- Population growth, increasing water demand, contamination issues and droughts have placed the state’s water supply under tremendous stress.
- Water demand in Texas is projected to increase by 17% from 2020 to 2070.
- Protecting water resources and utilizing conservation practices will be essential to sustaining the state’s water demand-supply balance.
AgriLife Extension Response
Through 5,900 educational events, planning meetings and workshops in 2019, AgriLife Extension reached more than 1.9 million educational and other contacts to increase public awareness and adoption of practices vital to improving and sustaining the state’s water demand-supply balance.
- These programs teach participants about efficient water use, sustainable practices, watershed management, and environmental stewardship.
- Urban water issues are being addressed through several educational programs, including popular water-use efficiency efforts such as Earth-Kind® landscaping and strategies for in-home water savings.
- Conservation programs focus on reducing household water use and improving irrigation efficiencies in lawns, landscapes and agricultural production systems.
The benefits of these programs are measured in terms of water saved, water-cost savings, number of jobs and annual wages for trainees in the landscape-irrigation profession, and externally funded grant dollars received and spent locally to implement watershed protection and educational programs.
- Water conservation programs have resulted in a potential savings of 3.1 billion gallons annually (enough to supply 28,100 households), valued at $11.2 million.
- More than 20 water quality restoration efforts across Texas follow the Plum Creek Watershed model. The Plum Creek, Attoyac Bayou, and Buck Creek watersheds and parts of the Navasota River watershed have been removed from the EPA’s list of impaired water bodies.
- To leverage state resources, $11.4 million in externally funded grants
has been secured since 2015 to support critical water quality protection activities and educational programs and identify sources of
- Programs that provide certification in landscape irrigation, onsite wastewater systems management and water quality directly support
over 1,600 jobs, with $50.9 million in annual wages.
- The ultimate societal benefit to Texas is the protection and more efficient use of scarce water resources.