two additional reservoirs by 2060.
Watch the City Council presentation at bit.ly/12BD74M.