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Welcome!. Please read the board carefully! . Drought – the new normal?. 2011 – worst 12 month period of drought recorded in Texas history Agriculture - $5 billion lost Wildfires Reservoirs down to 60% of water storage levels

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Welcome!

Please read the board carefully! 


Drought – the new normal?

  • 2011 – worst 12 month period of drought recorded in Texas history

  • Agriculture - $5 billion lost

  • Wildfires

  • Reservoirs down to 60% of water storage levels

  • More than 900 of the state’s 4700 water supply systems had water restrictions

  • February 2014 – officially back in drought in Houston

  • -data from Lone Star Sierran Fall-Winter 2011


5 Ways to increase water availability

  • Build more dams – use more surface water

  • Use more groundwater - aquifers

  • Transfer water from other places

  • Desalinate water

  • Conserve water


Dams


How it works


Use more groundwater


Subsidence – sinking of land due to aquifer overdraft


Baytown


Desalination – get the salt out!

  • How it works – three systems

    • Reverse osmosis

    • Freezing salt water – ice will be fresh

    • Distillation – boiling, then trapping the fresh steam


Reverse osmosis


Reverse osmosis


Distillation


California Water Transfer project


Conservation!

Being smart with the water we already have.


Conservation success

  • San Antonio – pumps no more water today than it did 20 years ago, despite the dramatic population increase in its service area in that same period of time!

  • Thanks to conservation!

  • San Antonio reduced its per capita use by more than 70 gallons.


65-70% of water used is wasted in evaporation, leaks and other losses


Agriculture


Pivot circles are very wasteful – only 40% of water reaches plant roots


Saving water in agriculture


Water sensors tell farmers when to irrigate


Water sensor on plant!


Drip irrigation


What about recycling water? “Grey water”


Industry and big buildings


Even the Alamo uses grey water!

  • Grey water is being used more in:

    • Golf courses

    • Sweeping streets

    • Fighting fires

    • Parks

    • Amenity lakes


Current Texas water reuse 2%

  • New technology cleans water to almost distilled quality

  • Eventually, 10% of water demand will come from reuse in Texas


Tradeoffs!

  • Reuse will divert more water from rivers.

  • Less water downstream for people and wildlife

  • Before:

    • River  home  river

  • After:

    • River  home  land


  • Saving water at home

    What can you do directly?


    Two sides to conservation

    • Equipment/Fixtures

    • Behaviors


    Water saving toilets


    Make your own!


    Aerating showers and faucets


    Watering the landscape


    Xeriscaping / water wise gardening


    Brainstorm!

    • What kind of behaviors in the home can conserve water?


    Check for understanding

    • Why is conservation considered the easiest way to increase the amount of water available for use?

    • What is the name of the wasteful agricultural irrigation system?

    • Name a way to save water in agriculture.

    • Name a way to save water at home.

    • How are YOU responsible for the amount of water used in industry?

    • What is grey water?


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