When we ask customers how they conserve water, the most common responses are “Turning off the water while I brush my teeth,” “Getting rid of grass in my yard,” and “Switching my shower head for a water-saving model.”
While these are all great habits to adopt, they are just a handful of practices that have helped SAWS and San Antonio a national leader when it comes to conservation.
We like to say that San Antonio’s commitment and investment in conservation has given the city its largest water supply. What does that mean exactly? Well, water we save today helps us minimize the need for costly, long-term water projects in the future.
Over the past 35 years, SAWS has reduced its GPCD (gallons per capita per day) by nearly 50% (from 225 to 117) by cultivating a conservation ethic – all while the population has grown by 150%.
In fact, San Antonio's cheapest source of water is conservation — water we don't use. That's why our proven conservation programs have become a cornerstone of the community's long-term water management strategy.
Using today’s larger population – at 225 gallons per capita per day – San Antonio would require an additional 70 billion gallons of water per year. Thankfully, SAWS residential customers have enthusiastically embraced conservation both inside their homes and in how they water their yards.
Here are some conservation highlights:
- San Antonio has saved more than 1 trillion gallons of water over the past 35 years with SAWS conservation programs such as indoor and outdoor rebates, water-saving products installation and one-on-one irrigation consultations with our conservation experts.
- To encourage or complement water-saving efforts among customers, SAWS launched a gardening website called Garden Style San Antonio with inspiring designs, a database of drought-hardy plants and regional expert advice to transform yards into water-saving showpieces.
- During 2015, 2016 and 2017, homeowners replaced more than 2 million sq. ft. of traditional grass with drought-tolerant landscape plants – that’s equivalent to 35 football fields!
- By 2070, we expect conservation investments will result in 4 trillion gallons of cumulative water savings since 2017, and would replace the need for an additional water supply project providing more than 45 billion gallons per year.
Thanks to our customers, we’ve become a leader in conservation, and with your continued support, we can keep SAWS rates among the lowest in the nation while saving tomorrow's water today.