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Dallas Makes Some Water Restrictions Permanent

A sprinkler waters a lawn. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Starting on Monday, residents in Dallas will only be able to use their lawn sprinklers twice a week -- permanently. Councilmembers voted 13-2 on Wednesday to make some drought-related emergency procedures permanent, even though rain this spring has left reservoirs 98 percent full.

Residents will water on an odd/even system, but cannot water between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on any day, even those when they are permitted to use sprinklers or irrigation systems. Residents are still able to water by hand or with a garden hose at any time. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses for foundations can also be used at any time.

Supporters of the plan said that it will help ensure water supplies for future generations. But councilmember Sandy Greyson said that homeowners and landscapers in her district think that newly-seeded lawns and shrubs need water much more frequently than the new plan allows. "They're very concerned with the investments they've made with their landscaping, and the future investments they plan to make," Greyson said. "And so, my vote today is going to reflect all the input I've gotten from my district, that has said they do not want to see this happen."

"For new landscaping, twice a week is not adequate. But the City of Dallas and their water department have come up with a variance system where people can apply for a variance for new landscaping," explained Clint Wolfe of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. "Sodding -- probably 30 days is all you need to establish a new lawn."

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