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How to Enjoy and Protect Texas Water

Conservation tips from our sponsor, National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program this National Water Quality Month


prairie dog river, texas water

Prairie Dog River, Palo Duro

August is National Water Quality Month. Currently, over 70% of Texas is experiencing drought conditions. As the extreme heat drags on, we are reminded of how important and life-sustaining our rivers, bays, lakes, and beaches are.  However, these resources need our help. While this requires action from our industries along with our local, state, and federal governments, we can also play a role in helping to protect essential resources. Here are 5 things you can do to protect the places and resources you care about.

drought plunge pool

Plunge Pool at Eagle’s Nest

1. Be Mindful

All water sources on our planet are connected and are crucial for people and the environment.  As a common resource, our actions matter and it is important to be mindful of how we view and utilize water, both indoors and outdoors, for our state and planet. 

Here is a video Addressing Water Challenges In Presidio County, Texas from our member Environmental Defense Fund. The video highlights how our fellow Texans have been forced to handle drought crises for decades as a community.

2. Conserve

Conservation is one of the best ways individuals can do our part to help ensure proper stewardship of our resources. From planting drought-resistant landscaping, to installing rain barrels and high-efficiency appliances, there are many actions we can take to curb our water consumption – leaving more water in the streams, rivers, and aquifers we depend on. 

One particularly effective action we can take is to limit our outdoor watering. Every day, Texans use treated drinkable water to water our lawns. Because landscapes can survive and thrive with lower watering amounts and frequencies than they are commonly given, limiting outdoor watering to no more than twice per week can reduce total municipal water usage by as much as 11 percent.

3. Use Reusable Bottles and Food Containers

Many single-use food and water containers like plastic or molded recycled paper contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals.” These persistent compounds are dangerous for human health and our environment and take hundreds or thousands of years to break down. Studies suggest high levels of PFAS may lead to birth defects, suppressed immune system responses, and even certain cancers. When products containing PFAS are thrown away, PFAS can get into our drinking water as chemicals leak out from the products. We can help reduce the amount of PFAS entering our waterways when we use reusable food and beverage containers. 

4. Organize a Clean Up, Participate in Citizen Science, or Help Restore Habitat 

You and other community members can come together to organize a trash cleanup of your favorite spots. Not sure where to start? Many of our members offer volunteer opportunities to keep Texas waterways and wetlands healthy and beautiful. You can also participate in citizen science opportunities, such as a nurdle survey through Nurdle Patrol, where you can search beaches for harmful plastic pellets and report results. Lastly, consider participating in a marsh planting like Galveston Bay Foundation’s Marsh Mania event – which improves water quality and provides essential habitat through building up coastal natural infrastructure.

5. Support Water Management Efforts

EarthShare Texas has multiple nonprofit members whose missions and programs help protect waterways. You can support their efforts through a financial contribution, landowner conservation easement, participating in a member program, and more. If you are interested in learning more about efforts to protect our water resources throughout Texas, check out The Texas Living Waters Project, a collaboration of conservation groups working to transform the way we manage water through research, education, and advocacy.

prairie dog river

Prairie Dog River, Palo Duro

EarthShare of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit raising and distributing funds to qualifying member charities. From air quality to wildlife rehabilitation to the development of green building technology, our members work to protect the environment.

Thank you to our sponsor National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program for supporting this post.

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