Greetings from the City of Plano Public Works Department:
Just an update on where we are with the drought. January provided some significant rainfall but February has been very disappointing in the way of precipitation. The City of Plano and other surrounding cities are still in Stage 3 water use restrictions. Some restrictions and time of day watering schedules for Plano were updated in November 2006. If you want to review the restrictions you can find drought information at www.plano.gov/water.
Despite the improved lake levels, water officials are still concerned about the current water resources for north Texas and how far it will go to meet demand for the year 2007. Two years of historically significant drought and the enormous amount of energy that has gone into conserving the current supply have taught us that it is wise to be cautious. As we monitor the rainfall, lake levels and weather forecasts for our region, city officials will decide the best course of action to take that will stretch our water supplies until two major water projects can be brought on line in early 2008. These projects, the Lake Tawakoni project and the East Fork Reuse project, will help ease the squeeze between supply and demand for our area.
Lake levels and rainfall for Lake Lavon and Lake Chapman:
Elevation 2/27/06 2/27/07 Difference
Lake Lavon 482.38 484.64 2.26’ higher
Lake Chapman 426.94 430.02 3.08’ higher
Rainfall Jan. ’06 Jan. ’07 Feb. ’06 Feb. ’07
Lake Lavon 2.05” 5.95” 2.97” 0.41”
Lake Chapman 3.53” 5.82” 4.47” 0.68”
Thus, it can be seen that we have the potential of entering the growing season with lake elevations that are higher than this same time last year. The total rainfall for Lake Lavon for the months of January and February 2007 is 6.36 inches. In January and February 2006 the total was 5.02 inches. The concern is the low amount of rainfall (0.41”) in February 2007. Let’s hope this trend does not continue.
The total rainfall for Lake Chapman for the months of January and February 2007 is 6.50 inches. In January and February 2006 the total was 8.00 inches. Again, the concern is the low amount of rainfall in February 2007.
The Drought Forecast from NOAA indicates uncertainty concerning the rainfall for the next three months. It does not show the North Texas area as one that will improve or worsen. The normal amount of rainfall for the 3-month period March – May is 12.23 inches. Last year, during that 3-month period we received 8.15 inches, 65% of that received in March alone. It appears that the months of April and May will be critical this year.
City of Plano
Water Education Coordinator