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With extreme temperatures and low rainfall, water usage in the City of Coppell has been extremely high, causing an increased demand on the municipal water system. Coppell residents and businesses have done a wonderful job of conserving water, but the City still needs your help to decrease demand on the water system.
What is the relationship between water demand and water cost?
The daily amount of water the City of Coppell is contractually allowed to purchase and receive from Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) is set at 18.5 million gallons per day (MGD). Over the past few weeks, the City has needed all of the 18.5 MGD in order to meet demand. In other words, we are routinely pumping all, or nearly all, of the water that is available to us in order to operate our system.
The City currently pays approximately $5.2 million for the right to access 18.5 MGD. If water consumption rises, the City must increase the amount it is allowed to purchase per day to 19 MGD. The impact of going from 18.5 to 19 MGD is projected to result in an increase in the cost of treated water. Further, if we increase the amount of purchased water, we will be committed to paying for the right to take that increased volume in future years. Though the cost of treated water in general will increase in the future – regardless of the volume used – to cover rate increases from DWU and the Trinity River Authority, limiting consumption is one way that Coppell residents can directly impact their utility rates.
The last time the City increased its water demand from DWU was in 2015. The past two summers have been relatively mild and rainy, with water demands limited due to the reduced irrigation needs. However, with the hot and dry summer conditions of 2018, combined with increased civic and private water use, the water demand in Coppell is at an all-time high. While the City recognizes it will eventually need to purchase additional water from DWU, delaying that purchase is a rate-control strategy worth pursuing collectively.
What is the City doing to limit its water usage?
The City has announced that it will limit the usage of irrigation systems throughout its parks and city-owned facilities. Watering times for watering zones on various City-owned medians, rights-of-way and in parks will be limited to 9 p.m. – 4 a.m. on only one to two days per week. The exception is in Wagon Wheel Park, where the City utilizes well water for irrigation. The City maintains the following medians and row:
Other medians and rows are maintained by homeowners associations and private entities.
What can water customers do to help?
Per the City's Water Conservation Plan, residents are asked to ensure their irrigation systems are working properly and to not water outside (except with non-spray irrigation systems or hand watering) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The City also asks residents and businesses to consider making small changes that will help to conserve water. For example, residents are encouraged to use the "cycle and soak" irrigation method to reduce runoff and to update landscapes with drought-resident plants. Consider reducing the number of days or length of irrigation cycles. Small reductions applied across the city can make a difference. For other water conservation tips, visit waterisawesome.com.
Just like residential irrigation systems, the City of Coppell's sprinklers are mechanical, and sometimes there are errors in the system. If you notice City of Coppell sprinklers running excessively or between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., please contact the Public Works Department at 972-304-3679 to make the City aware of the issue. City crews will make every effort to get the problem resolved.
For more information, call the Public Works Department at 972-304-3679.