Holly Torres, Dallas Water Utilities
Holly Torres: Hi there, I'm Holly Torres. I'm here today in front of Lake Ray Hubbard. It’s one of our major water sources for the city of Dallas. In fact, it’s one of six reservoirs that are connected.
As you know, the urban water cycle — we have precipitation in different forms, rainfall being one of them. It comes to surface water. It then goes to the water treatment center. It’s treated. It comes out nice and clean out of your faucet, your showers, your washers, all those things that we need water for, which is what makes water so vital.
Drought isn’t a question of if, it’s just a question of when. That’s why conservation is such an important vital issue now. Some of the things that you can do in your own home, for example, are to take shorter showers. I know people think you can’t take a five-minute shower, but you can. Sometimes, it’s fun to challenge yourself, challenge your children, who I think are probably the majority of the water users of the home in terms of showers.
Another great tip is to wash a full load of laundry or dishes. Don’t just do a couple of dishes or a couple of pieces of laundry. Also, check for any leaks inside your home. Sometimes those fixes are things that you can fix yourself that you don’t need to call a professional to do.
In the City of Dallas Water Conservation Division, we have lots of programs and incentives that encourage you to save water. For example, we have a program called New Throne for your Home. We offer free toilets if your home was built before 1994. Toilets, at some point, were about seven gallons per flush. Now, they are about 1.28 gallons per flush. So, if you look at the difference there, you’re saving nearly six gallons per flush. And, if you think about the average household, that’s a lot of water.
We also have an Environmental Education Program where we go into the schools and educate children about what conservation is, why it’s important and how each of us can do our part to make a difference.
In the City of Dallas, our programs alone have saved over 550 million gallons annually — we saved that much water. That can fill up AT&T stadium almost two-thirds. So, if you think about that and you conceptualize that, you understand how much of an impact we can make in terms of saving water.
Clean, healthy accessible water is vital to healthy, growing communities. If each of us does our part today, we can ensure that we have a supply of water for generations to come. If each of us does our part, it makes a big impact.