This past winter was a memorable one, with freezing temperatures and lots of snow throughout the country. According to Albert Flores – Chief Meteorologist at News 4 San Antonio, the winter weather can be attributed to, “the jet stream dipping very far south, guiding all the cold air on the surface and funneling it down so these polar vortexes created pockets of cold air that typically sit up in Canada and not move this far south were bent by the jet stream that took it all the way down and sat over us for months” said. It was a rather cold one for San Antonio and the surrounding counties, but alas, the warmer temperatures are here.
Although we had an unusually cold winter, does that mean the summer will be as brutal? “Just because it was a super cold winter doesn’t mean we will have a mild summer or a hot summer, one does not relate to the other” stated Flores. Even though an average summer is expected, we are still in a drought and rain has been scarce.
Even our most recent rain events have not been enough to get us out of Stage 2 water restrictions. As San Antonians are familiar with, Stage 2 water restrictions limit lawn watering to once a week on designated days with some additional limitations. SAWS has a reputation for water conservation at a very high level, partnering with CPS for Calaveras and Braunig Lakes that use reclaimed water for cooling the adjacent power plant generators, saving 300 billion gallons of water that would otherwise come from the Edwards Acquifer. Even still, there is room for customers to conserve on a small scale and collectively make a large impact on the consumption of water.
Karen Guz, SAWS- Director of Conservation, says to “be careful with water use.” Simple steps, ensuring your sprinklers are not hitting the street or sidewalk, for example, can collectively make a big impact. If you do see water wasting don’t hesitate to report it, make sure to get a good description of the situation and an address.
Guz also suggests paying attention to water wasting inside of your home. Look for leaks, listen for water sounds inside the home, and check your water softener, toilets, icemakers and so forth. Another recommendation from Guz is to check your water meter, for spikes in usages, which might indicate leaks. Taking shorter showers or turning the water off as you brush your teeth are simple tips, however, Guz reminds customers SAWS Customer Center provides a high efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators for free. SAWS also has great rebates and coupons available for water conscious appliances.