Every resident of Houston has to use water: to wash our cars and clothes, to help our lawns and gardens grow, and to clean our bodies.
But few us may think about how much water we’re really using, and whether there’s enough for everybody.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question “Is there enough water in Houston?” isn’t exactly uplifting.
According to the Texas Living Waters Project, ‘The Texas population is expected to nearly double by 2050. We can’t say the same for our water supply.”
It’s a scary truth that there may not be enough drinkable water for all Texans in the near future. And as demand outweighs supplies of water, water prices will likely rise in the coming decades.
As a homeowner, should you be concerned with water conservation? After all, all you’re doing is taking care of your daily chores and errands. Why should you have to change your lifestyle to save the planet’s water? Isn’t there enough to go around?
Unfortunately, water, like money, doesn’t grow on trees (though it does cycle through them!). The Texas Water Foundation reminds us that , “The earth is largely covered by water. But the truth is, only about 2% of that water is drinkable.”
In addition, according to the Houston Chronicle, “Beneath Houston, miles of the city’s aging water mains are leaking billions of gallons each year. The repairs will require years of work and millions of dollars.”
It’s starting to look like Houston has a water problem of it’s own.
Plus, according to The Houston Chapter of The Native Plant Society of Texas, “Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and has one of the most complex water systems. In order to meet the demands of a growing population, a quarter of Texas’ future water needs is planned to be met through conservation.
For this reason and many others, the way you as a Houston homeowner use our water supply matters. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to make simple changes and upgrades to your water use system.
Mr. Fix It Plumbing will spend the next few weeks helping to create a Houston Water Conservation Guide from the plumbers point of view. In the meantime, there are a lot of great resources available to you.
For example, some of you might have seen the presentation by Daniel Cunningham, a researcher at Texas A&M’s AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas, Texas, offer his take on water conservation in Texas.
What do plumbers have to do with saving water?
Plumbers have an important role in this time when water conservation is at a critical stage. Why should plumbers help? Simply put, a lot of water is lost through plumbing system leaks. Leaky faucets, leaky drains, leaky hoses. In other words, water conservation isn’t just about using less water; it’s also about wasting less water, and to become more efficient in our water use, we have to maintain our plumbing systems.
In fact, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners says, “Across the country, all the leaks typical to an average household can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water a year. Put in perspective, the EPA says this is the equivalent of the amount of water used in 270 loads of laundry.
In the coming years water supply issues will become more important than ever. Houston homeowners can play an important role in facing the costs of rising demand that outstrips an unchanging supply of water.
By starting to practice good water conservation practices, including maintaining and improving your plumbing systems, Houston homeowners and business owners can face future water problems head on, today.