For years, the Dallas-Fort Worth area was portrayed as a water hog compared to the rest of the state.
But in the Texas Water Conservation Scorecard released Wednesday, many North Texas utilities scored in the top 15. The scorecard was developed by the Texas Living Waters Project, a partnership of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Foundation and Galveston Bay Foundaton.
78 Fort Worth’s score in the water conservation scorecard
In Tarrant County, Fort Worth placed seventh and Hurst eighth among cities with large and medium-sized water utilities. Arlington, North Richland Hills and Keller were tied for the No. 15 spot.
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Ken Kramer, water resources chairman of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, said the report is a snapshot of what water utilities have been doing to promote water conservation over the last several years. That’s one reason Fort Worth can score higher than San Antonio or El Paso where water conservation has been a priority for decades.
Fort Worth was praised for having permanent outdoor watering restrictions but criticized for high water losses. Hurst was also praised for having outdoor watering restrictions, a strong water loss control program and having water rates that encouraged conservation. Wholesale water providers like the Tarrant Regional Water District were also commended for their role in promoting water conservation.
One of the most impressive things Fort Worth has done is adopting twice-a-week outdoor watering.
Ken Kramer, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
“Most cities in North Texas heretofore considered wasteful have begun to turn the corner,” Kramer said. “Fort Worth is among those cities. One of the most impressive things Fort Worth has done is adopting twice-a-week outdoor watering.”
Fort Worth Water Department spokeswoman Mary Gugliuzza said improving water efficiency has been a focus in recent years. Fort Worth will be introducing a new program, MyH2O, that will allow customers to “more effectively manage their water use” and provide the water department with information needed to improve operations.
“We are pleased to be recognized for the work done to-date, but our efforts are continuing as we roll out our MyH2O program over the next five years,” Gugluzza said.
The water scorecard rated each of the 126 large and medium-size retail public water utilities in Texas that serve a population of 25,000 or more. The scorecard, which can award a maximum of 100 points, attempts to rate entities on their efforts to improve water conservation.