Water Sources

“Budget into a long-range capital improvement plan one step at a time to do the things that will prepare your system for drought, such as installing rain sensors, metering, purchasing technology and retrofitting park land with drought-resistant and native grasses and plants.”

Jobaid Kabir, manager for corporate environmental compliance, says, “More thought needs to be put into planning in terms of shading the land, what types of slopes and soils are present, what types of planting you put in different areas, and where to catch runoff, among other factors.”

That’s why Kabir emphasizes technology, such as an intelligent irrigation system that puts water in the right place at the right time, taking into account the myriad environmental factors present — soil, slope, weather, wind, forecast, vegetation, and so on.

Again, the factors are so various and so localized, even within a city’s limits, that not one solution works universally. Plus, some budgets simply do not have room for such things as intelligent irrigation. And that’s where the aforementioned audit and subsequent renewed training effort come into play.

Kabir and Mullarkey offer the following resources — in addition to local agriculture extension agencies — that provide excellent direction and best management practices…

WaterWiser: The Water Efficiency Clearinghouse, www.waterwiser.org. This Web site is a great resource for water conservation studies, articles, books, etc. It also has an email group that you can subscribe to for up-to-date questions and answers relating to water conservation. Sponsored by the American Water Works Association and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Aquacraft, Water Engineering and Management Inc., www.aquacraft.com. This is a private company that has performed several significant water conservation evaluation studies for such clients as the AWWA and the EPA.

The Irrigation Association, www.irrigation.org/consumer_info. The IA has developed the Irrigation Consumer Bill of Rights for Turf/Landscape and Your Professional Irrigation Contractor: What You Should Know. These are both available on this Web site.

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), www.eren.doe.gov/femp/resources/waterguide.html. FEMP developed 10 Best Management Practices for the Federal sector as part of an effort to help the Federal sector become more water efficient. More information on the Federal BMPs and associated water reduction goals can be found on this Web site.

California Urban Water Conservation Council, www.cuwcc.org. The California Urban Water Conservation Council is a consensus-based partnership of agencies and organizations concerned with water supply and conservation of natural resources in California. The Council’s membership consists of three groups — water suppliers, advocacy groups and “other interested groups”. The Council promotes the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for water conservation. Great resource.

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), www.arcsa-usa.org. This is the national association for rainwater harvesting.

Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), www.twdb.state.tx.us. Good information on regional planning, municipal, industrial and agricultural conservation, conservation public information materials, rainwater harvesting, desalinization.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), www.tceq.state.tx.us. Formerly the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission. Information on water rights, required water conservation and drought contingency plans.

Texas Water Wise Council, www.waterwisetexas.org. Organization that includes both the green industry (landscape contractors, irrigation contractors, landscape and nursery products) and the blue industry (water utilities, river authorities, groundwater districts). Promotes water wise landscaping. Information on best management practices (BMPs) for water wise landscaping, irrigation BMPs for homeowners, designers and consultants.

Texas American Water Works Association (TAWWA), www.tawwa.org. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is the leading professional association for water and wastewater utilities in North America (www.awwa.org). The Texas Section is the second largest in the AWWA. This Web site lists state divisions and committees, workshop information and includes a section for the Conservation and Reuse Division.

San Antonio Water System, www.saws.org/conservation. Information about the San Antonio Water System Conservation.

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  5. Wringing Out The Water

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