Household water conservation focus of Dalhart conference - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Household water conservation focus of Dalhart conference

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Dalhart, TX - Preserving our limited and diminishing water supply for our children starts at home. And a public conference in Dalhart this evening (Apr. 17) offered the necessary knowledge to start making a difference today.

Since the American West was settled, people have established and abandoned communities based on access to water.  And despite technological advances, our sheer numbers are straining an already limited supply, as Dr. Joyce Cavanagh, an AgriLife resource specialist based out of College Station explains,

"Our population has more than doubled in the state of Texas over the last couple of decades, and it's projected to increase even more in the future, and all of those people are going to need water, and we already have communities in Texas that either have run out of water, or are getting close to running out of water."

The average American household uses about 146-thousand gallons of water a year, including toilets (30% of consumption), washing machines (40-55 gallons a load), and showers.  And that consumption could be cut in half with simple changes in behavior.  Changes like shorter showers, flushing less often, and using more efficient appliances.  And that behavior will be imitated and carried on through the next generation of Texans, as Dr. Cavanagh explains, "If we can teach our youth to be good stewards of water, we can teach them to be good stewards of other things like their money, like taking care of the land, and taking care of the communities."

Kay Rogers, AgriLife Extension family and consumer services agent in Dallam and Hartley Counties, echoed that sentiment, saying, "We need to teach our children different ways of thinking and using water as a resource than perhaps we were taught when we were growing up when water was a bit more plentiful, or perhaps we didn't recognize that water was going to be such a problem in the future."

If you'd like to see AgriLife's tips for household conservation or a comprehensive statewide analysis from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, follow the links attached to this story.

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