Dallas Water Conservation offers several contests every year for Dallas children. The Elementary School Poster Contest, Middle School T-Shirt Contest and High School Visual Art Contest are held during the school year and are open to all City of Dallas students in any school district, private school or those who may be home-schooled. We also have a contest every summer for kids! All contests have prizes and recognition for the winners.
Dallas Approves Water Conservation Plan, Continuing Twice Weekly Watering Limits
Updated at 1 p.m. Friday: Revised to include comment from Texas Instruments.
After seven years of conservation efforts, Dallas officials don’t want to dilute the city’s watering restrictions.
The City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed the 2019 Water Conservation Plan — which continues its mandatory twice-per-week lawn watering limits — as part of its consent agenda.
Holly Holt-Torres, a Dallas water conservation manager, said the vote “reinforces that our mayor and City Council recognize the value of water and how important it is to be mindful about how we use it.”
“Water is and always will be our most precious resource, and we must protect it as such,” Holt-Torres said.
In addition to continuing the watering limits, the plan also includes incentive-based programs to persuade companies and residents to make efforts to cut back on water usage.
For example, by retrofitting two of its properties to save 13 million gallons of water per year, Texas Instruments could receive a rebate of $94,000.
At a committee meeting on Monday, James McGuire, director of the Dallas Office of Environment Quality and Sustainability, said Texas Instruments is the No. 1 water consumer in the city.
“A large water consumer is not necessarily an inefficient one,” McGuire added Thursday. “TI is a large user, but also seeks to conserve and be a good steward of water resources.”
Nicole Bernard, a spokeswoman for Texas Instruments, said the company has a long-term commitment to efficient water use and reducing overall consumption.
“We consistently invest in various projects around the world to reduce, recycle and reuse water used in our operations — including here in Dallas,” Bernard said. “Where cities support these conservation efforts, it’s good for the community and for our company.”
Although the twice-per-week watering limits have only been in place since 2012, McGuire said that since Dallas began making more concerted efforts to save water in 2001, it has saved an estimated 316 billion gallons of water. Dallas has also extended its water supply by more than two years.
A city that was “once regarded as a water hog,” McGuire told the City Council on Monday, is now emerging as a leader in water conservation efforts in Texas and across the country.
The council also passed the 2019 Drought Contingency Plan, collectively with the water plan. State law requires cities to update their drought plans every five years.
While the conservation plan aims for more efficient water use, the drought plan seeks to provide the city with enough water to get through the drought of record, which lasted in Dallas from 1950 to 1957. In the event that such a drought were to happen again, the plan is designed so that after 3 1/2 years of a drought, the city’s lakes would still be 50 percent full.
Depending on the severity of a drought, the plan enables the city to enforce stronger responses such as a once-per-week water limit, prohibiting vehicle washing or surface cleaning, and issuing fees for excess water usage.
Both plans will be submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by May 1.
Much of North Texas is currently drought free, after a few weeks of being under abnormally dry drought conditions, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center’s Drought Monitor.
Recent rains have helped put Dallas-Fort Worth slightly above average rainfall amounts for this point in the year. Through April 25, 11.62 inches of rain had been recorded at DFW International Airport. Usually by April 25, the area has recorded 10.68 inches of rain.
– Jesus Jimenez, Staff Writer (Dallas Morning News)
😃✨👋 Welcome Our 2019 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Fellows
JaE is from Thailand, Muni is from Brunei, and Christine is from Indonesia. They are going to be at Dallas City Hall for the whole month of May. The Fellows are here to promote cross-border cooperation to solve regional and global challenges.#YSEALI.
Water needs are rising. Are we ready?
Water conservation and management is one of the most pressing global issues of our century. While some areas suffer from too much water others are paralyzed by not having enough.
By 2030, the world is projected to face a 40% water deficit, and by 2050 2.3 billion additional people will be living in water-stressed areas. Meanwhile, flooding is causing extensive damages to cities, creating serious economic costs. In the US, for example, Hurricane Harvey damages totaled $125 billion and forced 890,000 families to seek federal disaster aid.
Federal and municipal governments are finally recognizing the scale of the issue and the need for immediate response. It’s not only smart ecological practice—it’s good business sense too. Research insights show that “fortunes are turning for the water sector.” With the sector’s valuation set to rise, profitable business opportunities will increase as well, according to research insights from DBS. The global water market is predicted to reach a value of $914.9 billion by 2023, with infrastructure plans underway in Saudi Arabia, China, and across Asia.
How Singapore has taken up the challenge
Cities like Singapore are leading the charge in developing innovative, technology-based solutions to water crises. The city-state has become a world leader in water recycling, an achievement born of a complex relationship to water security that’s deeply intertwined with its history and geography. An island with roughly the same area as Budapest, it has the third densest population in the world—and is adding millionaires faster than Hong Kong—but lacks the rivers, lakes, and open land that other cities rely on to source their water.
For decades, the city-state has imported up to half of its water supply from Malaysia. That agreement is set to expire in 2061, leaving Singapore at the mercy of nature. Incidentally, its water demand is set to double by then. Resourceful and innovation-minded, Singapore resolved to find a way to become self-reliant in its water use.
Singapore receives around 90 inches of rain per year—roughly double the global average—so naturally it has made rainwater catchment a priority. Surrounded by seawater, the port city has also invested heavily in desalination plants. But Singapore’s boldest and most forward-thinking move was its embrace of transforming wastewater into what it calls NEWater. Using a unique four-step purification process, Singapore forces water from drains and sewers through multiple filters and membranes. This process yields an endlessly replenishable store that exceeds health standards and currently makes up about 40% of the city’s water use.
The city-state is also rethinking water by focusing on plastic recycling efforts that contribute to reduce water use and water contamination. Although made from highly recyclable material, 91% of plastic bottles are not recycled and take 400 years to naturally decompose. Innovative businesses are leading the way in helping these efforts. Movements like Recycle More, Waste Less, led by the Singapore-based bank DBS, promote recycling for a more sustainable future by urging people to reduce, reuse, and recycle single-use plastics—an initiative that dually reduces water contamination and the amount of water used to make bottles. Thanks to these developments, Singapore is on track to achieve water independence by 2060.
Water innovation is going global
Other countries are also making inspiring and strong strides towards smart water management. In China, where landslides caused by flooding have proven fatal, plans are being implemented to build 30 “sponge cities.” These cities incorporate various projects like wetlands and permeable roads that can soak up and absorb flood water, keeping it from overwhelming residential areas.
Australia’s Melbourne has pioneered the city’s largest water harvesting system at the 19th century heritage Fitzroy Gardens, generating almost eight million gallons of useable water through a process that captures, treats, and stores stormwater.
In the US, Washington DC requires developers to retain stormwater runoff from their properties. If developers are short of their requirements, they can meet the remainder through buying credits from retention projects across the city. It’s an economically-motivated way to manage stormwater runoff pollution and spur investment in green infrastructure solutions. These and other cities are at the forefront of change, serving as laboratories for solutions which will secure the environment’s future, save lives, and boost the world economy.
Through the “Recycle More, Waste Less” campaign, DBS guides people towards leaving a better, more sustainable planetfor future generations. DBS’ focus on innovation is why it has been named the Best Bank in the World by Global Finance magazine.
This article was produced on behalf of DBS by Quartz Creative and not by the Quartz editorial staff.
This material is provided for general and educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.
Water use across U.S. declines to levels not seen since 1970
Water use across the country reached its lowest recorded level in 45 years. According to a new USGS report, 322 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the United States during 2015. This represents a 9 percent reduction of water use from 2010 when about 354 Bgal/d were withdrawn and the lowest level since before 1970 (370 Bgal/d).
Reductions in water use first observed in 2010 continue, show ongoing effort towards “efficient use of critical water resources.”
Water use across the country reached its lowest recorded level in 45 years. According to a new USGS report, 322 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the United States during 2015.
This represents a 9 percent reduction of water use from 2010 when about 354 Bgal/d were withdrawn and the lowest level since before 1970 (370 Bgal/d).
“The downward trend in water use shows a continued effort towards efficient use of critical water resources, which is encouraging,” said Tim Petty, assistant secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior. “Water is the one resource we cannot live without, and when it is used wisely, it helps to ensure there will be enough to sustain human needs, as well as ecological and environmental needs.”
USGS says that in 2015, more than 50 percent of the total withdrawals in the United States were accounted for by 12 states (in order of withdrawal amounts): California, Texas, Idaho, Florida, Arkansas, New York, Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, Montana, and Nebraska.
California accounted for almost 9 percent of the total withdrawals for all categories and 9 percent of total freshwater withdrawals. Texas accounted for about 7 percent of total withdrawals for all categories, predominantly for thermoelectric power generation, irrigation, and public supply.
Florida had the largest share of saline withdrawals, accounting for 23 percent of the total in the country, mostly saline surface-water withdrawals for thermoelectric power generation. Texas and California accounted for 59 percent of the total saline groundwater withdrawals in the United States, mostly for mining.
“The USGS is committed to providing comprehensive reports of water use in the country to ensure that resource managers and decision makers have the information they need to manage it well,” said USGS director Jim Reilly. “These data are vital for understanding water budgets in the different climatic settings across the country.”
For the first time since 1995, the USGS estimated consumptive use for two categories — thermoelectric power generation and irrigation. Consumptive use is the fraction of total water withdrawals that is unavailable for immediate use because it is evaporated, transpired by plants, or incorporated into a product.
“Consumptive use is a key component of the water budget. It’s important to not only know how much water is being withdrawn from a source, but how much water is no longer available for other immediate uses,” said USGS hydrologist Cheryl Dieter.
The USGS estimated a consumptive use of 4.31 Bgal/d, or 3 percent of total water use for thermoelectric power generation in 2015. In comparison, consumptive use was 73.2 Bgal/d, or 62 percent of total water use for irrigation in 2015.
Water withdrawn for thermoelectric power generation was the largest use nationally at 133 Bgal/d, with the other leading uses being irrigation and public supply, respectively. Withdrawals declined for thermoelectric power generation and public supply, but increased for irrigation. Collectively, these three uses represented 90 percent of total withdrawals.
- Thermoelectric power decreased 18 percent from 2010, the largest percent decline of all categories.
- Irrigation withdrawals (all freshwater) increased 2 percent.
- Public-supply withdrawals decreased 7 percent.
A number of factors can be attributed to the 18 percent decline in thermoelectric-power withdrawals, including a shift to power plants that use more efficient cooling-system technologies, declines in withdrawals to protect aquatic life, and power plant closures.
As it did in the period between 2005 and 2010, withdrawals for public supply declined between 2010 and 2015, despite a 4 percent increase in the nation’s total population. The number of people served by public-supply systems continued to increase and the public-supply domestic per capita use declined to 82 gallons per day in 2015 from 88 gallons per day in 2010. Total domestic per capita use (public supply and self-supplied combined) decreased from 87 gallons per day in 2010 to 82 gallons per day in 2015.
Thankfully, some Texas cities have already identified outdoor water use as a great place to lock in water savings. Dallas, Fort Worth and Frisco are just a few of the cities that have adopted year-round watering schedules to protect and extend their water supplies. These restrictions have already paid off: Since Dallas introduced its “no more than twice per week” watering regulations in 2012, the city’s water pumping has dropped 13 percent. These savings make a difference when it comes to combating water-supply stress caused by the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s explosive population growth.
Dallas has set an example with its outdoor watering ordinance. Now the rest of the region should do the same. In a recently released report, our team found that Region C, the water planning region that includes North Texas, uses far more water outdoors than any other region. In fact, Region C’s outdoor water use accounts for 35 percent of Texas’ total single-family outdoor water use.
High outdoor water consumption is not great, but it does mean that North Texas can save a lot of water by implementing sensible limits on outdoor irrigation. How much water? If cities across Region C implemented Dallas’ strategy, they would save between 103,000 and 163,000 acre-feet of water each year! This is almost enough water to meet Fort Worth’s projected 2020 water demand of 188,000 acre-feet.
Based on Texas’ 2017 State Water Plan, water savings from limiting outdoor watering to twice per week or less across Region C would meet:
- 97 percent to 100 percent of Region C’s municipal water needs in 2020.
- 25 percent to 39 percent of the region’s municipal water needs in 2040.
- 15 percent to 23 percent of its municipal water needs in 2070.
North Texas’ water supply challenges will continue to grow as the region grows. For example, Collin County’s water demand is expected to increase 84 percent in the next 50 years. If more communities in North Texas enact outdoor watering restrictions, more water can be saved for future growth. These water savings help alleviate the need for costly and land-intensive infrastructure projects like the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir, which will be the first major reservoir constructed in Texas in more than 20 years. Water conservation strategies that include outdoor watering ordinances are a cost-effective and sustainable way forward for our future water supplies.
The ways in which cities use water directly affect the health of the lakes, rivers and bays that provide us with economic, social and environmental benefits. When cities implement ordinances that limit outdoor watering to no more than twice per week, they leave more fresh water to flow in our rivers and creeks and give life to Texas bays. All of this supplies Texas’ fish and wildlife with a place to call home.
Ruthie Redmond is the water resources program manager for the Sierra Club-Lone Star Chapter, and Jennifer Walker is the senior program manager for water programs at the National Wildlife Federation. They can be reached at email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area Residents Make 13,599 Pledges to Cut Water Use By 62.1 Million Gallons As Part of 7th Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, Presented by Toyota
The city of Dallas, Texas, was named one of five national winners in the 7th Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation by pledging to reduce their water use by 62.1 million gallons of water over the next year. The annual month-long public awareness campaign to promote drought resiliency and water quality ended on April 30 with mayors from 35 states vying to see whose city could be the nation’s most “water wise.”
In addition to Dallas, the cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign included Gallup, New Mexico; Westminster, California; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Tucson, Arizona. Overall, residents around the nation, from Anchorage to the Florida Keys, made 618,444 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams.
The challenge, presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S EPA, National League of Cities, The Toro Company, Earth Friendly Products – maker of ECOS, and Conserva Irrigation, addresses the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they use water.
Mayor Mike Rawlings adds, “The City of Dallas is a water conservation leader. That’s why it makes sense for us to continue our commitment to the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. We stand on the shoulders of giants, whose planning secured water for us today. We must also do so for future generations.”
Residents from winning cities will now be entered into a drawing for thousands of dollars in water-saving or eco-friendly prizes, including $5,000 toward their annual home utility bill, “Greening Your Home” cleaning kits from Earth Friendly Products (ECOS), and home irrigation equipment from The Toro Company. A $500 home improvement store shopping spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants. Additionally, participating residents were asked to nominate a deserving charity in their community to receive a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
In addition to reducing water, challenge participants in 50 states pledged to reduce the use of 8 million single-use plastic water bottles and eliminate 177,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 79.9 million fewer pounds in landfills. Potential savings of 22.2 million gallons of oil, 12.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 191.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity, and $38.4 million in consumer cost savings rounded out the final pledge results.
Drinking Water Week is May 6 – 12, 2018
To celebrate Drinking Water Week and highlight the importance of water conservation, the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas will be lit up with the Save Dallas Water logo from sunset until 2:00 AM on Friday, May 11th.
Communities across North America celebrate Drinking Water Week by recognizing the vital role drinking water plays in daily lives. Focus is placed on ways in which water consumers can take personal responsibility in caring for their tap water and protecting it at its source.
As many North American regions continue to face drought conditions, it’s essential to avoid waste through conservation practices to protect precious source water. Water consumers can practice conservation by using water wisely at home through the following steps, which are available on SaveDallasWater.com and DrinkTap.org:
- Repair leaky faucets, indoors and out.
- Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
- Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Turn off the water to brush teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave.
- Repair leaky toilets. Add a leak tablet or 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, the toilet is leaking.
- Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.
- Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds.
- Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth).
- Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas
More information about drought and water conservation is available on SaveDallasWater.com.