The prolonged drought hasn’t caused a Dallas water crisis yet, but the City has decided to be cautious by instituting Stage 1 water restrictions beginning Dec. 12. The regulations affect both residential and commercial water users in Dallas.

The DMN reported the story this weekend, but if you aren’t a subscriber, the basics are in this document available on the City’s website. Here are the basics: We can’t water lawns more than twice a week, and the allowable days are listed in the rules. There’s a time limit to watering, too: 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Make a mistake, and you’re entitled to receive a written warning the first time and at least a $250 fine (and up to a $2,000 fine) the next violation. Continued violations could result in more fines or even a “flow restrictor” placed on the water line to help keep you in line.

Most of us likely won’t be seriously impacted by the new regulations, particularly in the winter off-season. However, there are some big waterers in Dallas who have been highlighted in the DMN and on the TV stations (guys like Tom Hicks, for example) and who use a lot of water on probably a lot of days. Whether the water police will be watching those guys is yet to be determined, but I imagine in this age of ubiquitous video cameras in phones and online squealing, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll be hearing lots more about this in the weeks ahead.