Jada Brazell     

If implemented, the State Water Plan (see last week's article on the Future of Water in North Texas) would cost Texas taxpayers more than $20 billion – and that only covers the cost of recommendations made for a handful of North Texas counties.

The North Texas Commission asserts that the most cost efficient and convenient method of water preservation is via simple conservation methods.  So while government officials and state residents evaluate the comprehensive State Water Plan, North Texans are urged to take personal responsibility, from the corporate to residential level.

Mandatory Conservation

Cities in the metroplex, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving have mandated a twice weekly watering schedule.

Dallas and Fort Worth residents may water on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, depending upon their street addresses. The Dallas schedule is permanent as of April 23. Both cities prohibit watering from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“This addition to the existing conservation ordinance will help extend our water supply and possibly delay the need for more restrictive watering measures when the next drought comes,” reads the Save Dallas Water website, which also displays specific watering rules for the city. “The Water Conservation ordinance focuses on outdoor watering because it’s considered a non-essential use and, on average, accounts for approximately 30% of our total annual water use.”

Restrictions vary from city to city. Save North Texas Water directs visitors to each area’s conservation website and links to the Lawn Whisperer’s Facebook page, where a number of water conservation tips can be found.


Conservation Tips

Below are a few basic ways individuals and businesses can take conservation into their own hands, regardless of governmental regulations. While the list is not comprehensive, it offers practical advice that could keep fresh water flowing for many years to come.

Residential  Conservation


Reuse water whenever possible.

Install high efficiency toilets, washing machines and showerheads.

Repair leaky faucets.

Take shorter showers.

Turn off the water while shaving, washing your hands or brushing your teeth.

Use low water settings on washing machines when possible.

Use cold water when possible.



Mulch all planted areas.

Water the lawn with one inch of water per week.

Check for pipe and valve leaks.

Water between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Do not fertilize.

Use drip irrigation for plants, trees and shrubs and low-angle sprinklers for lawns.

Cover pools and spas.

Plant native plants.

Use a rain barrel or cistern to collect water from gutters and water plants with it.

Clean patios and sidewalks with a broom – not water.

Keep grass three inches tall and don’t cut more than one-third of its length at a time.

Leave grass clippings on the lawn.

Plant trees.


Corporate Conservation


Low-volume toilets and self-closing faucets.

Flush with non-potable water.

Consider using closed-loop heating systems.

Install pressure gauges for all water filtration processes.

Use ice machines that are air cooled.

Clean floors with low-flow, high-pressure nozzles.



Plant in at least six inches of soil.

Minimize runoff through organic materials, swales, terracing, rain gardens and berms.

Use native plants.

Group plants into hydrozones.

Install irrigation systems that prevent over watering.

Equip water features with recirculating filters.

Use water treatment only when necessary.

Monitor water flow for leaks.

To review details about these conservation methods and more, visit:

Alliance for Water Efficiency

Water IQ

North Texas Municipal Water District

Jada Brazell is a freelance writer who also consults for fashion- and art-based businesses on branding. She has written for the Odessa American, edited for the Texas Senate and RadioShack, and contributed to several magazines and newspapers in Central and South Texas. This article is a follow-up to a previous piece she wrote for Green Source DFW on the Future of Water in North Texas.