The Texas panhandle school districts find ways to conserve water with the ongoing drought

The Texas panhandle school districts find ways to conserve water with the ongoing drought

Amarillo, TX - Area school districts are coming up with new ways to keep their grounds looking green.

Area school districts are finding ways to negotiate drought conditions and rising water costs to keep their campuses and athletic fields looking green.
Rising water cost and dry drought conditions have forced school districts to find new ways of conserving water.

"Rising cost makes us have to think twice about how much water we put in what location and how often we're watering and why we are watering that area," says Weslee Green, Operation Supervisor Maintenance for AISD.

The drought has been lingering in the panhandle going on four years causing area school districts to look twice at their budgets. Amarillo ISD has found that their watering system, that tracks the weather and determines when water is needed, has been successful.  

"It encourages us to think on what we are using our resources for. It ask us to look for new products. I think everything goes in a cycle and hopefully everything will come back around soon and we'll have more rain but even when it does we need to consider what our water source is and continue to be wise about it," says Green.

In 2011 Canyon ISD drilled two wells at Canyon and Randall High Schools that has reduced 10% of the cost of city water, and recently added two more wells at Canyon Junior High and Reeves-Hinger Elementary School.
"We look at our campuses, we look at where we need to conserve water, we look at where we need to water and some places when we dont have a lot of rain for the season we look at those spaces and make priorities and those priorities have come across as close to campus buildings and the athletic fields," says April McDaniels, Coordinator of District Communications.

Both school districts have found using artificial turf for their athletic fields alone has saved several million gallons of water.

Artificial turf for sports can last up to 10 years.

When it comes to maintaining grass and other plants school districts are looking more into investing in artificial grass for their campuses as well as plants that are more drought tolerant.