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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


City of Dallas Water Utilities

North Central Texas is home to approximately 7.5 million people; the city of Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) provides safe drinking water to approximately 2.5 million of those people in Dallas and 23 surrounding cities.

The true scarcity of water is the availability of fresh water. Approximately, only 2.5 percent of the Earth’s water is fresh, and most is not in a usable form (ice, clouds, etc.). Water scarcity/availability is not a new issue and may not necessarily be solved economically. Population growth increases water demand and places additional stress on the local supply. Projected temperature increases due to climate change also pose additional challenges to the water supply via increased in evaporation.

The city of Dallas has faced water availability challenges throughout its history. Droughts in 1909, 1912 and the 1950s prompted the city to expand its water supplies and plan for a 50-year horizon of water scarcity/availability in several ways. First, with long-range planning. By identifying future demands, the utility identifies water management strategies to meet water needs. Secondly, by implementing water management strategies that include water conservation. Dallas’ water conservation program targets business and residential customers. The program includes public education, rebates and giveaways, leak detection, main break repairs, increasing block rate structure and outdoor watering restrictions.

The city’s water conservation efforts have decreased Dallas’ per capita demand by approximately 32 percent over the past 20-years. Another water management strategy currently practiced is water reuse, which will be expanding to representing 36 percent of Dallas’ planned future supplies.

Although water management strategies, including water conservation, extend Dallas’ current water supply, these alone are not enough to meet all projected future demands. The city will continue to research efforts to meet the needs of DWU customers; be good steward of this precious resource; and provide safe drinking water; a service vital to the health and safety of their customers.

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