New Year’s Resolution

Ag Biz News Column
Chad Gulley
County Extension Agent—Ag/NR
Smith County

New Year’s Resolution

Each January people start the year off by making New Year’s Resolutions.  Many resolutions are to lose weight, to start eating healthy or other health related topic.  All of these are great but how many times do we follow all these throughout the entire year.

This year, maybe your New Year’s Resolution could be to start saving or conserving water for the future.  It will mean some adjustments in your lifestyle but it can be done.  Water conservation is something we can all learn to do a better job with.  As the State of Texas continues to grow, we must conserve water for future generations.

Water is essential for life.  All living things need water to survive.  Over 70% of the Earth is made up of water.  According to the Texas Water Resources Institute, the oceans make up 97% of the earth’s water in the form of saltwater.  The remaining 3% is in the form of fresh water.  Of this 3%, less than one percentage of the earth’s water is water either in aquifers, wells, rivers, and lakes used by humans.

There are things we can do around the home to conserve water.  Inside the home we can use faucet aerators, install low-flow toilets or dual flow toilets, and wash only full loads of clothing and dishes.  When brushing teeth or shaving, avoid letting water run during these practices.  Take shorter showers.  Some are turning on the water in the shower to get wet, then turning the water off while they lather with soap, then turning on the water again to rinse off in efforts conserve water.  While waiting for bath or shower water to heat up, some are capturing this water and using it for outdoor watering or other purposes.  Repair leaks as soon as they are noticed.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Family and Consumer Science Agents have been working with people across Texas to take the 40 Gallon Challenge.  What is the 40 Gallon Challenge?  The 40 Gallon Challenge encourages people to save a minimum of 40 gallons a day by adopting new water-saving techniques. The pledge card outlines water-saving practices and the daily water-savings to expect. You can use the pledge to review the water-saving practices that you or your family currently puts to use. By pledging new practices, you will see the total daily savings expected for your household.  Information on the 40 Gallon Challenge can be found at the following website:  http://www.40gallonchallenge.org/index.cfm .

Another area that we can conserve water is in our landscape.  Have an irrigation audit performed on your lawn or garden irrigation system.  This will help determine sprinkler heads that are broken or misaligned.  The audit will also determine if you are over watering or under watering your landscape.  Install a rainfall sensor to your system if you do not already have one.  This will help shut off your system on days when we get rainfall.  Watering at the right amounts and appropriate times will improve your root system of your lawn thus creating a healthy, dense turf.  Improperly watering the home lawn can lead to shallow root systems that cannot tolerate stresses nor are they as drought tolerant.

Water is a precious resource and we need to conserve this resource.  Every drop counts.  Do not wait until you turn on the faucet and nothing comes out.  Start the New Year off by resolving to conserve as much water as you can.  The resolution may be for you as an individual or for your family unit.

Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

 

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