I woke up walkin' talkin' and breathin' this morning. That's better than winning the lottery.
By: mbailey , 8:36 AM GMT on March 28, 2014
We're almost smooth out of water here in west Texas. San Angelo, where I live, has a 14 month supply left unless we get significant rains. A picture of O.C. Fisher Lake which is very near my house, is posted below. Don't laugh, swimming there is indeed treacherous.
Over the years, large ranches have been subdivided and farms abandoned. Property owners, not desirous or motivated to use the lands for livestock or crop production, have allowed invasive mesquite, juniper and salt cedar to take over. Leasing land for deer hunting is an easy buck (no pun intended)and this change in land management is taking it's toll on the water situation here. Let the brush grow, scratch up some water tanks and count the money.
Many who do still farm irrigate profusely to grow lucrative crops that are not really suited for the area. Large pecan orchards are watered and kept as heirloom trophies and never harvested.
City dwellers continue to maintain yards and landscapes thirsty for water. People languish in long showers and baths and run automatic dishwashers when doing them by hand would take about 5 minutes and very little water.
The current energy boom, by which I am gainfully employed, is consuming massive amounts of fresh water from the regional aquifers for hydraulic fracturing, and forever converting it into unusable waste.
Population growth is exponential and nobody wants to do without all the amenities. Households have pools now because people can afford them. Decorative fountains and water parks are constructed by municipalities as "needed improvements". I could go on and on.
In short, our lifestyles are consuming water resources faster than they can be replenished.
Creeks and rivers no longer run. Reservoirs stand starkly dry to drastically below conservation level all over west Texas. JB Thomas, Spence, Champion, Colorado City, OC Fisher, Twin Buttes, and OH Ivey to name a few. Our state government has high and mighty plans to build even more with money from the rainy day fund. For the life of me I can't understand why if we refuse to control the invasive brush.
We need very inconvenient and flooding rains in west Texas. Rains that would actually help would likely cause significant damage and harm. Some say that 2014 could be a year for El Nino to bring us relief. We've heard that before. It's been a long several years in this drought and I'm ready for it to break. Anybody have an educated idea when that might happen?
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.