Don’t let the recent rains fool you. Water remains a precious resource in Texas as our great state continues to replenish its supply following last year’s historic drought. As a responsible society, we must take action on this issue today in order to avoid the implementation of additional water restrictions this summer.
The recently launched Texas Water Smart consumer awareness campaign encourages each of us to take a few simple, common-sense steps toward reducing wasteful water habits. This public-private coalition focused on conservation education will complement the great work that water managers across Texas have done to raise the awareness of conserving our most precious resource. I am proud to join Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in supporting this campaign and ensuring that we will continue to have enough water in our state to sustain our population and economic growth.
With a few simple tweaks to our yard and garden routines, we can help avoid a scenario in which Texans are restricted from watering their lawns and gardens at all times, building new pools and even washing their cars. For example, be sure to regularly check your sprinkler systems and outdoor faucets for common water leaks that easily go overlooked. Fixing leaks outside your house is just as important to water conservation as taking care of the ones inside.
Watering your lawn and garden in the early morning or evening and using mulch in your planting beds are also easy ways to conserve water because both help to reduce evaporation. Be sure to adjust your lawn mower up one notch because thicker grass will retain more water, requiring you to water less while your yard stays greener. Also make sure to keep your yard free of weeds that soak up and steal water from your grass.
While it may save time watering plants and shrubs with a hose, its incredibly wasteful. Instead, be sure to water your potted plants with a watering can and use drip irrigation or soaker hoses for shrubs and trees. Also consider planting water-conscious plants and water them deeply, but less frequently, to encourage strong root growth and drought tolerance.
Without your help, more water restrictions could devastate many lawns and gardens across our great state, causing untold millions of dollars in losses in property values. But the impact extends far beyond your yard. Major retailers, nurseries, landscaping and pool companies and many other businesses would lose millions as well. And, businesses both large and small, along with the jobs they bring, will hesitate to locate to cities under severe water restrictions. As much as water conservation is an environmental issue, it is an economic one as well.
We all have heard the calls that Texas needs more water to sustain its population and the businesses that drive our economy. The Water Smart program is the answer to this call, but it won’t be successful without you. Texans have always met challenges head on and we know we can do it again with water conservation. Be Water Smart and spread the message. Saving water doesn’t mean sacrificing your yard, but wasting water very well could. Check out www.TexasWaterSmart.com for more information.
As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives, and I welcome your feedback on this and any other critical state issues. If you would like to share a thought with me, please feel free to contact me at my Capitol office at 512.463.0688 or by e-mail at [email protected]