From the Ground Up - Texas Water Shortage

Water has been one of the top priorities of the 2013 Texas Legislative Session but last week House Natural Resource Chairman Allan Ritter’s House Bill 11 that ear-marked two billion dollars in the rainy day fund to be spent on water projects was removed from the House Floor after it was ruled that it violated a rule on the consideration of appropriation bills.

“There’s a lack of understanding and there’s a misconception that we waste a lot of water. They don’t realize that over the last thirty years the technology with drip irrigation and our pivots how effective and how efficient we’re using our water.”

District 12 Representative and Brazos Valley rancher Kyle Kacal says part of his job in Austin is educating fellow members of the legislature that are far removed from agriculture. He believes there’s a good chance of a reservoir being built for the first time in many years.

“The city of Marlin has acquired a large chunk of land just east of town and we have a few issues upstream of that creek but with the way the water plan was passed and what we did yesterday on Ritter’s bill I think we have a good opportunity to build one of the first reservoirs in a long time, what has it been forty or fifty years.”

District 14 Representative John Raney is hopeful that we look at other sources of water.

“Ground water doesn’t evaporate, so we get a little bit bigger bang for our buck if we have water underground. Maybe we’ll do some underground storage of water. That might be something that will happen. Down in san Antonio they’re taking some of that brackish water and filtering it and using it.”

Raney believes most of the money allocated to the water problem will be spent on infrastructure.

“The biggest thing I think the water plan or the water bank is going to do is allow some of these municipalities that have old water supply systems and they’re losing twenty five per cent of their water to leaks, maybe they’ll be able to repair those systems and save that water.”

Kacal agrees.

“We’ve been working with the City of Kosse for the last six months. Their pipes were put in in 1938 and their water loss has been north of twenty five per cent for the last ten years and we finally got some of that shut down.”

The water debate will continue. I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Central Texas agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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