Texas city wins awards for successful water conservation program

By edited by Sarah Bunyea

The program has helped reduce city’s water use despite growing population.

The water conservation program BV WaterSmart of Brazos Valley, Texas, won two state awards recently for its water conservation efforts and educational activities toward reducing water waste, according to an article on today.agrilife.org.

Since 2010, the program in College Station, a city in Brazos Valley, has contributed to a cumulative annual water use reduction amounting to approximately two months of the city’s water use. Today College Station uses about three percent more water than it did in 2010, while its population has increased by more than 20%.

The program focuses on conserving water by reducing overwatering of lawns and landscapes. It was developed and is operated by a partnership of Texas A&M, the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District and the City of College Station.

Targeting outdoor water usage, primarily lawn and irrigation use, the program created water budgets for over 15,000 residential customers.

Seventeen rainfall stations throughout the area provide precise information used for the program rather than only using rainfall data from the weather bureau at the airport. BV WaterSmart uses the data from these rainfall stations to recommend whether customers should or should not water their lawns and what runtimes they should use.

The program also provides free irrigation checkups, courtesy of the City of College Station, he said. Graduate students will check systems for leaks, misplaced watering and provide educational advice to homeowners on when to water and not water.

Three water conservations seminars in College Station are held every year, explaining how systems work, how to adjust timers, how to maintain systems and how to recognize and fix leaks.

BV WaterSmart received the 2019 Texas Environmental Excellence award for water conservation, the state’s highest environmental honor recognizing projects for achievements in environmental preservation and protection.

The 2019 Texas Water Development Board also awarded BV WaterSmart with the Municipal Blue Legacy award, which honors programs for enhanced conservation of water.