Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Water Wars

This is a subject that receives little media attention, but it is a real problem looming on the horizon. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department lists this as one of the biggest issues they have to contend with.

For some reason, most folks don't remember the drought of the late 80s and early to mid 90s. Things got pretty critical back then, and drastic measures had to be taken. Things were so bad that hay had to be trucked in from Kansas and other states to feed livestock. Round bales that normally go for 35 bucks were selling for $200 or more. Lake Corpus Christi was down to 30%. The situation was pretty bleak.

Fortunately, Hurricane Gilbert came along in 1989 and filled the lakes back up while giving south and central Texas a desperately needed soaking. But the help was short lived as continued drought conditions took their toll. Lakes again dropped to dangerously low levels, and water conservation was the battle cry.

We've been in a pretty wet cycle for quite a few years now, and many folks seem to have forgotten the drought years. Folks water their manicured lawns with reckless abandon. Water is wasted everywhere you look. But as populations continue to steadily grow, more and more pressure is placed on our water resources, with no end in sight. Industry in particular is consuming water at an ever increasing rate. The power plant I used to work at consumes about one million gallons per day, sometimes more. As more and more industrial users come on line, the situation only gets worse. Couple that with unchecked illegal immigration, and folks relocating to Texas in huge numbers, and we've got major problems on our hands.

West Texas has already experienced major problems along the Rio Grande . Today, there is more water used from the river than actually flows down the river. For many years, it's flow has been reduced to nothing before it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. We all know what a negative balance achieves.....

Besides rivers, the Edwards Aquifer is the major water supply for a large portion of the state. The San Antonio metropolitan area, and surrounding cities are the major consumers of this resource. They are bleeding the aquifer dry. Natural springs in the hill country that are fed by the aquifer are flowing at ever decreasing rates due to the consumption of the big cities and industry. This doesn't look good for the continuation of "life as we know it". Water is becoming scarce in Texas, and it will only take a few years of drought like we had 15 years ago to send everyone into a panic.

We as preppers can help mitigate this impending disaster by doing everything we can to reduce our water consumption, and by utilizing all available water to our best advantage. Things like rain water collecting, grey water recycling, and responsible use of water will go a long way towards preserving this precious resource. Try to pass on responsible use of water to your friends and family. And always remember that leading by example is the best teaching method there is. Water is precious, don't waste it!


riverwalker said...

Great post Mayberry!


Pickdog said...

Agreed - great post. We can try to harvest rainwater. The systems are not too expensive. If I recall correctly a 1200 sq ft roof collects well over 1000 gals with 1inch of rain.

Riverwalker said...

Belwether Said...

Well said! Further North the problem exists as well. Three members of my church have had their wells go dry during the last year. One had his pump pulled and extended another 100'. Another relented and hooked up with the local MUD at a cost in excess of $3,000 plus the cost of running the line from the meter on the County RD along his long drive to his home. The Third is still having water hauled in one thousand gallons at a time at an excessive fee while he tries to set aside enough funds to extend the depth of his well.

Belwether Bill