AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — World Water Day has been observed around the globe since 1993. It’s a day when water municipalities in states coping with drought, like Texas, can focus on strategies to protect a precious resource “groundwater.”
In the Texas Panhandle, growth in three important sectors is putting an increased demand on our region's water supply.
“A significant water supply is available for the foreseeable future,” said Ben Weinheimer, President/CEO of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.
The state of Texas is experiencing sizeable growth both in population and industry it raises two key questions how much longer can the Ogallala Aquifer be able to continue to provide water and at what point will the Texas Panhandle have to look at making a potential change as to where it draws its water from?
“There’s not a specific period in time that’s forecast in terms of when the Ogallala may no longer produce a viable yield of water,” said Weinheimer. “It’s way beyond any horizon of time.”
Texas is losing a quarter of a million acres of open land to development every year as more people move to Texas along with new industries and manufacturing.
The state’s agriculture industry is working to provide food and fiber by keeping up with more demand and requires more water.
According to the National Wildlife Foundation, the growth is severely impacting the state’s lakes, streams, and rivers.
“As our population is growing and expected to double by 2050, we’ve got to keep pace with that growth into making those investments back into our state specifically into our natural resources,” said Amanda Fuller, National Wildlife Foundation.
“Growth is good for the region it's good for the economy and it's good for us as we're working to evaluate future water supplies,” said Weinheimer.
The growth in population will increase the demand for our water supplies in the state’s larger cities and in rural parts of the state where the new industry is moving in highlighting the importance of conservation.
Early projections are the state of Texas eclipsing 47 million by the year 2050.