SANANTONIO --It s a rare event to see Jay Collins watering his yard. Thereisplenty of color and plenty of native plants. It s a xeriscape, and it saves him plenty on his water bill.

This house had a sprinkler system when I moved in, and it s no longer here. Virtually everything I do is hand watering.

San Antonio Water Systems officials say water is a hot commodity, and the recent drought has all of Texas rethinking how we consume it. SAWS officials plan two public hearing about its water plan in the next half century.

And it looks expensive.

What we re planning for is the worst-case scenario drought. Everyone remembers 2011, the driest, hottest summer on record? Imagine going through that 7 years in a row. That s what we re planning for. That was the drought of record in the 1950 s. We re also planning for 20,000 new people each year, going out into the future, said Greg Flores, SAWS spokesperson.

SAWS execs say water rates could increase 5-7 percent each year, or about three extra dollars a month for the average water user.

The public utility wants the increase to secure new water sources for all that growth and to fix infrastructure.

But xeriscape yards like the Collins could make a big dent in water consumption, keeping SAWS customers from being overwhelmed with cost increases.

Most of my water use is inside (the home). You really don t see a big difference in my water bills between times of drought and the rest of the year, said Collins.

Collins yard is featured in an upcoming Watersaver Landscape Tour, October 6.

For more information on the homes you can visit, click here.

Meantime, SAWS will hold two public meetings Wednesday and Thursday, September 26-27.

For more information, click here.
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