Despite Recent Rain, Coastal Bend Still Under Drought Conditions
2011 marked one of the worst droughts in Texas’ recorded history. Over the past three months the State of Texas has been fortunate to receive significant amounts of rainfall throughout much of the state; however a large percentage of the state is still between dry and exceptional drought conditions including the coastal bend which ranges from severe to exceptional. Since the start of the 2011 drought, the coastal bend has only received 25-50% of the normal rainfall totals.
As a result of the drought conditions still being faced by the State of Texas, Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples along with state and local leaders have joined with private business to launch the Texas Water Smart conservation campaign. In a recent press release, Commissioner Staples said “We have a choice to make: conserve water now or risk more job losses in the future, … Our recent historical drought and booming population point to an unavoidable conclusion; it’s time all Texans take a serious look at individual water-use habits and find common-sense ways to conserve. The recent realities are both alarming and painful as drinking water was jeopardized and businesses and households were faced with scarce water resources. With the launch of Texas Water Smart, I’m reminding all Texans that a few drops saved, when multiplied by 25 million citizens, will go a long way.”
The Texas Water Smart campaign encourages all Texans on their website www.texaswatersmart.com to Get Water Smart by adopting more frugal water-use habits such as:
- Watering only when plants look like they need it, keeping in mind most plants die from over-watering, not under-watering;
- Water in the morning or evening when the temperatures outside are cooler and evaporation loss is less;
- Adjust your lawn mower up at least one notch. A taller loan holds moisture better;
- Keep weeds out of your green spaces. Weeds are notorious for stealing water from other plants, so if you’ll keep their population in check, you won’t have to water as often;
- Use a layer of mulch on the surface of your planting beds to minimize evaporation of moisture and suppress weed growth that competes with water;
- Checking outdoor faucets, hoses and sprinklers for water-wasting leaks, and making sure to repair them quickly;
- Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose water conscious plants adapted to your area;
- Recognize signs of dry grass. Avoid watering until you can see footprints left in the lawn as you walk across it;
- Adjusting sprinklers so only lawns and gardens are watered – not houses, sidewalks or streets;
- Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to water plants;
- Cleaning driveways, patios and sidewalks with a broom or leaf blower instead of a hose.
Inside the home, Texas Water Smart suggests shorter bath times, washing only full loads of dishes and clothes, and fixing leaky faucets and toilets.
By implementing some of these and other water saving ideas, you can not only help save water, but you can also save money. If you have questions regarding any of these water saving techniques or any other information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office.