Ag Commissioner promotes water conservation

Says historical drought, growing population call attention to critical need for water conservation


Citing the devastating results of water shortages, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, along with a group of state and local leaders and a partnership of private businesses today announced the Texas Water Smart conservation campaign. The result of a public-private coalition, Texas Water Smart encourages households and businesses to adopt everyday habits to curb wasteful water usage.


“We have a choice to make: conserve water now or risk more job losses in the future,” Commissioner Staples said. “Our recent historical drought and booming population point to an unavoidable conclusion; it’s time all Texans take a serious look at individual water-use habits and find common-sense ways to conserve. The recent realities are both alarming and painful as drinking water was jeopardized and businesses and households were faced with scarce water resources. With the launch of Texas Water Smart, I’m reminding all Texans that a few drops saved, when multiplied by 25 million citizens, will go a long way.”


Recent spring rains have not reduced the need to conserve water. Across the state, water managers may be forced to move to severe outdoor water-use restrictions, which could ban all outdoor watering. This would have a major impact on the nursery and landscape industry, which has a $14.6 billion economic impact on the state. Retail businesses, local government and homeowners could also realize a loss of sales and sales tax revenue, and a loss of landscape investment.


A comprehensive consumer education initiative, Texas Water Smart has goals to employ television, radio and print ads, social media and other targeted awareness tools to show Texans easy and practical ways to conserve.


Texas Water Smart asks all Texans to Get Water Smart by adopting more frugal water-use habits such as:


  • Watering only when plants look like they need it, keeping in mind most plants die from over-watering, not under-watering;
  • Checking outdoor faucets, hoses and sprinklers for water-wasting leaks, and  making sure to repair them quickly;
  • Adjusting sprinklers so only lawns and gardens are watered – not houses, sidewalks or streets;
  • Cleaning driveways, patios and sidewalks with a broom or leaf blower instead of a hose.

Other recommended methods of water conservation include using watering cans rather than hoses and adding a layer of mulch to flower beds to better retain water.


Inside the home, Texas Water Smart encourages shorter bath times, washing only full loads of dishes and clothes, and fixing leaky faucets and toilets.


For more helpful tips and information, visit