You can help your business and your customers survive the drought

November 5th is Election Day. There is a very critical measure up for the citizens of Texas to consider, and it is essential that we – professionals of the Green Industry – take action. The measure is Prop 6, and it relates to how we in Texas can mitigate the devastating consequences of this long drought.

Voting Yes on Prop 6 will create the State’s Water Implementation Fund (which is necessary for our industry). According to a report from ABC news’s Eric Barajas, the Speaker of the House, Joe Strauss and a bipartisan coalition of Texas elected officials are working to urge citizens to vote Yes on Prop 6. Speaker Straus said that 90% of the state is affected by the drought, and the Texas Green Industry feels it first hand.

We, the Texas Green Industry Professionals, need to educate ourselves and act. We also need to educate our customers. Here are some resources for our own consumption, and also some resources that you can share with your customers to promote conservation.

Resources for Business Owners:

Do you want to get more active in supporting Prop 6? Visit the political action committee, Water Texas.

You can also engage with the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association’s political action committee, which supports this position as well as works toward many other issues that affect business in our state.

There is a nonprofit organization that is doing some work to educate citizens on the importance of passing the measure, it’s called H204Texas. 

Resources to share with your Customers:

This water use calculator is good to help your customers estimate how much water is being used for showers, dish washer runs, laundry, hand held hose watering, and irrigation systems. It was designed for residents of the City of Austin, but it can be used all around the state. Customers can input how many minutes a day they use running water to wash hands, how many times per week they run the dishwasher, and how often they flush the toilet, water the lawn, or fill the pool. It provides results for daily, weekly, and monthly gallons of water per person.

Let your customer perform their own Irrigation system audit, or at least read about how it’s done (and you can do it for them). There are also tree watering guidelines, caring for plants, and general household water conservation tips. These are one-page print-friendly guidelines that you can print and redistribute to your customers, courtesy of TNLA. They were issued last year, but are still relevant today.

Do you have a do-it-yourself customer? You can share these guidelines on How to Test Your Soil, Soil Compaction, and Three Steps to Sustainable Landscape Design. Your customer will probably have more questions for you after reading these, but they are designed for you to print and redistribute and are a good starting point to hand out and educate.

And, if you happen to have a lot of time on your hands, make sure to check out the State of Texas Water Development Board State Water Plan for 2012. The document is hefty (warming: don’t read it in bed at the end of the night), but full of essential information about the supply and demand of water around the state, and is full of recommendations to resolve the lack of supply and increases in demand.

What does the drought look like in your area? What are your ideas for helping business and customers survive the drought?