Why Save Water?
Most people do not think of electricity savings or cleaner water when they turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth. Water conservation is largely thought of as a water quantity saver. Yet, conservation has deeper benefits than just insuring enough water is available.
If you get your water from wells-- whether public or private-- water conservation helps to maintain the quality of your water. The quality of water that is produced from a well directly affects the cost of treating the water.
Think of the ground (aquifer) as a wet sponge, and a well as a straw drawing water from that sponge. The more holes in the sponge and the more connected the holes are, the greater volume of water the well can produce and the further the distance water in the aquifer can travel to reach the well.
Sometimes if the sponge has small holes and they are isolated, the water that is produced from the wells must come from isolated areas and the production and general quality of water produced from these isolated areas can be poorer. Conversely, the greater the distance water travels to get to the well, the greater chance that risky land use practices or leaks and spills of contaminants can affect the quality of water produced from the well.
Reduced Costs, Cleaner Environment
Adding additional sources of water to meet peak demands can be expensive to develop and to treat. Water conservation can result in more consistent demand for water and reduce overall treatment cost if the quality of the water being treated is consistent.
Water in equals water out. For urban users, water conservation reduces wastewater treatment costs and allows for more effective treatment.
One of the best benefits of water conservation arises from energy savings. Water is hefty to move and hard to heat. Saving water means saving electricity from both water pumps and water heaters.
Water Conservation Programs
- The Texas Water Development Board's (TWDB) Water Conservation Section has programs for agricultural conservation, alternative technologies such as rainwater harvesting, municipal and industrial conservation, and Water IQ: Know Your Water, as wells as lesson plans, grant and loan programs, and more...
- The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) Water Conservation webpage includes tips for consumers and information on rainwater collection and treatment, water conservation planning, and coordinating water conservation. The TCEQ also offers water conservation tips for consumers at Take Care of Texas: Water Conservation Tips as well as free publications concerning rainwater harvesting, landscape irrigation, and other water saving strategies that Texans can use at home.
- The Texas State Soil and Conservation Board's Water Supply Enhancement Program (formerly the Texas Brush Control Program) presents a viable option for increasing the availability of water.
- The Texas Water Resources Institute has numerous reports and projects that are often agriculturally related. From the subject index, click on "Conservation and Reuse" for water conservation information.
- The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense is a voluntary partnership program aimed at protecting the future of our nation's water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services.
- The Alliance for Water Efficiency, a national non-profit organization that promotes the efficient and sustainable use of water, provides a comprehensive web-based Water Efficiency Resource Library which is intended as a one-stop shop for water efficient product and program information. Library sections cover residential plumbing and appliances, toilet testing, landscape and irrigation, commercial and industrial water conservation, water rates and rate structures, water loss control, codes and standards, drought planning, and numerous other topics. Research reports, published documents, and case studies are included, providing a comprehensive picture of what water efficiency measures prove to be the most successful, and how water utilities and consumers can best achieve water efficient use. Upcoming features being added to the site are state by state summaries and an on-line discussion forum.
- The mission of the Water Conservation Advisory Council is to establish a professional forum for the continuing development of water conservation resources, expertise, and progress evaluation of the highest quality for the benefit of Texas -- its state leadership, regional and local governments, and general public.
Conserving Water in the Home
- The Groundwater Foundation's Ways to Protect and Conserve Groundwater webpage
- The TWDB has numerous brochures in English and Spanish on how you can save water
- Water conservation information is also available from the Texas Water Foundation
- HomeIntelligence provides an At-Home Guide to Water Conservation