Is Water Gearing Up to Become More Valuable than Oil?
Texas, the largest of the 48 contiguous states, certainly deals with its fair share of disaster and weather events. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to see flooding and drought in different parts of the state at the same time. Unfortunately, this is creating problems for Texans that might drive up water costs, making it more valuable than even oil.
Flooding & Drought
Back when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, it revealed some serious flaws in the state’s very infrastructure as it pertains to preventing flooding. While there is often too much water along the coasts due to these flaws, different flaws leave much of the inland part of the state in drought, and the northern part of Texas is currently in an exceptional drought. Many Texans – and especially growers there – want to see new legislation put into place to help distribute water throughout the state.
Suggestions for Solving the Water Crisis
Consumers and growers in Texas share many of the same views when it comes to the state’s water supply. They want to see flooding stopped along the coast, but they also want to see more water moved to the parts of the state further north and inland. As a result, propositions include everything from aquifer storage systems, recovery systems, and even desalination plants designed to increase the supply of water for the state as a whole.
Aside from this, Texans also believe that putting pressure on lawmakers to concentrate more of their efforts on water management is truly the only way to resolve future issues. They would like to see the state promote water conservation and come up with better plans for handling droughts. Growers, especially, would like to see landscaping measures put into place that would help conserve water, and they would also like low-impact land development rules in place. Finally, they believe that by limiting the development of flood plains, they can help reduce the impacts of coastal flooding.
Growing Population vs Declining Water Availability
It is also important to consider that in the very near future the state’s population is expected to reach some 50 million people statewide. In the time it takes to reach that milestone, though, the state’s own water plan claims that the water supply will decline by 11%. In fact, the Ogallala aquifer is already in trouble; growers are using water faster than it can refill, which is going to cause serious growing problems for the panhandle in the future. This is bound to put even more stress on consumers and growers who are already struggling, and many people are putting pressure on lawmakers to put some changes into place.
It stands to reason that if Texas lawmakers don’t implement better plans, there will come a day in the near future when water is a more valuable commodity than oil – even in the state of Texas. Hopefully, during the next session, lawmakers will take the need for more appropriate water management seriously and implement some much-needed changes to protect the people both now and in the future.