Super-soakers, water cannons, and water balloons.
Slip and slides.
These are just a handful of outdoor activities you, your friends, and/or your children will be a part of this summer. While endless amounts of fun can be had during these outdoor activities, endless amounts of water should not be. With our state, and the majority of our region, in an ongoing and severe drought, Summer Water Conservation is a paramount issue. How is it best appropriate and possible to limit water use for outdoor activities that specifically involve water consumption and usage?
Not including water use for outdoor lawn and gardening during the summer, water use for most households can stay consistent throughout the year. This consistency helps when planning other areas of usage for water, especially with outdoor recreational activities. Based on your current water usage and utility bill, you can gauge what your potential summer utility range will be. This is especially true when factoring in the previous year’s usage and noting any additional changes made to your property such as a sprinkler system or swimming pool. Both pools and sprinkler systems affect standard water consumption for a household.
With outdoor water use and conservation, institute limits on the time duration that any non-gardening activities will last. If possible, restrict usage of sprinklers to only lawn and garden maintenance instead of use with outdoor playtime activities (including slip and slides and sprinkler fights). Both recreational activities do much more harm and damage to a lawn area than help. If you’re planning on cultivating part of your yard or lawn with regular watering and fertilizers, you should forbid anyone to use that area for water-based recreation activities. Doing so will undo the work, time, and money invested into the livelihood of the lawn, as well as be a waste of water.
For water-balloon, water gun, and other related activities, limit the duration of time allotted to them as well as the amount of water that can be used. Set specific limits for your household on how many times a water gun can be refilled, how many water balloons can be used, and any other specification to restrict water usage. Consider other alternatives for outdoor fun activities involving water to usage of a neighborhood or community swimming pool, a public water park, or other public outlet for water related entertainment. The outdoor water park at Nelson Park (near the Abilene Zoo) is a great public retreat.
To help you plan for Summer Water Conservation, and to assist in a potential increase in utility bills, spend time with your family or household in planning your summer water expenses. With 31% of single family residential annual water consumption dedicated to outdoor use, it’s important for households to create a consensus on how water is utilized, especially during summer months when water use typically increases. In the interest of your bill, as well as the best interest of conserving water for Texas, limiting unnecessary use of the precious resource of water is of vital importance this summer.