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North Texans Face Expanded Water Restrictions

COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - More than a million North Texans will face harsh water rules this Spring. The North Texas Municipal Water District is preparing to extend Stage Three restrictions – that means people in places like Plano, Garland and Richardson can only water their lawns twice a month.

At least one Calloway's Nursery in Collin County is slowly converting its stock to drought resistant plants and flowers, as the landscape of North Texas changes.

Gary Cook is the store manager and has an extensive knowledge of greenery. He said homeowners will soon face the choice converting their landscapes or watching their grass die. "You're not getting a lot of people that want to redesign their landscaping," he said. "They're coming to replace what they lost."

Spring officially begins this week, but instead of planting a lot of people are plowing rock gardens, greenhouses and laying dry compost over areas once covered with grass.

It's how the Jochimsen's and other Plano residents are approaching yard work this year. "We're thinking about starting a rain barrel to collect rain water," Cindy Jochimsen said of her new approach.

With watering expected to be limited to only twice a month this Spring and Summer Stuart Jochimsen and his wife are looking for workarounds. "I don't want to put money into something I can't sustain, so we're forced into it," he said.

Lavon Lake is 12 feet below normal – that means 1.6 million North Texans will head into the driest time of the year with a weak water supply.

Denise Hickey is a spokeswoman with the North Texas Municipal Water District. "We really need to cherish that water supply until the drought ends," she said.

If Lavon drops another nine feet a large number of North Texas may not be able to water at all. That's why, officials say, it's important for people to conserve water now until the drought ends.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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