Cinco Ranch began its conservation program in 2010 when it hired Masuen Consulting, a water conservation company, to analyze how the Cinco Ranch Master Planned Community uses water for landscaping purposes. Its recommendations on how to conserve water and the associated costs were documented in its final report in January 20, 2011.
The report recommended sixteen steps that could be taken that would reduce water use for irrigation and landscaping without a negative impact on the landscaping. These recommendations included but were not limited to:
These were just some of the recommendations that focused on irrigation and landscape water use. After completing the study Masuen implemented their recommendations though a two year “common area” study. They took data from that study and extrapolated the savings over all common areas based upon historical water use.
The estimated ANNUAL WATER SAVINGS for common area irrigation through Cinco Ranch was calculated, according to Mitch Walker, President of Masuen consulting at “202 million gallons.” Mr. Walker noted “if you assume that the average household uses about 12,000 gallons a month for 12 months which is about 144,000 gallons a year the annual water savings for “common areas” used by all residents equals the amount of water use for 1,402 single family homes.”
This does not include the water saved by residences which follow the water conservation guidelines, just the common areas. This is water that does not have to be pumped out of the ground or taken from our diminishing supply of surface water and transported through costly pipelines.
Besides using our limited water resources more wisely, conservation is the least expensive way to use water. According to the Texas Water Development Board the average capital cost per acre feet through conservation is only $3 compared to $5,705 for surface water. Conservation is also good for those paying for water. Mr. Walker noted that, “using those water savings numbers and current and projected/known water rates for 2014 to 2018, we calculated a 2014 water savings cost of $495,000 and a 2018 savings of $697,000.”