It’s true that in many ways, 2019 brings us more of the same: Texas is growing, the climate is changing, and we’re in a race to figure out how Texans can thrive in a not-so-distant reality of tumultuous flooding, harrowing droughts, and less fresh, drinkable water.
But we ended 2018 on a high note thanks to the City of Austin’s leadership in passing a 100-year water supply plan, and we’re starting the new year strong and inspired. 2019 may bring some of the same challenges, but it also brings new opportunities for us all to build a future with fresh water for every living thing.
Whether you welcome the new year by setting resolutions, intentions, or nothing at all, here are some ways you can stand up for the life force that makes everything else possible: fresh water.
1. Track your monthly water usage.
This one is easy and keeps water on your mind year-round: when you receive your water bill each month, look at how much water you used. Make a note of it somewhere you can look back on and, in the same place, add the totals from each new month as the year goes by. While it’s typical for water use to fluctuate over different seasons, you should be able to quickly establish a general baseline for how much water you use.
This is useful for two reasons: 1) If your water usage spikes one month, you’ll know so that you can check to see whether you have a water leak and need to make repairs. 2) You can challenge yourself to save water around the home and track your success to help you stay motivated.
2. Make sure your water provider is planning for the future of your community’s water.
Most Texas water utilities are required to create documents that detail how they will conserve water for their communities. These documents, called Water Conservation Plans, should be available on your water provider’s website so that you can read them and make sure your provider is proactively planning to protect your community’s water supply. (For example, the City of Waco’s water conservation plan is included on this page and it comes up when you use a search engine to search for Waco water conservation plan.)
Read more from Lizzie Jespersen with Texas Living Waters Project here.