In April 2020, the city of Dallas will roll out its Comprehensive Environment and Climate Action Plan. The plan will establish Dallas’s goals toward reducing emissions and conserving water in the face of climate change. Dallas believes the water conservation programs it has implemented are proving successful. Since 2001, with the adoption of restrictions on landscape and lawn irrigation, the average water use per person has been reduced by 30 percent and has enabled the city to offset a 10 percent increase in population. Additionally, the city initiated other programs that encourage the general population to be conservation minded, such as free evaluations of irrigation systems and the “New Throne for your Home,” which replaces old toilets with ones that are more efficient. These programs save close to 50 million gallons per year.
The plan’s next stage will target businesses for increased water efficiency through incentives. The first projects proposed could result in water savings of between 7.5 million and 12 million gallons each year. An additional eight rebate programs are pending approval which could result in a total savings of 136 million gallons a year.
In addition to conservation efforts, the city is also considering ways to prepare for potential threats from flood and drought. According to Susan Alvarez, assistant director for the city’s Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, the city is “evaluating policies affecting drainage and erosion and monitoring conditions related to drought.”
Dallas’s climate action plan includes measures for the community, both citizens and businesses, to take an active role in conservation efforts. Only time will tell if those efforts are effective long-term, but Dallas’s proactive and large-scale efforts could be a blueprint for other communities facing the same challenges.
 Shinneman, Shawn. “How Dallas Is Approaching Water Conservation as the Climate Changes.” D Magazine, D Magazine, 6 Jan. 2020, www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2020/01/how-dallas-is-approaching-water-conservation-as-the-climate-changes/.
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