Water conservation is always important in Texas; however, many of us only think about conservation in the heat of summer or in times of drought. Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District would like to emphasize the importance of year around water conservation. The following winter water conservation tips may not only help you conserve water, they may actually help you save some of those hard-earned dollars.
The weather is cooler now and regular watering is not needed. Turn off the automatic controller and water manually when needed.
Put a soil probe (or your shovel) into the soil 6 inches to see if it’s wet or dry. If wet, don’t water. If dry, water only enough to wet the root zone.
Check the sprinkler heads at least once a month to make sure they are not broken and watering the landscape, sidewalks, driveways, and streets.
Winterize outdoor spigots to avoid pipes bursting from freezing. Wrap them or get those handy covers from your local hardware store. Broken pipes waste water and may be a costly repair.
Indoor plumbing can be protected from freezing by leaving cabinet doors under sinks open. If you are going to be away from home, leave the home heating system on at a low setting to prevent indoor pipes from freezing.
Locate the master water shut off valve in your home and mark it for quick identification. If a water pipe were to burst, it could cause flooding and property damage, not to mention immense water waste, if the valve were left open.
Avoid using the toilet as a trash can for those winter cold tissues.
Aerate your lawn to encourage deep root growth so that your lawn will require less frequent watering during hot spells next summer.
Compost leaves and other garden debris to create healthy mulch for spring. Adding compost or mulch to your soil will help hold water in and minimize evaporation by keeping the soil covered and cool.
Avoid over-seeding your lawn with winter grass. Bermuda grasses are dormant (brown) in the winter and will only require water every three to four weeks.
Insulate hot water pipes so you don’t have to run as much water to get hot water to the faucet.
If you have additional winter water conservation tips, please contact MTGCD at 254-965-6705 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to add your ideas to our list of tips!
“The trouble with water — and there is trouble with water — is that they’re not making any more of it.” Marq de Villier Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource
Scarcity and competition for water have made sound water planning and management increasingly important. The demand for water in Texas is expected to increase by about 22%, to a demand of nearly 22M ac‐ft in 2060; while existing water supplies are projected to decrease by about 10%, to just over 15M ac‐ft. With Texas’ population expected to grow by 82% in the next 50 years, the availability of water supplies is essential for not only the Texans of today but also for those of tomorrow (2012 State Water Plan, Texas Water Development Board).
Noxious brush, detrimental to water conservation, has invaded millions of acres of rangeland and riparian areas in Texas, reducing or eliminating stream flow and aquifer recharge through interception of rainfall and increased evapotranspiration. Brush control has the potential to enhance water yield, conserve water lost to evapotranspiration, recharge groundwater and aquifers, enhance spring and stream flows, improve soil health, restore native wildlife habitat by improving rangeland, improve livestock grazing distribution, protect water quality and reduce soil erosion, aid in wildfire suppression by reducing hazardous fuels, and manage invasive species.
In order to help meet the State’s critical water conservation needs and ensure availability of public water supplies, in 2011 the 82nd Texas Legislature established the Water Supply Enhancement Program (WSEP) administered by the TSSWCB, with the purpose of increasing available surface and ground water through the targeted control of brush species that are detrimental to water conservation (e.g., juniper, mesquite, salt cedar).
Water Supply Enhancement Program Office
Information retrieved from: https://www.tsswcb.texas.gov/programs/water-supply-enhancement-program
AQUIFER RECHARGE ENHANCEMENT
The hydrologic cycle has a major impact on groundwater storage, Precipitation and surface water slowly move below the ground until they are intercepted by plant roots or stopped by an impervious layer of material such as clay or shale. This process of downward migration is called groundwater recharge or percolation. Groundwater recharge is an important natural process for replenishing groundwater supplies. In some areas of the world, however, drought and overuse of groundwater for urban and rural uses have led to alarming declines. Coupled with these conditions is ongoing urban sprawl, which effectively seals potential recharge zones with paved streets, sidewalks and rooftops. Reduced recharge rates in developed areas can cause downstream flooding problems as a result of increased surface runoff. Preservation of wetlands along streams, stormwater retention ponds, and open space such as parks, golf courses, and wildlife areas can help preserve groundwater recharge zones.
In the Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, the Trinity Aquifer recharges through its outcrop areas. Due to excellent aquifer characteristics, the recharge that occurs in Comanche and Erath counties contributes largely to the availability of Trinity Groundwater throughout the rest of the District.
Groundwater movement in the Trinity Aquifer is from points of recharge in aquifer outcrop areas to points of discharge. In aquifer outcrops, groundwater movement is primarily downdip towards points of discharge, either along creeks, rivers or streams or areas of significant groundwater production and withdrawal.
Information on the geologic units and their water bearing properties within Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District is available in the District’s Management Plan located on the District’s website at www.middletrinitygcd.org.
For more information visit: TSSWCB Water Supply Enhancement Program