ADDING UP THE SAVINGS



The water supplies we depend on are not endless resources. For one thing, drought conditions are a part of life here in North Texas. And our population is growing – fast. More water supplies will be needed to meet our future demands. But, how we’re getting those supplies may surprise you. 

Developing new water sources is expensive and time-consuming. Nobody wants to see higher water bills. That’s why the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) embraces water conservation as a supply strategy. Using our resources more efficiently today offers us the least expensive way of meeting the demands of a growing population, and ensuring a plentiful supply during drought conditions.  

Here are some of the benefits we get from conserving water on a daily basis:

  • Extends the life of existing supplies. Using less of a finite supply allows TRWD to meet the demands of a growing population on existing supplies.
  • Slows the drain on reservoirs, making more water available during times of drought.
  • Reduces peak demands in the summer. Why important? Water utilities plan their treatment plant expansions to meet peak day water use. Lower peak demands takes the pressure off – and gives utilities the ability to delay increasing treatment capacity. It means lower water bills for everyone. 
  • Delays the need for developing expensive, new water supplies. Developing water supplies entails huge capital investments in land, right of way, pipelines, and pump stations. Postponing the need for new supplies allows TRWD and its customers to pay down debt.
  • Least expensive water supply strategy. Funding ongoing water conservation programs and strategies is much cheaper when compared to the cost of building a new reservoir. 

Some statistics related to the changes in demands and the resulting savings observed by TRWD:

  • Estimated savings, 2007-2014: 149.5 billion gallons.
  • Estimated savings in 2014: 41 billion gallons – represents a decrease in average daily demands of more than 100 million gallons per day. The amount of water saved is enough to meet the needs of more than 500,000 new residents on existing supplies. 
  • Decrease in average per capita demands 2004 vs. 2014: 10 gallons per person per day
  • Peak day use, 1998 vs. 2014: just over 500 million gallons per day in both years; almost no difference despite an increase in population of approximately 450,000 residents over that time.
  • Twice per week outdoor watering schedules have resulted in a decrease in annual demands of 8-10 percent. 
2007-2014 savings 100mgd
Comparison of projected annual water use in the absence of conservation programs with actual demands.
Chart showing peak day use, 1998-2014. Using water more efficiently lowers peak demands; reduces the need to expand treatment facilities to meet the highest seasonal demands.
drought demands
Average summer demands in million gallons per day during drought years. Shows impact of twice per week restrictions on daily water use.