Dallas Texas A&M AgriLife center brings WaterSense to metroplex

More than 800 people from Dallas and surrounding cities attended the recent WaterSense event at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center held in conjunction with World Water Day and national “Fix a Leak Week.”

Presented in partnership with Dallas Water Utilities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6, the program highlighted various water education and conservation efforts of the center’s Urban Water Program, as well as other water-saving programs and research being conducted at the center.

“The most popular part of this event was the open house tour for the public of our two on-site WaterSense display residences, a house and a multi-family dwelling, both of which are on the center’s grounds,” said Clint Wolfe, urban water program manager for the Dallas center.

As urban water program manager, Wolfe facilitates the activities of a team of water resources professionals at the center to assist with research and outreach programming in the areas of water quality and conservation, as well as watershed planning.

He said the event marked the public grand opening of the center’s WaterSense multi-family structure and gave attendees the opportunity to tour both that structure and the nearby WaterSense-labeled home.

WaterSense is an EPA partner program that emphasizes “saving water and protecting the environment by choosing WaterSense-labeled products for the home, yard and business, along with taking simple steps to save water each day.” It estimates that WaterSense-labeled homes use 40 percent less water than the average home, saving about 50,000 gallons a year for a family of four.

“The home and apartments serve as working models to demonstrate to visitors just how easy water conservation can be,” Wolfe said. “These WaterSense-oriented dwellings provide hands-on learning opportunities in areas such as hot water on-demand systems, water-efficient faucets and fixtures, water- efficient landscaping and irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting and rain garden design.”

He said through this event and many other ongoing center programs, people can learn about readily available technology to help them lower their overall water use and some simple behavioral changes they can make to save water and money.

Wolfe said in 2013 the Urban Water Program reached an estimated 50,000 people from the metroplex and surrounding areas through a variety of educational and informational events, including classes, professional trainings, youth events, do-it-yourself rain barrel workshops and WaterSense-labeled home tours.

For more information on the center’s urban water conservation efforts and for water-saving tips, go to dallas.tamu.edu, and read the full AgriLife TODAY news release. For more information on WaterSense, visit epa.gov/watersense. The WaterSense-labeled home was also featured in the Fall 2013 issue of txH2O magazine.

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