Although we have been experiencing a milder and wetter than normal summer, in Texas drought, which can have a long-lasting effect on many aspects of the environment – including our groundwater, always seems to be lurking around the corner.
Even though, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System, North Texas is not currently experiencing drought conditions, water conservation should still be on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Often during wet years, when the lakes are full, we tend to lose sight of the importance of water conservation, but, for a number of reasons, groundwater levels don’t always react the same way to rainfall as surface water levels.
District Conservation Picks
Whether you rely on groundwater or surface water, water conservation is always crucial for the future of Texans. Saving water now can have a tremendous impact on our groundwater resources and our communities in the future. Some of the small everyday changes you can make to help are:
- Check for toilet and faucet leaks and repair immediately
- Install aerators on faucets and remember to turn them off when not in use
- If you do not have a low-flow toilet, use water displacement device in the tank
- While waiting for hot water to reach faucet, catch cold water in a container to water potted plants
- Only run the dishwasher and the washing machine with full loads
- Reduce shower time- On average, a shower uses about 2 gallons of water per minute. If you take a 30-minute shower, that’s 60 gallons of water; vs. a 5-minute shower, which uses 10 gallons.
Irrigation and Drought: How do they coexist?
Because a large percentage of annual residential use is outside, especially in the summer, here are some small things that you can do to help reduce your outdoor water use:
- Watering between 8pm and 8am
- Not over watering plants (According to the EPA, up to 50% of water is lost to evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering)
- For automatic sprinkler systems:
- Check sprinkler heads regularly to prevent clogging
- Adjust to eliminate overspray and adjust run times and frequency to respond to water schedules, changing rainfall, and temperature conditions
- For hose-end sprinklers: use sprinkler timers to limit water duration
- Use hand-held hose, drip irrigation, or soaker hoses for trees, garden, non-turf areas, and bedded plants
- Cut lawns on highest setting and leave lawn clippings on lawn instead of bagging
- Use mulch to preserve soil moisture
- Utilize supplemental water sources, such as collected rainwater, where possible
These small shifts in daily routine can affect big change, and every individual can make a difference by conserving. Help us to ensure that future generations will have the water they need.
For more information, call the Upper Trinity GCD office at 817-523-5200 or check out our website at www.uppertrinitygcd.com for more information.