Wednesday, February 6, 2019 / by Holly Northup
Unfortunately, most of us don’t think about our water usage even though water is an essential necessity in all of our lives! In fact, without a healthy water supply we are headed for big trouble.
Think about it. We need water for the most basic things in life. Of course, the number one requirement is for our health, but other things like washing clothes, dishes and bathing are just as critical.
Those of us who live in the Austin area are very well aware of the importance of water conservation because we’ve been dealing with a record-breaking drought since 2008. For this reason, we have been under Stage 2 water restrictions for the past two years with concerns that it might get worse.
Austin’s water supply comes from the Colorado River and more specifically from the Highland Lakes system which includes Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis. The water system is managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and the inflows from these lakes were the lowest in history in 2011.
This year isn’t looking to be much better if Central Texas doesn’t get any rain.
The Austin government is working diligently with the LCRA and other organizations to create a sustainable water supply that will ensure residents, businesses and farmers get the water they need now and for the future.
It is vital that Austinites respond by changing their habits and work to conserve water for future generations. And as usual, Austinites are up for the challenge! Indeed, since 2006, gallons per capita are down 13%!
So, how can you help conserve water? Here’s a list of things to do from the www.austintexas.gov website.
- Check toilets for leaks.
- Replace older toilets with WaterSense® labeled high-efficiency models that use only 1.28 gallons per flush or consider installing a dual flush model that can use even less.
- Take shorter showers—try for less than 5 minutes. If you take a bath, fill the tub half full.
- Install water-saving aerators on your bathroom faucets and water-saving showerheads that use 2.5 gallons per minute or less.
- Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, lathering in the shower, and shampooing or conditioning your hair.
- Fix leaky or dripping faucets promptly. Plumbing leaks account for approximately 14 percent of water consumed in the home.
- Run your dishwasher and clothes washer with only full loads. Scrape food from plates instead of rinsing them before washing.
- Chill drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the faucet to cool water.
- Replace your clothes washer with a qualifying water-saving model.
- Choose drought-tolerant plants when landscaping, and group plants with similar water needs together (hydrozoning). Add compost or mulch around trees and plants.
- Thoroughly check your irrigation system each spring when you first turn it on and repair any leaks as soon as possible. Schedule a free irrigation system evaluation if needed.
- Clean your driveway or sidewalk with a broom, not a hose.
- Water your lawn only on your assigned day and adjust sprinklers so that only your lawn is being watered.
- Install a rain barrel or rainwater harvesting system to capture rainwater from your roof for use on your landscape.
The Bucher Group hopes to help our citizens conserve water and keep Austin the best place to live in Texas!! If we can help you or someone you know with any real estate needs, please do not hesitate to contact us at 512.794.6644.