Drought plan provides mandatory water conservation policy

  • Published
  • By Timothy Hunter
  • 82nd Civil Engineering Squadron
Have you ever heard of the saying "If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait awhile, it'll change?"

North Texans know that seasonal droughts and erratic weather are just part of living in this region. That's why it's important for us to use "common sense" water conservation efforts at home and the workplace to reduce the amount of stress we place on our natural resources.

Conserving water is simple and inexpensive. In order to help conserve this resource, it is vital that Team Sheppard joins the city in doing our part.

Sheppard's watering policy in the Drought Contingency Plan includes recommendations on irrigation. Privatized Housing occupants are asked to water plants and shrubs between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. if a watering can or hand-held hose is used where a responsible person is present to monitor the use of such water.

Sheppard is the City of Wichita Falls' largest consumer of water and would like to lead the area in maintaining "common sense" water conservation efforts. Here are some tips to conserve water:

· No lawn and landscape watering will take place between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Watering will be allowed only before and after this time.

· No watering to the point of run-off is allowed. Resume watering when the water has had enough time to penetrate the soil, which takes about 30 minutes. Water your yard every five to six days. To encourage deep root growth, it is better to water your trees deeply once a week then to water them multiple times during the week for short periods of time.

· All outdoor watering with a hose must use a positive shut-off nozzle.

· Spot water. Drier areas require more water than areas where the water settles. If necessary, water dry areas by hand.

· Don't water the pavement. Position the sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn, not in areas where it is not needed.

· Grass will naturally go dormant during periods of drought; accept less than a lush lawn. 

· When to apply water is also critical. The best time to water is in the early morning or late evening hours. There is less wind and the temperature is cooler, both of which directly affect the evaporation rate. Use your water timer to turn your water off when you go to work in the morning or go to bed at night.

· Report water leaks, such as dripping faucets, as soon as they are found.

· Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, and washing your face or hands.

· Run the dishwasher when full of dishes or use the water saver cycle.

· Don't let the faucet run until the water cools down. Instead, keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator.

· Unlike your dishwasher, you can control the amount of water used by your clothes washer. Select the proper water level for each load of laundry. 

· Car wash fundraisers will cease until conditions improve. 

Water management is not just the city government's responsibility. Everybody plays an important role, including those living and working on Sheppard. We ask each of you to continue doing your part to conserve this precious resource. Don't be shy about educating new Team Sheppard members about the water use rules. Together, let's keep using water wisely and protect this resource for generations to come.