N. Texas water conservation efforts fall short

Dallas is the biggest water hog among major Texas cities, with a per-capita daily consumption of 245 gallons — more than double San Antonio’s rate, according to the Texas Water Development Board. Fort Worth comes in second with 205 gallons, followed by Austin and El Paso (tied at 171 gallons) and Houston (161 gallons).

Of Region C municipalities, Highland Park, with its lush, landscaped lawns, is the biggest user, with a per-capita daily consumption of 381 gallons — one of the highest rates in the state — followed by Addison (368 gallons), Southlake (323 gallons) and Frisco (287 gallons).

The state’s Water Conservation Implementation Task Force recommends that cities work to achieve a daily per-capita consumption rate of 140 gallons.

By the year 2050, through conservation efforts alone, Region C could save anywhere from 52 billion gallons of water a year with minimal conservation efforts to a whopping 170 billion gallons with higher efforts, according to the NWF. Statewide, Texas could save anywhere from 132.5 billion gallons to 341 billion gallons.

Heeding a call to make conservation a part of its long-range water plan, the Dallas City Council in March approved a program that aims to cut per-person use by 5% over the next five years, and another 10% by 2060. Some business leaders, including Andres Ruzo, CEO of Rowlett-based LinkAmerica, a technology services company, said the mostly voluntary strategies are not enough. He points out that even by following the city’s plan, in 55 years average consumption among Dallas residents would still be greater than 200 gallons a day.

Two years ago, while serving as chairman of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ruzo convinced the group to get involved in water planning efforts, focusing specifically on the area of conservation.