BUSINESS
04/19/2012 03:03 pm ET

Dallas Makes Lawn Watering Restrictions Permanent (VIDEO)

The Dallas City Council passed temporary restrictions on lawn sprinklers last December due to an ongoing drought in Texas, limiting landscape watering to twice per week.

On Wednesday, council members voted 13-2 in favor of making those restrictions permanent. Starting this coming Monday, residents will be prohibited from turning on their sprinklers between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for most of the week, WFAA Dallas reports.

"For us to grow in our future, we’ve got to have that water," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a press conference Wednesday morning, according to CBS News. "We don't have enough water for those people. In less than 20 years, you talk about a deficit in Washington. We have a deficit right here in North Texas and it's water."

Under the new restrictions, homeowners living in odd-numbered properties can water on Sundays and Thursdays, while even-numbered houses can water Saturdays and Wednesdays, the station reported.

According to the city's website, fines for violations during the temporary restriction period ranged from $250 to $2,000 per incident after the first offense, which resulted in a warning.

Many types of lawn watering would be still permitted, according to a PowerPoint presentation shown at Wednesday's meeting and posted online.

Watering buckets, hand-held hoses and drip irrigation are all allowed at any time under the current plan.

The announcement comes days after Mexico and Texas resolved a tense dispute over the release of water reserves from the Rocky Mountains, which are becoming increasingly more vital as agriculture in the Rio Grande region suffers an historic drought.

Mexico is guaranteed a small amount of water from reservoirs in New Mexico, which are usually filled up by melting water that flows down from the Rockies, according to the Associated Press.

Normally, the water from the New Mexican reservoirs would be released in March, and would flow down the Rio Grande to farmers in Texas and Mexico, the AP reported. But this year, because less water has to last for a longer period of time, farmers in Texas asked to push back the date at which the water would be released.

This decision drew harsh criticism from international commissions which accused Texas of ignoring the needs of Mexican farmers, who need the water now.

"The March delivery request is very normal for Mexico," a spokesperson for the International Boundary and Water Commission told the AP. "What caused the concern was that in an ideal world everybody would take the deliveries at the same time because that's a more efficient way of moving water."

One farmer from West Texas told the Durango Herald that if the state wants to avoid what happened in past droughts -- a severe drought in 1996 plunged many into bankruptcy -- cities need to come up with sustainable water conservation plans.

"From a water-supply perspective, we are just not prepared," Susan Combs told the Durango Herald. "If each town and city doesn’t come up with a successful water plan, the state will be worse off for it."

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