Fort Worth Water Department welcomes new director, emphasizes efficient use

By Kyla Wilcher

The Fort Worth Water Department has encouraged local water conservation for years, and recent numbers have shown that the community is taking note.
The city is projecting water use for the near future at levels 34 percent less than those in 1998.
To continue this trend, the city plans to implement different techniques.
“We have to shift the language from conservation to efficiency…people do get tone-deaf from talk of conservation,” said Water Director John Carman.
The impacts of this conservation were discussed at the Fort Worth Water Department Citizen Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday.
The committee meets twice a year to discuss plans for water and wastewater improvement. The six committee members represent various entities outside of the water department, such as the development and the real estate sectors.
This is the first meeting since John Carman was selected as water director for the city. He is replacing Frank Crumb, who worked in the water department for 30 years.
The water department works hand-in-hand with this group of outside influences.
“It’s important for us to have this group of stakeholders to help in this process,” Carman said.
The committee deals with the finances used for various construction projects and ensures that the burden of funding these projects relies on the earnings from past projects, not on taxpayers.
“We work on the basis that developments pay for developments,” said Nick Dons, engineer for the water department.
The meeting also covered the status of ongoing water-related construction projects and plans for the future. Construction is about to begin on a peak flow storage basin in Village Creek. This storage basin is a man-made area that can be filled with wastewater in times of heavy water use, and can store up to 40 million gallons of wastewater.
Assistant Water Director Andrew Cronberg said that the design for the basin is complete, and the construction is ready to begin within the next two months. The committee has been discussing plans for the basin since it was first proposed in early 2013.
The next meeting is set for the first week in April 2016.