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Professionals give water conservation advice at Abilene meeting

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ABILENE, Texas - While lakes in the Big Country were filled by the spring's rains, now that the dry summer has moved in, it's time for residents to enact smart water conservation strategies.

The Texas A&M AgriLife office in Taylor County hosted the first of three meetings on the subject early Wednesday morning. Professionals spoke about how we can conserve and why it's important to start early instead of waiting until it's necessary.

"Urban areas like this, a lot of water goes toward water or landscape irrigation," said Dotty Woodson, an AgriLife water professional. "A lot of that water is wasted in landscape irrigation because people don't know how to use their irrigation system."

"There's a lot of great products that can help out home owners like smart irrigation controllers, soil moisture sensors and pressure regulated sprinklers," said Charles Swanson, a landscape irrigation program specialist. "Adding these to a home owner's toolbox can be a great way to help them conserve water."

The main consensus among the speakers was that it's best to conserve early so we can have enough water when we really need it.

"Sometimes we live day-to-day, and we think today is plentiful," said Robert Pritz, the Taylor County AgriLife extension agent. "We need to know that we are going to get back in a situation when water is scarce. So what we do today is going to help us in the future. I think that's the mindset that we would like a lot of people thinking – let's conserve now so we will have this water in the future."

They recommended a few tips that will help save a lot over time.

Most importantly, you are required to follow the city's current water restrictions. For a list of those rules, click HERE.

For your yard, the main thing to remember is that any leaks, either in sprinkler or hose lines, need to be patched immediately before they lose a lot of water.

The best times to water your yard are in the early-morning hours or later in the day when the temperatures outside are coolest. This will allow for maximum absorption in the lawn.

Moving inside your home, the same basic principles apply. If you have any leaking or dripping faucets, you'll want to tighten them or replace them. This will save you lots of money and water over time.

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