Embracing Water Efficiency

Washing hands in a stream | Save Tarrant Water

We drink it. Clean with it. Cook, bathe and play with it. In North Texas, we depend on a system of reservoirs for the water we need to do all those things. These reservoirs were constructed by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), the water supplier responsible for meeting the needs of almost two million people across an 11-county area that includes Tarrant County.

Keep in mind that the water supplies we depend on are not an endless resource. For one thing, drought conditions are a part of life here in North Texas. And the number of people living in our region is expected to double in the next 50 years. That means the demand for water will certainly rise. And meeting those new demands will be a challenge.

That’s why embracing water efficiency is so important. In fact, plans call for 28 percent of our future water supplies in North Texas to come from conservation and water reuse. That’s smart—because the alternatives are limited and expensive. If you and your family make a real effort to save water, it will help us all stretch our water resources—and our dollars—as far as possible. It’s a simple choice. Why not start today?


In the United States, a typical American uses an average of 101 gallons of water per day; the average European uses 53 gallons. (Source: EPA)

The average annual water use in a typical American household is 127,400 gallons, which is about 350 gallons per day. H2O ouch! (Source: EPA)

It takes about 2,500 gallons to put an inch of water on a 4,000 square-foot yard. Doing that every five to seven days from June through September adds another 40,000-60,000 gallons to your water bill, at a cost of about $35-$50 a month.

Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much electricity as a 60-watt light bulb does in 14 hours.

Of the 345 billion gallons Americans use daily less than 3 percent is used for drinking; 41 percent is devoted to agriculture; 39 percent is consumed by power plants. (Source: EPA)

Amazing Water Facts


Water Supplies

Girl in rain
Rainwater runoff | Save Tarrant Water

Our water supplies come from a series of reservoirs managed by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD). As one of the largest water suppliers in Texas, TRWD meets the daily needs of nearly two million residents across an 11-county service area.

The reservoirs we depend on are located in the Trinity River watershed. They include Lake Bridgeport and Eagle Mountain Lake on the West Fork of the Trinity River, and Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers reservoirs located approximately 75 and 90 miles (respectively) southeast of Fort Worth. The two larger reservoirs in East Texas supply about 75 percent of the water we consume in Tarrant County.

The West Fork lakes are operated as a gravity fed system. Water released from Lake Bridgeport flows downstream into Eagle Mountain. Releases from Eagle Mountain flow into Lake Worth, which was built in 1914 to meet the water supply needs of Fort Worth residents. In contrast, massive pipelines and a number of pump stations are needed to bring water from the East Texas reservoirs into Tarrant County.

The water district also uses two smaller reservoirs for terminal storage. Using Lake Benbrook and Lake Arlington for terminal storage improves the efficiency of TRWD water management operations. They offer a place for the water district to store water in the winter, when pumping costs are lower, until it is needed in the summer. Storing water in these two reservoirs helps take the pressure off TRWD’s pipeline system during periods of peak demands.

Lake Bridgeport

A scenic view of cliffs that line portions of Lake Bridgeport.

Eagle Mountain Lake

Located 10 minutes northwest of Fort Worth, Eagle Mountain Lake is a popular spot for a quick getaway.

Cedar Creek Reservoir

Cedar Creek Reservoir. Relaxation, recreation, or fishing. Take your pick.

Richland-Chambers Reservoir

Richland-Chambers Reservoir is the third largest lake to lie totally within the state borders.

Reservoir Year Impounded Location Surface Area (Acres) Conservation Storage (Acre-Feet)
Lake Bridgepor
Jack & Wise Counties
Eagle Mountain Lake
Tarrant County
Cedar Creek Reservoir
Freestone & Navarro Countie

Terminal Storage:

Reservoir Year Impounded Location Surface Area (Acres) Conservation Storage (Acre-Feet)
Lake Arlington
Tarrant County
Lake Benbrook
Tarrant County


Adding Up The Savings

Vegtable Garden

The water supplies we depend on are not endless resources. For one thing, drought conditions are a part of life here in North Texas. And our population is growing – fast. More water supplies will be needed to meet our future demands, but how we’re getting those supplies may surprise you.

Developing new water sources is expensive and time-consuming. Nobody wants to see higher water bills. That’s why the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) embraces water conservation as a supply strategy. Using our resources more efficiently today offers us the least expensive way of meeting the demands of a growing population, and ensuring a plentiful supply during drought conditions.

Extends the life of existing supplies. Using less of a finite supply allows TRWD to meet the demands of a growing population on existing supplies. 53 gallons. (Source: EPA)

Slows the drain on reservoirs, making more water available during times of drought.

Reduces peak demands in the summer. Why important? Water utilities plan their treatment plant expansions to meet peak day water use. Lower peak demands takes the pressure off – and gives utilities the ability to delay increasing treatment capacity. It means lower water bills for everyone.

Delays the need for developing expensive, new water supplies. Developing water supplies entails huge capital investments in land, right of way, pipelines, and pump stations. Postponing the need for new supplies allows TRWD and its customers to pay down debt.

Least expensive water supply strategy. Funding ongoing water conservation programs and strategies is much cheaper when compared to the cost of building a new reservoir.

Here are some of the benefits we get from conserving water on a daily basis:

Some statistics related to the changes in demands and the resulting savings observed by TRWD:

Estimated savings, 2007-2014: 149.5 billion gallons.

Estimated savings in 2014: 41 billion gallons – represents a decrease in average daily demands of more than 100 million gallons per day. The amount of water saved is enough to meet the needs of more than 500,000 new residents on existing supplies.

Decrease in average per capita demands 2004 vs. 2014: 10 gallons per person per day

Peak day use, 1998 vs. 2014: just over 500 million gallons per day in both years; almost no difference despite an increase in population of approximately 450,000 residents over that time.

Twice per week outdoor watering schedules have resulted in a decrease in annual demands of 8-10 percent.

Comparison of projected annual water use in the absence of conservation programs with actual demands.

Chart showing peak day use, 1998-2014. Using water more efficiently lowers peak demands; reduces the need to expand treatment facilities to meet the highest seasonal demands.

Average summer demands in million gallons per day during drought years. Shows impact of twice per week restrictions on daily water use.