Water district says planning keeps pipelines flowing

The importance of water is being brought home this summer by the withering drought and oppressive heat, which have taken their toll on local water utilities, forcing some to implement various stages of their drought contingency plans.

Denton County’s largest wholesale water provider, the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, said that despite the dry conditions, they are not in danger of running out of water for their customers.

“To assist in making sure that their citizens have sufficient water to protect investments in property and landscape and to help cope with the oppressive heat and lack of rainfall, we recently announced that additional water was available if needed by our water customers,” said Thomas E. Taylor, Executive Director of Upper Trinity.

Taylor said that the additional water will help to ensure that no Upper Trinity member city, town or utility would be without water or have to ration water to its citizens.

“Through careful planning, Upper Trinity Regional Water District has an adequate supply of water to meet the needs of the 25 communities we serve,” said Taylor.

Taylor said that the communities whose water is provided by Upper Trinity share the benefits of long-range planning and the lakes that support the Upper Trinity system were planned 40 to 60 years ago.

“We can be very thankful for the vision and courage of those civic leaders, the wise planners who made the hard decisions and who committed the funds to build the water supply lakes upon which we depend today; now, it is our duty to do likewise for the future.

“In that same spirit, our members are dutifully planning for the next lake to assure an adequate water supply for the future,” added Taylor.

Taylor is referring to the proposed Lake Ralph Hall in Fannin County, which several Upper Trinity member cities, including Flower Mound, oppose building on the grounds that it will not be needed for many years and there are less expensive options to serve the area’s water needs.

Meanwhile, the drought rages on and the demand for water is up.

“Last year, Upper Trinity delivered 7.23 billion gallons of water to its wholesale customers who provide water to local citizens. The highest daily usage was 46 million gallons. So far this summer, the highest usage in one day has been 55 million gallons, which occurred on August 8; that is a 20 percent increase from the peak day last year.”

Currently, Upper Trinity is in Stage 1 of its drought contingency plan, a voluntary state that aims to raise public awareness of the ongoing drought and about the potential for a water emergency if pipes or equipment breaks under the stress of drought conditions.

“The recent rains have helped to lower water demand for a few days, but as the high temperatures continue, it’s important for residents to conserve water and to make every drop count,” said Taylor.

Taylor offered the following tips for residents to use in conserving water:

–    Water lawn deeply, but less frequently and early in the morning
–    Install water saving shower heads and take shorter showers
–    Check for and repair toilet leaks and dripping faucets

For more information about how to save water both indoors and outdoors, visit Upper Trinity’s website at www.utrwd.com.

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