Water

Remember the drought?

Difficult decisions lie ahead as urban areas demand more water, rural areas experience loss of spring flow, and our region faces increased challenges brought by population growth and drought. Are Central Texas’ water planning processes on track to balance the needs of its rural and urban users and protect the natural water resources that sustain our ecologic and economic health?

Just over a year ago, voters approved a special ballot item aimed at funding the next 50 years of water projects through the state. This week, the Texas Water Development Board announced it has begun accepting applications for grants.

Last year, voters, recognizing the region’s long-term water issues, approved signature legislation. They agreed to redirect part of the excess revenue from the oil and gas industry going into Texas’ Rainy Day Fund, up to $2 billiion, for use as seed money for various city, county and nonprofit public utility water projects.

SAWS

Standing in front of the San Antonio City Council, barely able to reach the microphone atop the broad wood podium, Verna Dement carried a stack of papers.

The Lee County woman had come to the Alamo City to ask the council to hold up on voting for the Vista Ridge Pipeline Project, a $3.4 billion, 142-mile pipeline, which would draw water from Dement’s neighboring Burleson County, to provide San Antonio and potentially, other cities along the I-35, water for decades to come.

Imagine Manhattan under almost 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it.

That's the amount of water that researchers estimate is lost each year in this country because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters.

Fixing that infrastructure won't be cheap, which is something every water consumer is likely to discover.

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