Photo by Charles Kruvand

Texas has received high marks for our state’s laws and policies on water conservation. That positive recognition is deserved even though there is more the Lone Star State could do to advance conservation. But the real question is what’s happening “on the ground?” Are water utilities meeting the State’s legal requirements on conservation? Are these “municipal” water suppliers making their best efforts to reduce per capita water use, and thus save water and money for Texans?


Those are the questions we at the Texas Living Waters Project have attempted to answer with this Texas Water Conservation Scorecard. We have reviewed over 300 water utilities in Texas to assess how much they are doing to save our most precious resource – water.


Development of the original scorecard


An Overview: Interim Updates and the next full Scorecard

The original version of the scorecard was released in 2016. In addition to the original scorecard, this website now features partial interim yearly updates*. While the partial interim Scorecard updates are helpful in determining how a utility is or isn’t meeting its goals, the most comprehensive source of a utility’s conservation effort is the Water Conservation Plan. The Plan is due every five years with the last Plan being submitted in 2014, a few questions from the original scorecard were based on information from the last Plan. The next round of Water Conservation Plans are due May 1st, 2019. Texas utilities should be planning now to meet the current and future needs of their residents. We recommend they do so by sending a strong conservation pricing signal through rates, as well as by implementing a no-more-than-twice-per-week outdoor watering schedule. The next full scorecard will be released in 2020 and will include data from the 2019 Plan along with yearly reports.


* Note: Scores and points displayed are based on reports submitted last year to the Texas Water Development Board. For example, 2018 scores used data from reports submitted in 2017. The 2017 scores used data from reports submitted in 2016, and so on.


Updated Data Findings

The full Texas Water Conservation Scorecard was released in 2016 and included 10 questions for large and medium utilities and six for small utilities. We have included partial interim updates in the Scorecard to demonstrate how utilities are keeping up with some of the water conservation measures featured in the original full Scorecard. The most recent data submitted last year has been included on this site as interim updates and features only four questions (see below) that utilities answer every year in the required reports, Water Loss Audit and Annual Report.


Questions Updated Annually


Updated Data Summaries


The 2017 Interim Update, includes updated questions about Annual Reports (AR), Water Loss Audits (WLA), % Water Loss and Best Management Practices (BMPs)


The 2016 Interim Update includes updated questions about Annual Report (AR), Water Loss Audit (WLA), % Water Loss and Best Management Practices (BMPs)


Updated Recommendations

With fewer utilities turning in required reports since the original full Scorecard was released in 2016, it is even more important for utilities to engage their customers in how they set their water conservation goals going forward. In fact, more and more data have been removed due to inconsistencies since the release of the Scorecard, meaning that utilities need to take a closer look at how their data are being reported.


Goal Setting


Utilizing your Water Conservation Coordinator


Customer Engagement


Internal Education


Scores/ Points Color Legend:

  • Yellow = Decrease of points
  • Blue = No change of points
  • Green = Increase of points


Answers will be designated as follows:

  • Y = Yes
  • N = No
  • B = Data Removed by the Texas Water Development Board