By the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District
The spring season is a critical time for groundwater recharge as the aquifer recovers from the dry winter months and an ideal time to rethink water use at home. Upper Trinity GCD wants to remind homeowners that two factors that contribute to water waste are the amount of water we use and the way we use it.
Practical approaches to these two contributing factors can be seen in landscaping and household water use. Spring is a great time to consider your garden. When landscaping, plant native plants. The amount of water used in landscaping to accommodate non-native plants is incompatible with the two-day watering schedules adopted by many North Texas cities which encourage more hardy grasses.
Native plants are drought resistant and already acclimated to their local environment so they can help conserve water and cut water waste. Without progression away from grasses like Bermuda and St. Augustine, water waste will continue. Incorporating native plants in your landscaping can also save you time and money by reducing the need for pesticides, fertilizers, and maintenance. (Source: http://txnativeplantweek.com).
Another way to approach water conservation in your home is to make conscientious choices in water use when running household appliances. Leaving the water running when doing dishes, brushing teeth, and washing the car may seem trivial, but it can lead to hundreds of gallons of water waste per year. A typical U.S. family household uses 60-80 gallons per person per day, which is far above normal, and the largest water wasters are the shower, clothes washer, and toilets. These account for about two-thirds in an average household (http://agrilife.org/drought/your-home). Cutting back on these will help save water overall.
Saving water is a practice that can have tremendous impacts on the future of our communities, but it means making a change in our daily lives.