New TWDB study: Texans use about a third of their water outdoors

For immediate release.  Contact: Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN - (December 17, 2012) - A recently released Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) study concludes that 31 percent of annual single-family residential water use in Texas is dedicated to outdoor purposes, such as lawn and garden maintenance, pools, and car washing, with the rest used indoors.  Based on an analysis of monthly water use data for 259 cities, the TWDB found that average outdoor water use ranged from 20 to 53 percent of total household water use, with dryer areas of the state tending to use more than wetter areas.  According to Sam Marie Hermitte-a student at the LBJ School and lead author on the report-"No one has made these calculations for Texas before."

Conventional wisdom based on national studies holds that 50 percent or more of residential water use is used outdoors. As Robert Mace, head of the Water Science & Conservation group at TWDB and co-author of the study, notes: "Texans are doing better than that." The results of the study will be useful to water providers and utilities in identifying where to focus water conservation efforts. "In order to prioritize where to save water, we first have to know where we're using water," explained Mace.

The report, The Grass Is Always Greener...Outdoor Residential Water Use in Texas, can be read in its entirety here: Seasonal Water Use Report.

The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.