Benefits of a healthy waterway

“Forested and vegetated waterways provide a multitude of benefits to our air and water quality, flood resilience, our sense of community, and public health” according to Justin Bower, Principal Planner, Community and Environmental Planning, for Houston-Galveston Area Council. He also points out that “everything that happens on the land, including our yards, driveways, roads and open spaces, can wash pollutants and contaminants into our waterways when it rains.” 

Explore the critical benefits of healthy forests, riparian areas (streamside vegetation) and waterways by attending the Smarter About Sustainability Seminar on Saturday, May 14 with Justin Bower. You’ll learn… 

  • How riparian areas are the last line of defense for slowing and filtering stormwater before it reaches the creeks and lakes we depend on.  
  • The direct link between our lawns and landscapes and healthy riparian zones and waterways. 
  • Best landscaping practices for protecting our waters and riparian zones including adding native plants and organic fertilizing.  
  • Opportunities to join community volunteer efforts.  

A body of water with trees around it

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Summer clouds over Bear Branch

We’ll also dive into the damaging effects of invasive species. Ashley Morgan-Olvera, Outreach and Education Director for the Texas Invasive Species Institute at Sam Houston State University, will fill us in on why keeping invasive, and destructive, animals and vegetation out of our community’s forests and stream areas enhances the benefits we gain from these critical ecosystems. Learn how you can make a difference by volunteering with our local Invasives Task Force to help remove invasives from our pathways and public green spaces by attending. 

Smarter About Sustainability Seminar 

Date/Time: Saturday, May 14, 2022 | 9a.m. to noon 

Location: Online 

This is a FREE Seminar. REGISTRATION is required. 

Who plans for Montgomery County’s future water supplies?

We’ve seen the news, we’ve heard the call from the Conroe Economic Development Council , The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, and the East Montgomery County Improvement District, and we can see it with our own eyes—Montgomery County is growing. And fast! In new US Census data, five of the top 10 counties in numeric growth are in Texas, including ours.  

Along with population growth comes a growing water demand.  Additional water supplies will be needed to meet that demand. Most water supply projects have decades-long lead times with local entities making investments years in advance of need. Planning and strategy looks 50-100 years down the road, but we begin acting now to ensure plentiful and cost-effective water long into the future, securing reliable water reserves and creating a strategic plan to manage our most valued resource.  

Water supply planning has been happening in our community for more than 75 years. Created by the Texas Legislature in 1937, the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) serves, conserves, and protects the water resources of the San Jacinto River Basin, which includes Montgomery County. One of the many reasons the Texas Legislature created river authorities is to provide a watershed-focused political subdivision with the power to plan for and develop long-term water supplies in partnership with other local political entities, who often do not have the authority or resources to implement plans on their own.  

SJRA considers numerous stakeholders and partners in its ongoing water supply planning efforts including public and private utilities, cities and counties, Municipal Utility Districts (MUD), industry, agriculture, non-governmental organizations, and chambers.  

SJRA planning also includes diversification of water sources.  Utilizing water wells for groundwater, treating and transporting water from Lake Conroe to partners in Montgomery County, and looking for additional strategies are all needed to accommodate the county’s growth.  But, keeping up with growth in a responsible way takes all of us. Find out how you can do your part to preserve and conserve our most valued resource now and long into the future at The Best Water in Texas. 

Why is Drip Irrigation so Popular?

Less water, less work, healthier plants

Drip irrigation is the smarter way to water. It’s the most effective way to deliver water directly to a plant’s root zone, resulting in lusher, healthier plants. No wonder it’s become a revolution in home landscaping. Oh, and you’ll save A LOT of water, time and money, too!

If you haven’t taken a dive into drip yet, perhaps it’s because drip systems seem intimidating – a lot of hoses and connectors and such. That’s understandable. But the reality is, drip systems are simple in concept, something any DIYer can install and manage themselves. All the parts you need can be found at your local home improvement store, an average system can be set up in a couple hours, and the cost is usually recouped in one season of watering.

A few basic fundamentals (like where drip works best), a step-by-step guideline with a parts list, and a few pro tips will have you set up for success. You’ll find all this and more at the …

Drip Irrigation Workshop

Saturday, March 5 9 to 11 a.m.

Online via Zoom

If you’re considering hiring an installer for your new system, we still recommend you attend so you’ll know how to maintain your system and be able to add to it over time if you like.

During the workshop you can visit information booths, ask questions specific to your landscape, and learn how to get a 50% rebate on your drip purchases applied to your Woodlands Water bill. Did you know you can get rebates on native plants, rain barrels, smart water controllers, and rain sensors, too? We’ll show you how.

The workshop is free but registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

  • Date: Saturday, March 5, 2022
  • Location: Online via Zoom
  • Time: 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Presenter: John Taylor, President – Green Industry Solutions

Want a quick preview of how easy it is to convert a sprinkler head to drip? Check out this video.

Go with the flow: 4 videos to help you take advantage of the rain

Not all water is the same. And there’s no water better for plants than rain.  

Free from the chemicals and salts in tap water, rain is 100% soft hydration. It also contains one of the most bio-available forms of nitrogen, a key nutrient plants need to thrive. Discover more reasons why you want to catch the rain in this short video, and practical ways to do it with our three-part Rainscaping series.   

Rainscaping is simply landscaping with the rain in mind. At a recent workshop we highlighted 3 easy ways to work with the rain and reap the benefits in your landscape. Put away the hose and make a self-watering landscape bed that attracts birds and butterflies. Learn six things to ensure success with rain barrels, and simple ways to work with rain to ensure a lush landscape. Find all this and more in our three-part series from the Rainscaping Workshop. 

Creating a Self-Watering Garden for Birds and Butterflies 

With a few easy steps your landscape beds can water themselves and provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and bees. Learn where to place gardens to take advantage of rainwater, how to prepare the ground, and which plants are best suited to your site. 

Success with Rain Barrels – 6 Things to Know 

Whether you already have a rain barrel or are considering adding one to your garden, discover 6 key points to make it easy, safe, and rewarding to use rainwater.  

Beyond the Barrel – easy ways to work with rain  

When it rains here it pours! Turn what may be a problem into an asset with these simple steps to direct rainwater through your landscape. Whether you have gutters or not, discover how to soften and slow stormwater with a “smiling landscape”. Get rewarded for your efforts with rebates from Woodlands Water.  


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The Water Wise Village Challenge

Turn off your sprinklers and see the benefits!

Consider all you can accomplish through one simple pledge. The annual Water Wise Village Challenge reminds residents about the many benefits of not watering your grass during winter. By pledging, you’ll not only have a healthier lawn, you’ll save water and help your village earn education funds, too!  

  • Lawn care experts, such as Texas A&M AgriLife’s Turf Specialists, stress that watering during winter (when St Augustine grass goes dormant) and overwatering in general, weakens a lawn’s root system. Weak roots are a siren call for chinch bugs, sod web worms and other damaging insects, disease such as brown patch, and a host of weeds. Protect your lawn’s health by avoiding winter irrigation and limiting warm weather irrigation to one inch a week.   
  • Now consider the water savings. Turning off your sprinklers from October through March will save an average of 20,000 gallons of water. When 500 homes pledge, 10 million gallons are saved! And a lot of money, too.  
  • The villages with the most pledges receive a cash donation from challenge partners, Woodlands Water Agency, Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware and The Woodlands GREEN. Those funds go directly to local youth education.  

Thousands of residents across The Woodlands have taken the pledge, and more than half heard about it from a friend. So, spread the word and help your village come out on top.  

Make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood by supporting education while saving water. Take the first step now and make the pledge. 

Take the Water Wise Village Challenge Pledge at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/waterconservation  or use scan the QR code below with your phone’s camera. 

Scan this code with your phone’s camera and take the pledge today!

It’s so easy to pledge. Do it every year, and ask a neighbor to sign up, too! 

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According to AgriLife Extension Turfgrass Specialists, Water Wise Texas Home Lawns should rely on: 

  • Watering less frequently – no more than twice a week, but watering deeply to improve drought tolerance 
  • Using a Cycle and Soak method for best soil/water infiltration (water in small amounts over several hours instead of all at once, which results in runoff and water waste) 
  • Turning irrigation off when grass is dormant during the fall and winter.  

Simplify your life by receiving weekly email recommendations on watering from Woodlands Water Agency. Sign up by looking for “Receive Updates” at www.woodlandswater.org and entering your email address. The information is available even if you are not a Woodlands Water customer.