For several years, Texas was facing a severe drought. According to CBS Dallas Fort Worth, the drought conditions began in 2010, though have significantly improved. The National Drought Mitigation Center showed the majority of the state is currently at normal levels, with only several counties in the northern part of the state experiencing moderate drought and six patches of land throughout the state being abnormally dry - not a drought category.
Though most of Texas is drought-free, it is still important to keep the principles people living in drought conditions in mind. After all, it was only two years ago that legislatures and conservation experts were talking about the seriousness of the issue, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In 2012, the Texas Water Development Board determined nearly one-quarter of the state's water supply should eventually come from conservation efforts. It also found water demand could increase as much as 22 percent before the year 2060; meanwhile, water supply could fall by 10 percent.
Though May and October were unusually rainy, June proved that drought is never far off in an arid climate such as Texas', according to CBS Dallas Fort Worth. Working to conserve water in your home is one way to offset the effects of droughts and ensure the water supply is sufficient for Texans everywhere.
According to Park Cities People, residents of Highland Park have achieved such effective water conservation practices that the city decided to raise the water rates by 12.5 percent this quarter. Those who use little water likely won't be harmed by this increase, though those who overuse water may notice a high water bill.
Though the increase in rates was sparked by a need for additional funds, the town hopes it will encourage residents to continue their water conservation practices, or, for those who have yet to attempt conservation techniques, to begin.
Saving water every day
There are many ways Dallas residents can begin saving water on their own. Not only will practicing water conservation practices help the state's efforts in the long run, but it will also help homeowners to save on their water bills every month.
The City of Dallas has certain water conservation requirements homeowners should be following. For example, sprinkler systems should not be activated between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the spring, summer and fall. Hand watering is permitted, but if homeowners use a sprinkler system, there are two predetermined days when watering is permitted, depending on the home's address.
Take Care of Texas, a campaign encouraging green living practices, recommends homeowners finding and fixing leaks in pipes throughout the home and in sprinkler systems and hoses outside as soon as possible. Replacing older toilets, shower heads and faucets with newer ones that help to conserve water. For instance, faucets with aerators installed can reduce the amount of water used in that faucet by 50 percent. A new shower head can reduce water usage by nearly 3,000 gallons of water every year.
When rain does come to Texas, it is often welcomed with open arms, especially after a drought. In October, the DFW Airport saw 7.57 inches of rain, 3.35 inches more than the average, CBS Dallas reported. Just six months prior, the state saw 35 trillion gallons of water pour down in the rainiest month Texas has seen. When these events happen, homeowners can take advantage of the weather by collecting rainwater in a rain barrel, Take Care of Texas explained. The water can then be used for irrigation and watering lawns and gardens.
While collecting rainwater and replacing toilets are good ideas for homeowners who want to conserve water are good ideas, incorporating some new habits into the daily routine will help as well. This can include taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet when brushing teeth and washing dishes. Some older faucets can expel five gallons of water per minute, according to Conserve H2O. Ensuring the water is turned completely off and faucets aren't leaking can help in the long run, too. A leaky faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water annually.
By implementing some water conservation techniques in your home, you will be helping a state-wide effort to save water, plus it is sure to pay off in your next water bill.