ARLINGTON -- Having moderate to severe drought conditions in most of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in mid-July doesn't seem surprising, but in each of the past three years we actually had zero drought at this time. Despite that difference, local reservoirs still have plenty of supply to meet demand through the rest of the summer even if we get little to no more rain.
The City of Arlington has seen a large increase in water usage this June and July compared to last, and the drier weather is directly to blame.
"It definitely is [because of] irrigation," says Craig Cummings, the city's director of water utilities and treatment. "We think we're in good shape as far as supply, it's just we have to have our customers water wisely. Make sure that those sprinklers are pointed in the right direction and it's watering the things you intend to water; not the street, not the driveway, because that just runs off and wastes water."
Cummings says the city has no plans to issue watering restrictions, but advises watering before 10 a.m. and/or after 6 p.m. to limit how much water is lost to evaporation.
Population growth would seem to be another factor in the increased water demand, however Cummings says technology has helped to mitigate the impact.
"What we're seeing is the amount of water each person uses each day is going down. And that, in large measure, is because of water-saving devices, whether it be shower heads, rain barrels, sprinkler check-ups."
The City of Arlington offers free sprinkler system check-ups to help customers conserve, and WaterIsAwesome.com offers lots of advice to save water both indoors and outdoors, including sending you weekly notifications about when and how much you should water your lawn based on your exact address.
And remember, saving water also saves you money. So just like every penny counts, so does every drop!