The Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force, a coalition of water conservation experts, industry representatives and engineering experts, had its first meeting on July 13th in the city of Houston. Armed for the purpose of planning for future population development, Houston’s mayor Annise Parker instructed the attendees to elaborate a plan that would prevent future water availability from diminishing and causing the city to enter a state of drought.
Daniel Krueger, the city of Houston’s director of Public Works, spoke of the importance of maintaining a perspective on planning for the next 100 years, as well as focusing intently on the next 50 years. According to Mr. Krueger, we need to maintain our water supply’s availability and wide use for future generations.
Mayor Parker then spoke of the city’s history and culture for the purpose of setting the context in which experts would develop their recommendation. Given Houston’s ample water supply, there has been a lack of water conservation planning in the past. The Mayor indicated that last year’s drought conditions served as a wake up call to the city. With the intent to propose legislation, the Mayor urged the experts to ideate a plausible plan of action.
Carol Haddock, who serves as the senior assistant director at the city of Houston, noted that the city has a daily water supply of 1.1 billion of gallons with half going to consumers and half reaching the bay. Of that 50% reaching consumers, two-thirds is not regulated by building code. The remaining third, which is composed of retail customers, would be evaluated for the possible implementation of water conservation practices.
The city of Houston is scheduled to host its second meeting on July 27, with the purpose of discussing the Chapter 47 ordinance.
-Hector Varela, Water Policy Intern
Special thanks to Jennifer Walker