DeSoto, TX - With the extended heatwave and its extreme temperatures with little to no seasonal precipitation, DeSoto and many other Texas cities have called on residents to conserve water. This request to use water wisely has focused primarily on outdoor irrigation, in accordance with the City’s Drought Contingency Plan.
The plan calls for voluntary efforts to reduce and modify normal watering practices throughout the heat spell by irrigating lawns during the coolest hours of the day between 5:00 am and 9:00 am and late evenings between 7:00 pm and 11:00pm, and only when needed. This careful use of outdoor water irrigation will reduce water demand over the entire system and help avoid water restrictions through the end of July. This heat wave has registered a number of peak or near-peak day demands on DeSoto's system capacity.
Water demand from DeSoto residents has been ranging between 11 million gallons per day a (MGD) to near 12 MGD and quickly drew down water levels in each of the City's existing ground water storage tanks (GSR’s) for the early part of July. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate how higher water usage in July has led to a steady downward trend of tank operating levels.
In addressing the City's system-wide water supply, the City relies on the purchase of daily water from Dallas Water Utility and has increased the limits on the daily water allowed for purchase from 14.5 million gallons per day (MGD) to a new limit of 16 MGD to meet the heat-related demands. This increases the City’s costs, which will be partially offset with increased water sales.
The State Drought monitor focuses on a range of conditions that currently range from ‘Abnormally Dry' (D0) to 'Exceptional Drought' (D4). A common and widely used definition of 'Drought' is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric, surface water, or ground water. A drought can last for months or years, or may be declared after as few as 15 days.