DeSoto City Council Discusses Changes To Drought Contingency & Water Conservation Plan

DeSoto City Hall
DeSoto City Hall

DESOTO – The DeSoto City Council met earlier this week to discuss the city’s existing Drought Contingency and Water Conservation Plan.

All water suppliers with more than 3,300 service connections must update each of these plans every five years, specific to the Texas Water Code and Texas Administrative Code.

The council heard recommendations originating from the Public Works Department and an outside company to create a more proactive approach to drought and water issues in the future.

It was stressed that the most important method of helping residents understand the city’s overall needs is to help them understand the importance of using water wisely.

Water in any city is needed to protect residents’ health and provide for the Fire Department’s needs.

Two points were considered: what triggers the need for a Drought Contingency and Water Conservation Plan and how the city will respond.

The city’s plan currently has five stages; it was proposed to reduce the number to three.

Public awareness was front and center for the first stage, to educate the public about an 80% water demand, a more proactive approach.

Drought response stages were discussed as triggering events that made voluntary compliance mandatory.

At the point of a mandatory compliance situation, it was suggested that DeSoto mirror its neighboring cities to a fixed date irrigation schedule of even/odd addresses two days per week for watering.

Drought stages would increase as water demand increased, which could lead to a red stage with 95% capacity for over two days.

Enforcement would begin with education followed by warnings, fines, and discontinued water use if necessary.

The council had minimal changes for staff to complete, and the item will be brought back to the council for a final vote on the suggested changes.

The Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendations for potential revisions to the City’s Facility Naming Policy were discussed.

This item was brought up in November 2023 due to actions to name or rename city facilities with recommendations; at that time, the ad hoc committee was created. It comprised Mayor Pro Tem Letitia Hughes, Place 2 Pierette Parker, and Place 3 Nicole Raphiel. The ad hoc committee met on January 29, 2024, to discuss the proposed new City Facility Naming Policy recommendations:

  • Clarify that applications will be presented and voted on in January and July City Council Meetings annually, with the requirement that they be submitted to the City Secretary and City Manager at least 60 days in advance.
  • Add the requirement that renaming applications be published with water bills, providing directions on where to obtain details for review 30 days in advance of the January and July Council Meetings.
  • Add the requirement that facility renaming applications by Council members must require at least 25 verifiable signatures. Verifiable signatures are the signatures of owners of properties in the City of DeSoto.
  • Add the requirement that support must be provided by any coordinating commission or board such as the Library Board, Tri-City Animal Shelter, etc.
  • Add a requirement that petition signatures be those of registered voters instead of property owners.
  • Add a requirement that the costs associated with the naming request be borne by the requesting person, group, or entity instead of the City.
  • Add the requirement for a mandatory waiting period of 12 to 24 months before the same facility can be considered for renaming again.

The City Council had previously approved a Facility Naming Policy in March 2023.

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