Mother Nature has dealt the entire state a cruel hand with its recent drought, and with its already-dry conditions, West Texas residents have been in and out of acute water conservation mode for years as they have seen their some of their reservoirs become puddles that are only 1 percent to 5 percent full.
The best way to offset the drought’s crippling effects and to prepare for growth is to work together develop several long-term cooperative water management strategies to address future water demands, part of which may include bringing more water to the region. No one city can bear the cost of bringing water in alone, and whether the source is groundwater or surface water, many questions and valid concerns will arise, ranging from environmental to the effect on the source and its inhabitants.
To share these burdens and minimize potential impacts to the environment, Abilene, Midland and San Angelo have joined hands as the West Texas Water Partnership (WTWP). This partnership acknowledges water resource development in the region can best be achieved by working together. It eliminates the adverse effects that competing for water would have.
Each city has funded the engineering, legal and organizational needs of an effort to evaluate and develop water management strategies, maximize existing water resources and acquire future groundwater or surface water supplies, if necessary.
The Partnership is in the early stages of research, committed to only seeking realistic water solutions through a transparent process leading to an outcome that is fair for all involved. The group will consider all input and options, and is not bound by any agenda or calendar.