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      Water conservation a hot topic in the Panhandle

      As we enter the Spring and Summer months, water conservation is already a top priority for the City of Amarillo.

      In fact, the City held a round-table discussion with the top ten water consumers that are businesses and how they're helping conserve.

      "The industry, in my opinion, has been doing an excellent job. I think everyone felt the effects of what occurred last summer and I think it's raised everyone's awareness even the industrial community and I've been impressed with what they have done to save that precious resource," said Dan Reese, Public Works Director with City of Canyon.

      Those businesses including, Tyson, Baptist St. Anthony's, Northwest Texas Healthcare System, The VA, ASARCO, The City of Canyon, Xcel Energy, Owens Corning, Plains Dairy, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Clements Unit.

      All sharing throughout the morning and afternoon, ways to conserve and learning from one another.

      Some of those ways, changing water valves in machinery and hand washing stations.

      "They're finding and using technological approaches such as for cooling towers, replacing cooling towers, in some cases with air cool systems that don't use water. They're always trying to find ways to increase that profit margin a little bit by cutting back on any kind of waste including water," said Emmett Autrey, Director of Utilities, City of Amarillo.

      Currently, the City of Amarillo water usage is 14% below what it was last year.

      With the Summer months ahead, they're hoping to keep that number low by everyone doing their part in conserving.

      "At the rates that are occurring it will someday get the point where water's not recoverable from the Ogallala Aquifer. We want to delay as far as we can into the future. As it sets right now, it's good for another 200 years, but we'd like to think 250 years in the future," said Autrey.

      With everyone doing their part, that water will be around for generations to come.

      The good news is the warmer and drier weather we are experiencing, called La Nina, is predicted to end by the end of April. Meaning, Spring may turn out to be an average one.