- Associated Press - Sunday, March 30, 2014

MINERAL WELLS, Texas (AP) - A North Texas town famous for its mineral waters is imposing water restrictions on residents because the main reservoir of water is only a quarter full.

The 31,000 people in Mineral Wells, as well as those in surrounding towns that buy water from Mineral Wells, are being limited to once-a-week outdoor watering starting Tuesday. It’s another reminder of the drought, which began in 2010 and has prompted authorities across the state to implement restrictions on the use of water.

“I’ve been praying for rain,” Mineral Wells mayor Mike Allen told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (https://bit.ly/1h8SUOB ). “If we don’t get rain, we’re going to have to take some very drastic measures.”

Rainfall in Mineral Wells, a town of about 16,000 residents 50 miles west of Fort Worth, is more than 33 inches below normal since October 2010, according to the National Weather Service. Precipitation in the town has been similar to the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but this month, it saw about half of what the rest of the area got.

The Mineral Wells restrictions will apply also to customers in Graford, Palo Pinto, Santo and Millsap

About 90 miles north of Mineral Wells, Wichita Falls has declared a Stage 4 drought disaster. No outdoor watering is permitted and fines can range as high as $2,000.

Mineral Wells has a 400-day supply in Lake Palo Pinto, its main source of water. That will increase by 100 days once they draw from the Brazos River on June 1.

But officials say the long-term solution, a reservoir downstream of Lake Palo Pinto that would double the area’s water reserves, is delayed because of bureaucracy. The Turkey Peak Reservoir will cost $70 million and if the city receives a permit within the next year or two, construction would start in 2018 and be completed in 2020.

“And when we get it built, we’ve got to have enough rain to fill it,” Allen said.

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Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, https://www.star-telegram.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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