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Water? Water is Cheap ….

We attended the 6th annual Lone Star Water Forum, Saturday, October 4, 2014 in Brenham, Texas. The next several blog posts will be reporting about the information we heard at this event. Several eye opening points were made by political speakers currently in office here in Texas. When the dots from the speaking points they were making are connected, they paint a precarious picture for inexpensive water resources for the future of Texas. 

We are going to start with a speaker that came later in the conference, but in our humble opinion was the best speaker of the day. He also has a good point of reference on our local water resources and issues since he was a former mayor of Houston. He talked candidly and openly about our water issues here in Texas and made several valid points for consideration. 

“Good stewardship of land leaves open spaces in this state and is important for private property ownership” – Bill White, former mayor of Houston. This is important for sustainability in general. Surface water needs to be preserved and there needs to be respect for historical utilization rights with the end goal being not to deplete this resource completely. A well known fact is that Houston development is growing towards, not away from the Brazos over the next few years. 

He discussed the fact that the Supreme Court of Texas has begged for better rules of capture for water. Water isn’t static — it moves from one place to another both across and underground. Currently, a property owner can drill a well and pump the well of his neighbor dry without any type of repercussion. This has implications for a certain pipeline that is in the works from Burleson to San Antonio. We will discuss this concern in a separate blog post devoted to this issue. 

He pointed out that our 19th century sewer system in a 21st century needs a revamp and that looking at what innovations other countries have in place would be a great start. His landscaping consists of all native plants and grasses only. “Everyone’s lawn doesn’t need to look like a golf course but nor do we need to look like Phoenix, Arizona.” There needs to be a happy medium between the two extremes. 

He made a point to say that Agriculture shouldn’t count solely on groundwater for the future. Industry should return the water the way they found it in his opinion. On taxes for water, he points out that we have a tax for water – your water bill every month. The message is we need to conserve, yet water is cheap which is confusing to say the least. 

He carefully lays out several pieces to the water conservation puzzle. Preserve open spaces from urbanization to allow native plants and wildlife to flourish. Use native plants and grasses in landscaping which conserves water. We need better rules on water capture and ownership. Industry needs to take care of the land they tread on and water rates need to reflect how precious that resource really is. It will be too late when the resource is gone to cry over dry lakes, aquifers and reservoirs. 

All we could think of while we were listening to the speakers at this forum, was how everyone needs some sort of backup water plan in place. What are you doing to preserve water for your family, your land and your needs? Every drop counts even when we are in abundance because it is not an unlimited resource. Look just up the road at Wichita Falls as an example of how limited water can truly become. This is a valid and very real concern for everyone in Texas, not just the Brazos Valley. 

As always, comments and/or questions are always relevant and welcome. 

RainDrop Harvesting Solutions, LLC