By Wyndi Veigel
Everywhere citizens look lately water is the topic of discussion. After significant rains have given lakes a break from years of drought, many have been pushed to above conservation levels.
For Lake Lavon, conservation level, 492 feet mean sea level (msl,) was reached April 25. Accumulated rains made the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make the decision to open the floodgates on the dam, a sight for many since it hadn’t occurred since April 2012.
Denise Hickey of the North Texas Municipal Water District said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the levels of all the USACE owned and operated reservoirs based on long standing flood mitigation procedures.
Last week, residents saw USACE releasing 750 cubic feet per second (cfs) at Jim Chapman Lake and 1,100 cfs at Lavon Lake in accordance with their water control plans for the first time in years. NTMWD reports that releases cease when the level returns to the normal conservation pool.
Most reservoirs across North Texas are showing to be at least at 70 percent capacity with several, such as Lake Lavon, being at 100 percent capacity.
When water is released from Lake Lavon, it flows into Lake Ray Hubbard to help fill that lake. Currently, Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall is about 3 feet below conservation level.
Meteorologists have said that spring will continue to be a wet one and that summer may also hold hope for easing the drought. Summer forecast also holds hope for North Texas as fewer days with 90s and 100-degree temperatures are anticipated.
Releasing water from Lake Lavon isn’t the only H20-minded topic though. NTMWD has recently relaxed watering restrictions. The Stage 3 seasonal restrictions that have limited watering to twice a month since 2013 are being lifted, and watering with automatic sprinkler system may occur up to twice a week, if necessary.
Most lawns and landscaping do not require constant watering. To promote deep root growth, lawns in the area need only be watered about an inch a week. Depending on the size of the lawn, usually only one soaking a week is necessary.
A reliable method of determining when and how much to water can be obtained by visiting www.watermyyard.org and entering some basic information. The Water My Yard program provides users with information useful in determining watering requirements. Water conservation is still necessary, though. Repairing and readjusting sprinkler heads, fixing leaky faucets and ensuring compliance with schedules, are all still very much a priority, since wasted water cannot be recovered.