One of the most important topics I have covered in this column is the drought Texas has been in for a few years.

I’ve discussed tips for reducing water usage in yards by checking sprinkler systems, planting native species, catching rainwater and reducing the amount of turf grass.

What I have not yet discussed are some tips for reducing water usage indoors that will benefit outdoor water supplies, as well as save money.

It is predicted that Texas’ population will double in the next 50 years. To have enough water to supply that need, residents must find ways to reduce water usage both indoors and outdoors.

The Texas Water Development Board offers some water-saving tips:

Replace toilets, washers, showerheads, faucets and dishwashers with newer water-efficient models.

Install water aerators on faucets to lessen the amount of water used.

Shorten shower time and turn off faucets when brushing teeth and shaving.

Notice and immediately fix any leaky faucets or running toilets.

Run dishwashers and washing machines only when full or use the low water settings for partial loads.

Use cold water settings when possible for washing machines.

These tips sound so simple, but we must be deliberate in following them if we are to be good stewards of our water supply.

It’s not that we need to cut back on the water we use, we just need to stop wasting it when we can.

Our area is in a drought and the conditions are becoming more intense each successive year. If we will be diligent to do our part and model good practices for our family members and neighbors, we might just lessen the strain on our water supplies and may delay the inevitable rationing of water.

Let’s be proud Texans and do our part to keep this great state wet and wonderful.

Darla Menking is a certified Bell County Texas Master Gardener and a Texas Master Naturalist. Email her at

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