In one of the first classes in my first year in college I took a course in Texas Government to fulfill a civics requirement. The professor started the course with a single question: "What is the most important problem facing Texas in the future?" He asked all around the room and the answers varied all over the board; when everyone had their say he stated that in his opinion that problem was going to be water; specifically the lack of water. That was in 1976.
In my opinion the professor was spot-on. Texas may have a lot of issues, but over and above them all the question of adequate water for the future will determine how we live in Texas, and even if people can continue to live in certain parts of the state as water supplies dwindle. The dramatic growth of the north Texas metropolitan region, characterized by and large by individual one-story homes with grass yards and lots of pavement means that existing water supplies are stretched as "urban ranchers" do what is needed to keep their front pastures green while periodic heavy rains are flushed into overloaded drainage systems causing flooding rather than replenishing the usable water supply.
I looked around the forum archives and could not find a topic dealing specifically with this issue.
Now we have one.
We as residents and consumers depend on water for drinking, cleaning, sanitation, irrigation, and many other uses. Agriculture uses water to grow the food we depend on. Recreation like boating, fishing, water parks, and golf depend on adequate amounts of water. Industry uses massive amounts of water for a variety of process, locally the hydraulic fracturing process consumes millions of gallons per well operation; money and politics appear. The bulk of water available to us in the metroplex comes from shallow surface reservoirs that depend on adequate rainfall to maintain sufficient supplies for current projected use and for anticipated future needs. Much of the water in Tarrant County comes from the Tarrant Regional Water District, so now more politics and money come into the mix. Leaders have long recognized that there is a problem but the attempts to moderate the foreseen effects thus far seem too little and certainly behind the timeline the threat is traveling on. For a long time in Texas there was no official recognition that global warming, a significant driver of changing rainfall patterns, was in fact a reality. Even so, funds have been allocated to help residents replace inefficient and leaking water appliances like toilets, cities have redoubled efforts to fix or replace leaking mains, and when the beast raises its head water restrictions are imposed, although thus far only on a temporary basis. What more can be done?
Water problems come in two flavors: too little water and too much water. This topic can be used to discuss both sides of the water problem coin. Feel free to weigh in with stories or opinions relating to the finance, economics, engineering, spiritual, artistic, practical, scientific, drought, flood, lakes, wells, insurance, past, future, politics, legislation, hope, fear, and muckity-muck of the water situation in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the Metroplex, the Trinity River watershed, and all of North Texas.