El Paso

Study suggests tighter watering restrictions for Texas cities

Water conservation in El Paso

EL PASO, Texas - An environmental group suggests that Texas cities should cut back on watering to two days a week, in efforts to conserve water.

In 1991, El Paso Water implemented a watering schedule that allows residents to water their lawns three days a week during warmer months. Residents are asked to water before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

The Texas Living Waters Project is a coalition of several environmental groups that are pushing for municipalities to cut down outdoor watering to only two days.

The group said it could save up to 460,000 acre feet of water per year with stricter watering regulations, along with other conservation measures.  The study said that amount of water is 11 percent of the water the cities are projected to use in 2020.

El Paso Water did not agree or disagree with the study, but officials said residents have improved their water conservation.

"El Pasoans have reduced consumption by 30 percent. We went from 200 gallons per person, per day in the 1990s to a 129 (gallons)  currently," said Anai Padilla, a manager at El Paso Water's Tech H20 Center.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that this week 39 percent of the state is experiencing drought conditions. Last week, the monitor showed 50 percent of the state was experiencing drought conditions.

The study said water can be saved by implementing more efficient landscape irrigation, which is the largest component of municipal water use. 

Padilla said more residents in El Paso are turning to desert-friendly landscapes. 

"Because we live in the desert, we are proactive on showing people how to create beautiful landscapes using plants that are native to this area," Padilla said.

For more on how to conserve water, click here.

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