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TRA talks water conservation at San Angelo meeting

Restaurant owners from across Texas are in San Angelo this week for the state restaurant association convention. It's the first time in the group's more than 75 year history that they've met in San Angelo.
No rain. No food. No restaurants.

To keep eateries afloat, the Texas restaurant association is encouraging food establishment owners to train employees to conserve water by using aerators, low-flow sprays and to stop putting glasses of water on tables -- unless the customer requests it.

"That glass of water uses about 3.5 gallons of water to make the ice, to fill it with water and then to go back out and wash the glass, you know, at the end of the meal," TRA's CEO Richie Jackson said. "You know, so water on request is something you'll begin to see as a standard of our service rather than just having that water standing there when you arrive."

With reservoirs in west Texas depleting, TRA president Bernay Sheffield of Zentner's Daughter says the time is now to begin conserving, especially here in San Angelo.

"People don't realize that restaurants -- how much we use and how important it is to us," Bernay Sheffield of Zentner's Daughter said. "So, one of the things we're beginning to talk to members here in town, we're all really trying to figure out what we need to do to conserve water."

Ideas were passed between members during a board of directors meeting on Tuesday. This was the first time TRA chapters from around the state held their meeting in San Angelo.

"We don't realize the importance of it until we have groups like this," Mayor Dwain Morrison said. "And, it's good to see that all of us are involved in this and are looking for solutions."

More than 40,000 restaurants make up the association, making it the largest state restaurant association in the country.

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