Weatherford Democrat

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June 16, 2013

NOW HEAR THIS: Is that a rainstorm on the horizon or a West Texas sandstorm?

(Continued)

As a result of a prolonged drought condition over much of Texas for the past decade, along with a recent announcement from the U.S. Geological Survey in regard to declining aquifers, the Texas Legislature came up with what I consider knee-jerk lip service to Texas’ water problems. They passed a bill allowing voters to decide in November whether to create a state water development bank. Funded by taking $2 billion from the state rainy day fund, one of its primary purposes would be to build new reservoirs. Will we fill them with virtual water? I feel this is merely political posturing, fiscal sleight of hand, and misplaced priority.

For over a half a century we have grossly abused our aquifers, specifically the Ogallala in West Texas. We have reduced the flow of our rivers to a trickle due to overuse, and yet, despite decades of planning and oversight by the TWDB, we still have water shortages as bad as the 1950s because of waste and over population.

To overcome Texas’ water woes, we’re going to have to try something a bit more innovative than dam building. Political posturing won’t keep the West Texas sandstorms at bay.

Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to nowhearthis@pwhome.com.

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