Friday, July 21, 2006

Looking Ahead

Drought conditions persist, and it looks like many communities in our area will soon be under Stage 4 watering restrictions. NO OUTDOOR WATERING. Period. I've heard many people complaining about government dictating their water consumption behaviors. Obviously, not everyone understands the seriousness of our water crisis. Lake levels are plummetting, rainfall is well below normal, yet we continue to consume, consume, consume. Something must change.

Since we can't exactly force nature to deliver buckets of rain (unless someone out there is quite skilled at rain dancing), the only possibility is to mandate residents use less water. If we could all eliminate waste -- in the form of runoff or unnecessary, excessive watering -- we could slow the rapid depletion of our water sources. The target set by North Texas Municipal Water District is a 5% reduction in consumption -- easy. That equates to approximately one less load of laundry per week or one minute less per zone on your irrigation system.

But David and I would like to challenge our readers to do more. Drastic times call for drastic measures, as the saying goes, so we are asking you to aim for 10% (or more) in your reduction. Let's make it fun. Try water-conserving techniques for one month and then let us know the percentage by which you reduced your consumption and measures that were successful. We'll post your comments to this blog. Here are some water-wise suggestions:

  1. Run your irrigation system only 10 minutes per zone, once per week.
  2. Hand-water 20-30 seconds per plant, twice per week, or as-needed.
  3. Wash one less load of laundry per week -- maybe two!
  4. Run one less load of dishes per week; try hand-washing a few times per week. Wash in a bucket, then use the 'grey water' to water your landscape.
  5. When showering, turn off the faucet while lathering up your body with soap, rinse. Turn off water while lathering shampoo, rinse. Repeat when applying conditioner, as well.
  6. Share these suggestions with your neighbors.
  7. Nobody likes a tattle-tail, but report water-wasters. We are in crisis mode and all must work together!

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