Close the hose; Amarillo kicks off Every Drop Counts campaign

The raindrops that fell from the sky on Wednesday were no doubt good for the Panhandle, but we all know it's still not enough. After the recent record-breaking drought, the City of Amarillo is again starting up its Every Drop Counts water conservation campaign.

Last year, instead of using the average 16 billion gallons of water, Amarillo used about 18.6 billion. That increase, officials say is a byproduct of that drought and the increase in outdoor watering.

"You could attribute most of the 2.6 additional billion gallons to outdoor watering," said Tim Loan, Assistant Director of Utilities for the City. "We never got to rest any wells or any other pumping equipment or anything like that and that's hard on equipment."

It's hard on the equipment and it's hard on our water supply, as we pump more and more of that limited resource out of the ground without doing much to conserve it.

"If we keep pumping it, eventually we're going to run out," said Nicholas Kenny, Extension Agricultural Engineer . "So conservation is everybodys responsibility."

That's why the City if asking you to join in on the campaign. The campaign promotes knowing when and how much to water your lawn. It recommends not watering between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. It's also important to not water when it's windy outside, when it's raining or even during the heat of the day.

Of course, Kenny added, there are ways to monitor your indoor water use as well.

"Shorter showers, turn the faucets off when you're brushing your teeth or shaving, run the dishwasher when it's full, wash clothes only with a full load," he added.

Yes, we're just now heading into spring and yes we did just get a nice little springtime shower but, both Kenny and Loan said, only further conservation efforts from citizens will really make a difference.

"We need this rain, just to keep up with normal," said Kenny. "But if we think, oh everything is cured. Well, we really haven't made any difference."

"We've got a long way to go," added Loan.

Remember, Every Drop Counts.

To find out more about the campaign, click here. If you've seen a water waster around town -- report them! You can do that by calling (806) 378-6826 or by contacting the City by email at