By M.J. Callahan
San Antonio is in Stage 3 water restrictions and Uvalde has been in Stage 5 restrictions since March 28.
If the citizens of San Antonio want to preserve the clean water that is left, they need to conserve now more than ever according to conservation advocates.
Water conservation is not just the responsibility of the government and corporations; it’s also the responsibility of the individual. If the community as a whole does not work together, there might not be a green future.
Terri Herbold, spokesperson for the Edwards Aquifer Authority, said, “It’s everyone’s responsibility no matter where you live.”
The Earth’s surface is 71 percent covered in water, and the human body is made up of 60 percent water according to water.usgs.gov/ edu.
Char Miller, who studies Southwest water issues, taught history and urban studies at Trinity University for 26 years and now teaches environmental and urban study courses at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., said, “This is the time to get serious.”
Eighty percent of all fresh water goes to agriculture, Miller said, so the farming industry needs to change farming and conservation methods
Miller said he has done extensive research on water conservation and usage on the West Coast.
Water conservation efforts were not taken seriously in the past, leading to nearly 30 California cities having to truck in water, Miller said.
But Miller is optimistic about San Antonio’s progress.
He explained, in 1981, the average water usage per person per day was 240–250 gallons. In the beginning of 1999, San Antonio Water System got involved, pushing for things like low-flow technology.
This reduced the usage today to an average of 140 gallons per person, a savings of roughly 43 percent.
Taking advantage of water-saving technology, low-flow technology, such as soil moisture sensors and irrigation controllers, could reduce individual water usage, Miller said.
Children are taught at a young age to do their part in conserving water by turning off the faucet when not using it.
Many middle school students are sent home with indoor water conservation kits containing low-flow shower heads; sink stoppers and timers to raise awareness of water use.
San Francisco’s population has proven current averages can be lowered. They use an average of 110 gallons per person per day.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority offers free indoor and outdoor conservation kits. To obtain a kit, message the authority at www.facebook.com/edwards.aquifer.education.
More then 300 gallons per person per day is what the population of Sacramento, the capital of California, uses.
“They have no meter, no controls over the water use. So everyone goes ‘well, OK, I can use as much as I want,’ Miller said.
For more information and conservation tips, go to www.saws.org.
Stage 3 rules
Thursday, the 10-day average for the aquifer was 639.7 feet, triggering Stage 3 restrictions.
If the levels do not improve after 30 days, San Antonio will go into Stage 4 restrictions.
Watering is only allowed 7 a.m.-11 a.m. and 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
Lawn watering is restricted to every other week on the day of the week coordinated with the last digit of the address.
Monday 0 or 1,
Tuesday 2 or 3,
Wednesday 4 or 5
Thursday 6 or 7
Friday 8 or 9
None on weekends.
For more water restrictions and ways to conserve, go to www.saws.org.