A team from the USGBC Central Texas Chapter visited with State Representative Lyle Larson on Tuesday to discuss the state’s water challenges and strategize about the best ways for the Chapter to help get the message out about the importance of water conservation and reuse.
Representative Larson suggested that standard conservation measures, such as twice-a-week lawn watering, should be the norm rather than be driven by a trigger. Considering alarmingly low lake levels and depletion of ground water throughout Texas, “all cities in this state should be using best water management practices year-around,” he said.
Representative Larson was glad to hear that the USGBC Chapters in Texas were advocating for water conservation and reuse as a means to avoid the tremendous costs associated with the large-scale infrastructure projects that populate the State Water Plan.
Recommendations for the Chapter included reaching out to the Texas Municipal League as an avenue to educate city managers on best practices, and implementing a campaign such as that launched by the City of Dallas in 2012 called the Lawn Whisperer, which employed humor to encourage property owners to conserve water.
Representative Larson, one of the Texas State Legislature’s most vocal champions for water conservation, was glad to learn about the credits in the LEED rating system that relate to water quality, management, efficiency and reuse. The Chapter’s Advocacy Committee will follow up on Rep. Larson’s suggestions, as well as reach out to other lawmakers, the Texas Water Development Board, and other groups to raise awareness about best practices.
If you are interested in joining the Chapter’s Advocacy or Community Outreach Committees, contact the executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org.