Residential outdoor water use in one East Texas community

Tim R. Pannkuk, Lawrence A. Wolfskill


Municipalities continue to implement efforts to encourage water conservation among residents. Landscape irrigation has been central to many of those conservation efforts. Reference evapotranspiration data is a tool that can be used in determining the appropriate amount of water to apply to amenity landscapes. Monthly water-use data for 3 years was examined in 1 neighborhood in Huntsville, Texas. The irrigated area for 1,229 residents was calculated and used to determine the depth of monthly irrigation for each residence. Replacement of 100% of local reference evapotranspiration data, minus rainfall, was used as a determinant of how much water to apply to the landscape each month for 3 years. Potential over-irrigation for each month was then compiled. Data expressed that over-irrigation was occurring among 99.51% of residents, of which 12% of these residents over-irrigated by at least 100,000 gallons in at least 1 month during the 36 month study. In 2011, the entire neighborhood of study over-irrigated by 21.2 million gallons. Outdoor water use accounted for 64% of the total water use by households. Average indoor water usage was 4,302 gallons per month. Based on the data overall, greater conservation efforts in landscape irrigation are crucial for Texas residents if water demands are to be met in the 21st century.


evapotranspiration; outdoor water use; indoor water use; residential irrigation

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Copyright (c) 2015 Tim R Pannkuk, Lawrence A Wolfskill

Texas Water Journal

The Texas Water Journal is an online, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the timely consideration of Texas water resources management, research, and policy issues from a multidisciplinary perspective that integrates science, engineering, law, planning, and other disciplines. It also provides updates on key state legislation and policy changes by Texas administrative agencies. The journal is published by the Texas Water Journal, a nonprofit organization, in cooperation with the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife.

ISSN 2160-5319
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