Prominent names top list of water hogs

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on August 29, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 30 at 4:10 PM

DALLAS - More North Texas cities are joining the list for water restrictions during the on-going drought. They can save hundreds of thousands of gallons by just asking a handful of customers to cut back on their water use.

News 8 checked with local water departments and three big names top the list of the area's top water users.

Former Rangers and Stars owner Tom Hicks easily takes the top spot. The City of Dallas said his June bill was for more than 1.35 million gallons.

Fort Worth has two big residential customers.

Billionaire Sid Bass used the most water in June - more than 400,000 gallons for his estate. Potter's House pastor TD Jakes used slightly less for June, but the city says he is routinely the top user for year-round totals.

News 8 asked all three men why they used so much water, and they all gave similar responses.

Hicks said his 27-acres comprise the biggest property south of Interstate-635 in Dallas. A spokesperson also said Hicks uses all natural fertilizers and pesticides. Hicks reportedly drilled a private well on the property in 2007 to offset some of his public water use.

Bass and Jakes said their water use was in-line for the size of their properties. Jakes' spokesperson emphasized there are three families who live on the 16.85-acre spread.

News 8 compared their water rates to typical customers. 

According to the Fort Worth water department, the average customer uses 7,000 gallons per month for a third-of-an-acre property. That works out to about 20,000 gallons per acre.

At best, Bass's 20-acre property is close to the average. Jakes was closer to 24,000 gallons per acre. Hicks used 50,000 gallons per acre, plus what he used from a private well.

Not all water customers' names were made available. Water departments cited privacy laws and requests from those customers.

Fort Worth listed the top ten water customers for June, and number three on the list used 400,000 gallons. Bass and Jakes had their totals redacted, so News 8 used 400,000 as the minimum for its calculations.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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