What is a Drought?
From a water supplier’s perspective, a drought is an extended period of time with little or no rain that can impact the North Texas Municipal Water District’s water resources. With a prolonged drought, normal rainfall totals produce modest flows into streams and rivers and lake levels can remain low due the dry soil conditions which absorb the rainfall.
What is causing the current drought?
The City of Frisco implemented its Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan at the direction of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). The district which supplies water to Frisco, as well as 45 other cities and communities, initiated its drought plan as a result of:
- NTMWD’s two primary reservoirs (Lakes Lavon & Chapman) are approximately 8 feet below normal conservation levels.
- Projections indicate North Texas will not get the rainfall and runoff needed to sufficiently raise key lake levels going into this summer.
- NTMWD still cannot use water from Lake Texoma due to the presence of invasive zebra mussels. Texoma normally provides almost a quarter of NTMWD’s raw water supplies.
- The first phase of a new pipeline being constructed to transport water from Lake Texoma to NTMWD’s water treatment plant located in Wylie, Texas will not be completed until January 2014.
How long will the drought last?
It's not possible to accurately predict how long the drought will last. The drought intensified due to La Nina over the Tropical Pacific. The results of this weather pattern usually results in a weaker than normal storm track and limiting rainfall totals.
What is being done about the drought?
The North Texas Municipal Water District manages its water resources according to its state-approved Water Management Plan. During a drought, the district encourages Member Cities and Customers to implement the necessary steps to use less water. See Frisco's complete Water Use Policies.
What droughts have we dealt with in the past?
We are currently the third year of a drought. In 2011, Texas experienced its worst "one-year" drought with many parts of the state suffering from extreme to exception drought circumstances. The most recent drought lasted from late 2005 through mid-2007. During that time, the elevation of Lake Lavon fell 17 feet below is normal level or 35 percent of capacity.
Drought of Record – the state’s worst drought spanned a seven-year period in the 1950s. Once it ended, 244 Texas counties were declared federal disaster areas. Learn more about the historic drought on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission site.
Why do drought measures vary across different communities?
Drought measures in one community might not be applicable or appropriate for another. Each city’s customer base and water distribution system is uniquely different. Many cities develop their own drought contingency plans to achieve their water savings during times of drought or water emergency shortage.
What Can I Do to Help Outdoors?
The most impactful way to reduce water consumption is through the tapered use of your home’s outdoor automatic sprinkler system. Nearly 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by overwatering. Consider the following program opportunities to combat outdoor water wasting woes:
- Follow the Stage 3 Restrictions set to begin on June 1, 2013
- Request a Free Sprinkler System Checkup with a licensed irrigation expert on staff.
- Retrofit Your Automatic Timer with a Smart Controller
- Sign up for emails with Weekly Lawn Watering Advice
- Become a WaterWise Block Captain
What Can I Do to Help Indoors?
Upgrading your indoor fixtures and routinely checking leaks are other positive ways to increase your long-term efficiency and save water – and money – on your monthly water bill. Visit the Public Works Facility located 11300 Research Road to take advantage of the following free items:
- Leak Detection Dye Tablets
- High-Efficiency Shower Heads
- Soil Moisture Meters
- Hose-End Spray Nozzles
Have any Questions or Concerns?
Please contact the Public Works Department. Send us an email or call 972-292-5800.