With Texas suffering frequent, widespread drought, planting a landscape naturally adapted to dry conditions is one way to both conserve water and care for your yard.
Water conservation becomes particularly critical in the summer, when water use can surge anywhere between 30 to 60 percent, of which lawn and garden watering typically gulp up nearly 40 percent. Moreover, many cities are implementing mandatory water restrictions in order to conserve already stretched local supplies. Such restrictions can limit landscape irrigation to two days a week, or frequently less.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has outlined several actions you can take to comply with public conservation practices by strengthening your yard’s tolerance to drought.
- Mulch all planted areas. Mulch keeps soil moist and slows evaporation.
- Plant drought-tolerant plants. Using native and adaptive plants reduces the amount of landscape water needed.
- Mow your lawn at a higher setting. Taller grass can create shade and reduce evaporation.
- Check each sprinkler head to ensure each is functioning properly.
- Consider installing a drip irrigation system, which can be much more efficient than spray irrigation.
Calling a licensed irrigator may be a wise first step, too.
For details about drought proofing your landscape, visit Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center at Dallas and Take Care of Texas landscape publications.
Fort Bliss National Cemetery, winner of the 2013 Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Water Conservation, is a wonderful example of how drought- tolerant landscapes can save water and remain beautiful.
Deadline for comments is July 8, 2013.
Thursday, June 20, 2013 - The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council has extended the period for formal public comment on the Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy and accompanying Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment to July 8, 2013.
The Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan provides a framework to implement a coordinated region-wide restoration effort in a way that restores, protects, and revitalizes the Gulf Coast region following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
You may submit your input and comments to the council. If you have already submitted comments, you need not submit them again.
For more information on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and the Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan, visit RestoretheGulf.gov.
The TCEQ is accepting requests for grant applications through July 31, 2013, for projects that improve water quality.
The TCEQ administers federal grants for projects that assist in implementing the State of Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program. The NPS Management Program includes multiple strategies for addressing NPS pollution; however, the TCEQ is specifically seeking projects that implement measures with a high probability of restoring impaired water bodies or achieving significant pollutant-load reductions. In addition, projects that include conducting watershed planning activitiesalso will be given the highest priority for funding.
All nonprofit organizations and all state agencies or political subdivisions of the state of Texas are eligible. Private organizations are encouraged to participate in projects as partners or contractors, but may not apply directly for funding.
Grants are awarded annually and fund projects for up to three years.
See descriptions of current and recent projects funded.