MISD Tackles Water Conservation

By Camaron Abundes
Newswest 9

MIDLAND- Midland ISD is tackling water conservation by digging trenches at Lee High School. Construction crews will install irrigation systems at each of 45 campuses in the district. It's a five year project the City of Midland and the school district started more than two years ago to cut down on water waste.

"We want to provide the turf for our athletes but at the same time we want to be conservation minded with the use of our water and we want to use that water efficiently," James Riggen, AIA, who serves as Executive Director of School Plant and Construction Services for Midland Independent School District, said.

Riggen says in Midland the top water users are the City, MISD, and Midland College.

"It's hard to monitor all the various irrigation that we have," Riggen said.

The $500,000 dollar upgrade is a collaboration. The city provides the materials and the district pays for the manpower and installation. The system will give district officials alerts if there are problems with the sprinkler lines through a centralized computer system.

"Sometimes we irrigate nights and early mornings and people aren't out to see those things." Riggen said it will be easier to identify the problem in order to send a crew out to make repairs.

A weather station also sends messages by radio and internet to the centralized computer to ensure campuses will not use the sprinkler system on rainy, windy, or during the hottest hours of the day. Riggen says it all boils down to student safety but with the new system they can water without all the waste.

"Our goal is to save water but what water we do use we want to use efficiently use it to grow grass." Riggen said grass is important for student athletes who use the fields.