WP water tower

AUTUMN OWENS/WD PHOTO

Willow Park has five stages in its drought plan, and the proposed plan could condense those into three stages to be uniform with surrounding communities.

The Willow Park City Council discussed a proposed drought contingency plan that will need to be adopted at the time the city starts to receive Fort Worth water as well as its water conservation plan.

“The days of watering your yard seven days a week as much as you want are over. They just are,” WP City Manager Bryan Grimes said. “Water is abundant right now, but it may not be in 10 years and we need to conserve as much as we can.”

WP has five stages in its drought plan — Stage 1, three times a week watering; Stage 2, three times a week watering only in the mornings; Stage 3, which is where the city is now, twice a week watering; Stage 4, once a week watering; and Stage 5, emergency only watering. 

“What [the Fort Worth plan] will do is take those five stages and condense them down to three and you will be uniform with other surrounding communities — like Aledo, Hudson Oaks or any other wholesale customer where the city of Fort Worth has adopted some variation of this plan,” Grimes said. “Stage 1 is twice a week watering; Stage 2 is once a week watering; and Stage 3 is what they call a black flag, emergency use only.”

As of now, the date of getting on FW water is some time in 2021 and the city of Fort Worth has the agreement on its agenda for its Jan. 29 meeting. Until that time, WP has been able to get its water up to 1.4 million gallons per day without the use of Weatherford water. 

“We’re going to bid for two new wells and we’re either going to rehab or drill an additional well on top of that, so you’re looking at possibly three more wells and I would say, conservatively, you’re going to add another 250,000 gallons per day to the 1.4 [million], so we should be good going into summer,” Grimes said. “We are going to do a presentation for an update on the water system.”

So the next big topic that was brought up by Willow Park Citizens Group member KJ Hannah, as well as the council, was educating the public.

“As the council and administration addresses the new water conservation restrictions for the city of Willow Park, I would ask you to do so in the fullest sense of the Texas and Fort Worth instructions to educate and encourage water conserving, drought resistant landscaping and to manage the transition from water-rich landscaping to xeriscaping,” Hannah said. “It’s the sprinklers that are the landscaping water wasters.”

Xeriscaping is landscaping in a style that requires little or no irrigation. 

“[Fort Worth’s] water conservation states that they are at a constant status of twice a week watering and I’m pretty sure they’re going to require cities to adopt that twice a week watering,” Grimes said. “Regardless if you are on a well or you’re on city water, at the end of the day it’s all coming from the same straw. The difference is going to be that at some point in the future — I would suspect in the next 10 years — you will see some wells start to fail and I think you need to educate the public on that the city is not a bad alternative to having well water.”

The drought and conservation plans will continue to be discussed and a public hearing will be held to receive input from citizens with the goal being to adopt the FW plans by April. 

The full drought contingency plan document can be found on the city of Willow Park website at www.willowpark.org.