Water Conservation

Water ConvservationUsing water more efficiently will not only save money; more importantly, it will protect the quality of life of current and future Texans.

With the vastness of Texas, it’s easy to forget two important facts about our state: we are subject to frequent droughts, and our population is projected to nearly double in the next 50 years.

To ensure that we have enough water for current and future Texans, we need to reduce the amount of water we waste. A few small changes in your water use habits can make a huge difference in water savings. View the outdoor and indoor water tips below.

Resources

More tips and resources are available below to guide everyone on how to do their part to conserve this precious resource.

  1. Outdoor Tips
  2. Indoor Tips

Watering and Irrigation

  • LandscapingPlant water-efficient, well-adapted, and/or native shrubs, trees, and grasses. Choose plants that are drought and heat tolerant and can survive the minimum winter temperatures in your area. In odd-shaped areas, use drought-tolerant groundcover instead of grass. Many cities provide lists of water-efficient plants.
  • Don’t abuse the benefits of an automatic sprinkler system by over-watering. Set it to provide thorough but infrequent watering. Check sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are working properly. Install rain shut-off devices and adjust sprinklers to eliminate coverage on pavement. For plants that need more water, use a hose or watering can to give them additional water.
  • Prevent evaporation of water. Water lawns early in the morning. Never water on windy days. Use drip irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees, or shrubs and use low-angle sprinklers for lawns. Cover pools and spas. This can save the equivalent of your pool volume each year!
  • Harvest the rain. Buy a rain barrel or a cistern and collect the water from your gutters to water your plants.
  • Use your water efficiently. Don’t waste water by cleaning patios or sidewalks with it; use a broom.
  • Taller grass holds moisture better. Don’t cut more than one-third of its length at one time. Don’t scalp lawns when mowing during hot weather. Leave lawn clippings on the lawn instead of bagging.
  • Use lots of mulch around your shrubs and trees. It will retain moisture, reduce run-off, moderate soil temperatures, and help with weed control.
  • Don’t over-fertilize! Get a soil kit to determine what nutrients your soil needs. If you apply fertilizer only in the spring and fall, your grass will be healthy, use less water, and require less mowing.
  • Use a car wash that recycles water. If you are washing your car at home, use a bucket of soapy water and a hose nozzle that shuts off the water while you scrub.
  • Use drought-tolerant and drought-resistant landscaping.

Drought-Resistant Landscaping

  • Practice using hardscapes (concrete, asphalt, stone, glass, brick, metal, gravel, etc.) and mulches in your lawn.
  • Use drought-tolerant and drought-resistant plants for your landscape.
    Drought-tolerant landscaping utilizes plants that have adapted through evolution to thrive with minimal water. These include cacti and other desert plants. Drought-resistant landscaping involves using plants that can survive extended periods of dry weather, but do best with moderate or regular water. These include prairie plants such as coneflower, blazing star, and black-eyed Susan, along with other regional native trees, shrubs, and perennials.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service have come up with a list of Texas Superstar plants, which details plants that show superior performance under Texas’ tough growing conditions. View the full list of Superstar plants here.