Monday, October 26, 2020

Water Conservation – Temperatures Are Going Up and So is Consumption

Although it’s not as bad as last year, the heat of the summer is upon us and since the beginning of July, the City’s has seen a significant increase in water consumption.

“The spring rains were helpful and set us up for a better summer than 2011, said Bob Price, Southlake’s Director of Public Works.  “But now we aren’t seeing as much precipitation, so people are using more water and we are seeing the levels in the elevated  storage tanks drop.”

The elevated storage tanks are a critical component to the City’s water system.  Through a system of tanks, pumps and water lines, City residents and businesses receive their water.  When the levels in the elevated storage tanks drop below a 18 feet, three days in a row, the City is required by ordinance to go into Stage 1 restrictions, meaning twice a week landscape watering for all users among other restrictions.

Last year, the City entered Stage 1 restrictions on July 25th.   This year, as that date approaches, and temperatures and consumption increase, City water management staff are working with the system to maintain tank levels so that consumers have the water they need for daily life.

“While the news is better than last year, we still need people to incorporate conservation in their everyday routine,” said Price.  “We are actively working with residential customers to help users save water.”

The major area of consumption for Southlake customers is irrigation.  That’s why the City introduced the W.I.S.E. (Water Irrigation System Evaluation) Guys program to Southlake last year. Since the partnership started in 2011, many residential customers have taken advantage of the service and have already seen significant reductions in consumption levels.

The W.I.S.E. Guys Program is operated through a partnership with Vepo, LLC, and has been designed to increase the efficiency of your irrigation system and possibly lower your monthly water bill.  Through the City’s contract with Vepo, several licensed irrigators have been secured to perform a one-time evaluation of participants’ irrigation systems for efficiency, free to you.

Once an evaluation has been completed on your irrigation system, you may consider having any inefficiencies found in your system repaired.  The City is offering an incentive of up to a $200 credit on your water bill to make the repairs.

“Since 2011, the WiseGuys licensed irrigators have worked with more than 275 Southlake customers,” said Price.  “This summer as more people become aware of the program, I would like to see more residents take advantage of this free program so that irrigation consumption rates come down.”

“What’s important about cutting consumption now is how it can help us in the future,” continued Price. “As more and more people move to the Metroplex our supplier TRWD must find ways to meet demand.”

The Tarrant Regional Water District has already looked into buying water from Oklahoma to supply North Texas.  And while that effort has run into roadblocks, it very well could be an option for the future, but not without significant costs.

“In the mean time, we are asking people to do all they can to conserve, especially with landscaping irrigation” said Price.

To learn more about the City’s conservation efforts, lawn watering tips and the current water conservation conditions, please visit Conservation.