Right now they say we're in a period of "exceptional" drought, and I believe it. I've only received a little over five inches this year, and we should have received around 20 inches. I was looking at our water bill, and we've used twice as much water in May 2011 as we did in May 2010. The average household uses around 9,000 gallons of water each month. If we get normal rainfall, our household only uses around 7,000 gallons per month, but due to the extreme heat and exceptional drought we used 14,000 last month to keep all 50+ fruiting trees and bushes alive and growing. I'm afraid that if we don't get some rain soon, we'll see the implementation of water use restrictions.
This is just my personal opinion, but I don't think watering fruit trees or a vegetable garden should fall under the same water rationing as "lawn care". In my humble opinion, watering grass is a huge waste of water and resources. Without irrigation and care, St. Augustine wouldn't grow in Houston. Many fruit trees wouldn't grow either, but consider this: Grass gives you no food, no shade, and you have to push a lawn mower to keep it trimmed. You work for the grass, and the grass does nothing for you in return but "look nice".
Trees on the other hand, reward your efforts with delicious fruit, shade, habitat for birds and other wildlife, they sequester carbon dioxide, and they even shade out the grass so you don't have to mow as much! Plus, I think a flowering tree, or tree full of fFruit trees good, grass bad. If any board members of my Municipal Utility District are reading this, please keep this in mind. If water restrictions must be implemented, please limit the use for watering lawns first, and include an exemption for irrigating vegetable gardens and fruit trees.