Water in West Texas
We're all used to hearing about watering restrictions. Yard signs that say "Pray for Rain" are a pretty common sight. Living with drought is part of living in West Texas.
So what exactly does a drought mean for us? And how can we help conserve water in our community?
What defines a drought?
Drought is defined as a period of dryness especially when prolonged and specifically : one that causes extensive damage to crops or prevents their successful growth.
The U.S. Drought Monitor defines drought levels in 4 categories.
When a state is experiencing less precipitation than normal, but not officially in a drought yet, it is at level D0.
D1-D4 are increasing levels of drought, and the possible impacts are noted in the chart to the left.
Curious about our current drought level for Tom Green County?
5 Simple Steps to Help Conserve Water
Turn water off when you aren't using it while you're brushing your teeth and washing hands (only if you can turn it off/on with elbow for sanitation reasons).
Invest in energy and water saving appliances, when the time comes to replace the ones you currently own. Washing machines, dishwashers, shower heads, faucets, etc., are all items that can replaced with Energy Star versions.
Consider low water landscaping. If you're just starting out, ensure you're using native plants that are drought resistant. Drip line irrigation also uses more targeted watering for plants, and will have less evaporation than sprinklers. And while you can have a grass lawn while conserving water, make sure its a drought resistant species and water only in the early morning or evenings.
Rain Barrels are a great way to gather water to use for your gardening. Plus, its untreated water, meaning you won't be adding extra chemicals like fluoride to your plants, unlike tap water. A roof can typically collect 0.6 gallons of rainwater per square foot, so water collection can add up quickly.
Share your knowledge about water conservation with friends and family. The more people making small changes to improve water conservation, the bigger the overall result!