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North Texas watering restrictions relaxed

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Beginning tomorrow Sunday homeowners in north Texas will be able to start watering their lawns and landscaping once a week instead of twice a month, North Texas Municipal Water District decided Thursday. The decision means a return to Stage 3 provisions and comes after recent rainstorms have helped fill Lake Lavon and Jim Chapman to normal levels.

"Because of our ongoing water supply issue with Lake Texoma, which normally provides 28 percent of our water supply, we all need to continue our conservation efforts to make sure we can continue to meet the long-term water needs of NTMWD's member cities and customers", said Jim Parks, Executive Director of North Texas Municipal Water District.

Drought and population growth, Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, have put water use and conservation in focus. Two-thirds of the state still remains in extreme drought and it is estimated that the state's agricultural industry lost $5.2 billion in 2011 - the worst single-year Texas drought since record keeping began in 1895.

Drought may also affect the price and availability of electrical power. Most of Texas' power plants use large amounts of water for cooling, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which runs the state's electric grid, has warned that another hot dry summer could lead to rolling blackouts.

Individual cities and municipal utilities that buy water from the North Texas Municipal Water District will decide what days homeowners can irrigate lawns and landscaping.

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