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Water conservation and drought examined
by Contributed by the Evergreen Underground Water Conservation District
Oct 10, 2012 | 809 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Someone once said that there are two things that we will never be able to be absolutely sure of, “when we are going into a drought, and when we are coming out of one.” Even today with the use of weather satellites and very powerful computer modeling programs, that still holds true.

Unfortunately, it generally takes a drought to bring water conservation to the general public’s attention. In reality, during a drought is when it’s the most difficult to effectively implement water conservation strategies, with the exception of drastic water use curtailments such as once a week lawn watering. Generally, lawn watering restrictions of every other day may help a water utility’s ability to manage peak summer demands; however, it has been shown that it may not reduce the total water use. In fact it may increase total use, because people then tend to become programed to water on their allotted days regardless of the need to do so.

Water conservation practices should be used consistently, regardless of the amount of rainfall. It’s during the times of plenty that water conservation practices can be more effectively implemented, and the water saved during those times may be available in the future to supplement water demand during the next drought.

Outdoor watering is generally the highest consumption of water use per capita. Some of the simplest measures, such as planting a drought-tolerant lawn and landscaping, mulching around plants and trees, mowing on a higher setting, watering the lawn and plants during the coolest hours of the day, all translate into water savings.

For more information on water conservation tips, go to the following websites: http://wateruseitwisely.com/, http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/permitting/water_supply/water_rights/conserve.html, http://www.texaswatermatters.org/conservation.htm and http://www.savewatertexas.com/.

A water conservation topic that is not generally discussed is the nexus between water production and energy production. They are in a sense like the chicken and the egg; it takes water to produce electricity (exception: solar power, wind generation and hydroelectric generation, which is essentially a non-consumptive use), and it takes electricity to pump and distribute water to the end user.

According to nexuswaterenergy.com at: http://www.nexuswaterenergy.com/key-facts/breakdown-individual-water-use: The amount of water used to produce household electricity significantly exceeds direct household water use. An 8-ounce glass of water requires about the same amount of energy as running a 60-watt incandescent bulb for about 30 minutes, and, in turn, operating the same bulb for a 24-hour period requires about three gallons of water for the production of the electricity consumed.

In summary, managing your energy consumption will not only help your pocketbook, but it will also conserve water.
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