The winter of 2015 has served up much discontent for water users across the United States. Some states have experienced extreme snowfall while others find their snow-pack reserves at less than 25%. In California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed new water restriction policies into law, in an attempt to manage the shallow water reserve that the state currently maintains.
Texas currently shows a wide variation in 2015 water supply, with the eastern side of the state experiencing normal, or near normal volume, while the northern and central counties are dealing with significantly low reservoir volumes. The 2011-2012 Texas drought is still very fresh in the minds of Texas water watchers when Texas water levels were lower than those now seen in California. March 2015 was the first month since July 2010 that the Palmer Drought Severity Index showed a positive measurement (1.42) for the state.
So far, there has not been a great outcry for stronger Texas water management rules. However, commercial property management companies should be alert to the possibility of increased restrictions if the current weather pattern continues to impact the amount of annual rainfall precipitation. The 2004 Texas Water Development Board Report recommended that commercial properties could or should modify their water usage volume to increase the efficiency of their water systems and reduce consumption. Options suggested depended on the nature of the commercial endeavor, but all commercial entities were encouraged to adopt some form of water conservation policy as a matter of course. The 2015 Texas Water Development Board Report is not yet released, but it is safe to assume that there will changes suggested for all water consumers in the state, based on recent drought and weather experiences.
For commercial properties that use water primarily for domestic purposes, simple adaptations can bring immediate results, such as retrofitting plumbing systems with low-flow devices, and capturing gray water for non-potable uses. Landscape irrigation also offers a “low-hanging fruit” for this purpose. Replacing high water consumers with drought-tolerant plant varieties will reduce water use while retaining the aesthetic look of the property.
To learn how we’ve managed commercial property water resources since 1983, contact us.