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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


North Texas Municipal Water District Leads the Way

Jul 29, 2018 03:17PM

With booming populations, recurring droughts and increased demand on a limited supply of water, it is more important than ever for each of us to use water wisely and efficiently to make sure our supplies last. Long-range water planning indicates that around 30 percent of North Texas’ future supplies depend upon conservation and demand management.

Established by the Texas Legislature in 2007, Water IQ is a statewide public awareness program that complements existing local and regional conservation efforts. The program builds on the fact that the more people know about the natural source of their water, the more likely they are to use water efficiently.

Recognizing peak summer demands are due to the watering of lawns, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) collaborated with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for the development of the Water My Yard (WMY) irrigation tool. Consumers register using their address or zip code. Subscribers receive a weekly text or email with lawn-watering recommendations based on local weather data from one of the 27 weather stations NTMWD has installed. WMY provides the consumer with knowledge of when to water and when to wait, which establishes a healthy lawn by reducing over-watering.

NTMWD also developed Water4Otter, a school outreach program that provides a free, 45-minute water-related presentation for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Along with the knowledge learned at the W4O presentations, students are provided clings to place inside and outside their homes where water can be saved or where water is being wasted. Post-presentation surveys indicate that 78 percent of students that used their clings at home also reminded their families to save water more than once.

Water4Otter increases the number of students and their families having conversations about their critical role in water conservation, protecting water quality and the reuse of water. Research indicates that children will relate their water use to the same water used by the animals such as Otis the Otter and therefore use it wisely.

For more than 60 years, NTMWD has provided vital water and waste management services, which today reaches over 1.7 million people. In 2006, NTMWD was the first to adopt the WaterIQ program. After 12 years, NTMWD is now the program’s longest-running partner.

Here are more tips for conserving north Texas Water from NTMWD:

  • Water only before 10am and after 6pm to minimize evaporation
  • Raise mower blade height during summer and avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at one time to conserve water and reduce plant stress
  • Plant native plants to North Texas to reduce the amount of water required
  • Install low-flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets throughout your house.
  • Wash dishes in the dishwasher rather than by hand. Don’t waste water pre-rinsing dishes, and run the dishwasher only with a full load.
  • Invest in an energy-efficient clothes washer, adjust the water level to your load size, and run the clothes washer only with a full load.
  • Turn off the water while you shave, and rinse your razor in a plugged sink rather than under a running faucet.
  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and washing your face or hands.

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