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Water Conservation Practice in Houston


The city of Houston in Texas has a developed water conservation strategy which is fragmented into various segments. The city leadership endeavors to provide clean drinking water to all the city residents. It is against this background that a comprehensive water treatment and conservation program was incepted years back. From the treatment of waste water to the reduction of the consumption of the same Houston is an epitome of the increasing need to conserve resources especially water.

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Population, Temperature and Annual Precipitation Depth

  • Population: The population of Houston city is 2.14 million. This is according to the US census Bureau of 2006.
  • Temperature: Houston city has an area of 601.7 square miles (1,558 km2). This is divided in 579.4 square miles (1,501 km2) of land and 22.3 square miles (58 km2) of water. The highest temperature ever recorded is 109 °F (43 °C).
  • Annual precipitation Depth: According to the US survey data and site information the water Depth off current stage is 3.47 ft at 21:15 UTC.

Water Conservation

The city of Houston being part of the Texas state is subject to the states programs which endeavor to conserve natural resources water included. Water conservation has been identified as a key parameter towards meeting the increasing water demands of the city (Houston City 2010). Various programs have been incorporated in the water conservation endeavor. From water wise habits to efficient technologies the city of Houston has not left no stone unturned. Among the many means used by the city to conserve water include, water reuse, less wastage and the eradication of hazardous water approaches.

Conservation Potential for Municipalities in Texas

The state’s water consumption and evaluation statistics indicates that much of the states water is consumed by the municipalities, agriculture and industries. As far as agriculture is concerned much of the states water is used for irrigation purposes. Most this happens during the summer. The city has developed various programs through which the use of water saving technologies and techniques is encouraged. Through this the city has been able to achieve the goal of reducing the total amount of water used for irrigation (Texas Water 2010). Municipalities use up to 25% of water in the state. With the increase in population the consumption is likely to rise. The state has therefore launched various projects through which the consumption of water can be reduced. The manufacturing sector consequently accounts for a majority of water consumption in the state. The State in conjunction with the relevant municipalities have come up with programs to reduce the water use by the construction and manufacturing industry (State of Texas 2010).

The city’s Efforts

Mandatory Practices

System Water Audit and Water Loss: Being one of the councils supported program, the audit is meant to ascertain the progress of the conservation efforts (Griffiths & Houston 2008). Incidences of water misuse are reported and subsequent action take to avert more misuse.

Water Conservation Pricing: The concept of pricing was incepted so as to accommodate other aspects of the conservation program. The proceeds of this program go into the financing of the technological aspects of the conservations endeavor. Also rain water barrel is sold at a subsidized rate so as to encourage the use of rain water (State government of Texas, 2010)

Prohibition on Wasting Water

The issue of careless use of water has been prohibited in the city of Houston. Breaking this law attract harsh punishment from authorities which makes the program successful.

  • Showerhead, Aerator and Toilet Flapper Retrofit: The application of technology in Houston has been in the fore front in the conservation of water in general. Under such an arrangement the use of water saving technologies is widely encouraged so as to serve the purpose of water conservation (Griffiths & Houston 2008).
  • Residential Toilet Replacement Programs: The program of replacing toilets in residential places was incepted so as to install the toilet gadgets that use little water compared to the normal. This is a way of arriving at wise water use through technology.
  • Conservation Coordinator: For the sake of focus and efficiency it was deemed necessary to formalize the program of water conservation. The coordination of all the water conservation activities has brought about more success in the entire city of Houston.
  • Metering of All New Connections and Retrofit of Existing Connections: Metering was deemed necessary so as not to rely on prior connections which are not in line with modern water conservation techniques (Griffiths & Houston 2008). Therefore all old and new connections were brought under one roof so as to usher in more effectiveness.

Voluntary Practices

  • Rainwater Harvesting and Condensate Reuse: In order to reduce the strain on regular sources of water, Olympia has started a program where rain water is collected and put to constructive use. This has gone a long way in assuring water conservation.
  • New Construction Gray water: The new construction water gray water has brought about a ray of hope in the construction sector (Institute of Medicine 2005). Under this the construction enterprise needs not interfere in the ordinary sources of water.
  • Landscape Irrigation Conservation and Incentives: Irrigation has a lot of significance in the city of Houston as far as farming is concerned. However the methods normally used for this purpose lead to a misuses and overuse of water (Sorrels 2009). Under this program water saving methods is taught to the masses.
  • Water Reuse: In order to prevent unprecedented misuse of water reuse and recycling has been popularized in the city. Various programs for the reuse of water have been put in place so s to free the common source of utility strain (Municipal of Houston, 2009)
  • Residential Clothes Washer Incentive Program: In order to bring about the water saving clothes washer machines the city has embarked on an incentive program. Through this project customers get incentives to change their machines and acquire water saving ones (Institute of Medicine 2005).
  • Water Survey for Single-Family and Multi-Family Customers: Water surveys are normally conducted to monitor the progress of the water conservation projects (Sorrels 2009). The single user and multi user family customer survey however is meant to ascertain the level of water use. This is then followed by remedial measures to control the same.
  • Wholesale Agency Assistance Program: This is to provide assistance to the agencies that are working in the endeavor of water conservation (Institute of Medicine 2005). This has gone a long way in ensuring the success of the parameter.

Educational Practices

  • School Education: Through the school system the city has spread the knowledge about the water conservation and its wise use to all students. This has been included in the curriculum of the school and also practice as a field study (Sorrels 2009).
  • Public information: The city has perfected the art of spreading information regarding the entire concept of wise water use and conservation. Through seminars and other forms of media the public is educated on the importance of water conservation.
  • Athletic Field Conservation: The education of the masses has been given much relevance in water conservation in Houston (Institute of Medicine 2005). Athletic field conservation has taken centre stage in various forums to spearhead conservation.
  • Youth Program: The youth movement has been practical in the water conservation program. The youth program involves the youth in the whole endeavor of conservation (Municipal of Houston, 2009)

Online Water-Saving Information

Online water conservation efforts have taken a step higher. With the development in technology, the internet has become useful for the purpose.

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Policies and regulations

The states laws and regulations are applicable to the city of Houston. For instance there are laws that limit the homeowners association in restricting landscape practices of water conservation. There is also a law that obligates cities to clear their current stocks before receiving new ones. Mandatory conservation plans are made for municipalities to achieve. The requirements of regular audits by water utilities are also being enforced.The prohibition of water wasting has been in place for some time now. Under the program the officials monitor the use of water in the whole city. Case of water misuse and wasting are reported. The culprits of theses practices are imprisoned or sometimes a heavy fine is imposed upon them (Sorrels 2009). Water replacement and retrofit program is aimed at installing the necessary water conservation technology in which a heavy punishment is imposed upon those who go against the rule (Institute of Medicine 2005). The city has many other policies and ordinances are in place many of which information is not available on the on line sources. However the fact is the water conservation program has brought ion place many rules that enhance discipline in regard to water use.


Through education and public awareness Houston boasts of a comprehensive water conservation program. The city has perfected the use of public forums and seminars to enhance water conservation among its citizens. The programs have recorded success for the time they have been in practice. This is a very unique way of addressing the entire issue of water conservation. Educating the masses to take good care of water so as to avoid misuses and future scarcity has borne fruits for the city. Indeed its water conservation efforts have been of great success.


Griffiths, R., & Houston, W., (2008). The Final Resource: How the Politics of Water Will Impact the World. Texas: Harriman House Limited.

Houston City (2010). Web.

Institute Of Medicine. (2005). Rebuilding the unity of health and the environment: the greater Houston metropolitan area.

Municipal of Houston. (2009). Web.

Municipal of Houston. (2009). Web.

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Sorrells, C., (2009). Flyfishers Guide to Texas Golf Coast. New York: Wolderness Adventures Press.

State government of Texas (2010). Web.

State of Texas (2010). Web.

Texas Water (2010). Web.

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