Let me guess, you probably had a coat on hand before winter arrived, a spare tire in the trunk in case of a flat, and a flashlight around the house should the power go out. The concept couldn’t be simpler: be prepared, save yourself some trouble. This simple logic is even more critical when it comes to our life-sustaining resources, like clean water.
The ready availability of clean water hinges on a number of factors. Some we can control. Unfortunately, some we can’t, like the weather. We are at the mercy of precipitation to recharge our surface and groundwaters. When precipitation wanes for an extended period – drought – the accessibility of our water supply wanes, too. The longer and more severe the drought, the harder and more expensive it is to meet our water demands.
Despite above-average rainfall in December, Montgomery County was in abnormally dry status at year’s end. Weather experts project drought status for the entire state through the summer.
In December 2020, Montgomery county transitioned from moderate drought to abnormally dry. Click here for the most recent drought report from the Texas Water Development Board.
The Texas Water Development Board oversees planning for water needs by region. Their Region H 2021 Water Plan projects future water needs for The Woodlands and surrounding areas. To meet the needs of this fast-growing region, the plan relies heavily on conservation – an 18% reduction in the current demand rate. If conservation goals aren’t met, droughts will require more severe water restrictions – an uncomfortable, inconvenient and expensive step best avoided.
Most of your neighbors are thinking ahead by conserving now. Are you?
- Fix leaks inside and out: sprinkler heads, hose connects, and toilets are likely culprits. A running toilet can leak 26 gallons a day!
- Put the right amount of water on your lawn. Our St. Augustine lawns only require an inch a week, including rainfall.
- Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. One aerator takes only a minute to install and can save 3,000 gallons a year!
- Put water only where it’s needed. Check your sprinkler heads regularly to ensure they aren’t spraying your driveway and street.
Will these measures really make a difference? Yes! An average home uses 120,000 gallons of water a year. In fact, you can meet the 18% conservation goal simply by adopting three simple actions:
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth = 4,000 gallons/yr.
- Use an efficient dishwasher vs hand washing = 6,000 gallons/yr.
- Fix your leaks (toilets, faucets, appliances) = 7,500 gallons/yr.
Drought will intensify the pressure on our already strained water supply. Plan ahead and conserve now. Will you join your neighbors in doing your part?