A North Texas Municipal Water District official believes drought conditions will continue this summer and zebra mussels will persist.

Diane Hickey, NTMWD public relations coordinator, said the district’s water users are overwatering their lawns. She said the water district is trying to educate its communities on the importance of conserving water.

“Unfortunately, the weather patterns look like it is going to be a hot and dry spring and summer,” Hickey said. “Right now we are looking pretty good compared to last year.”

The district serves 61 different communities and cities, and the population is expected to more than double by 2060.

Hickey said the district has been without 28 percent of its water supply because zebra mussels.

“We are still trying to meet [our customers’ needs],” she said.

Zebra mussels, according to Hickey, were first found in the United States in the Great Lakes in 1988. They may, she said, get to the point where they affect the striper bass population in Lake Tawakoni. The mussels are mainly transferred by boats.

They were found in Texoma in April 2009, she said, thus halting the pumping of water from Texoma in July 2009. When the zebra mussels were found in a tributary of Lake Lavon in August 2009, the water district agreed to keep Texoma offline.

For more information about zebra mussels and what water users may do to help during the drought, contact NTMWD at 972-442-5405.

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