Facing extended drought, Texas policy makers focus on water planning

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 | 0 comments

Lake E.V. Spence in Robert Lee, Texas in the fall of 2011. AP photo.

An article in today’s New York Times paints a surprising picture of bipartisan support for planning in Texas–a state known for neither planning nor bipartisanship. With a two-year drought continuing and being called the third-worst in the state’s history (the worst was in the 1950s), there is interest in tapping the $2 billion rainy day fund to address infrastructure improvements to grapple with water shortages. Currently, according to the article, “As Texas Bakes in a Long Drought, Water Becomes a Focus for Legislators,” there are eighteen public water system in Texas that are projected to run out of water within 180 days if the drought doesn’t abate. In the long term, the Texas Water Development Board projects that by 2060, the state will have a water deficit of 8.3 million acre-feet—a huge amount, since one million gallons equals just over 3 acre-feet.

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