West Texas Leaders Talk Water, Trash and Texting

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It was a full house at the Odessa Country Club on Friday night.

Leaders from 25 different West Texas counties came together to talk about something they all have in common: The issues they face in their communities.

Counties from near and far came together Friday night for the quarterly meeting of the Texas Municipal League.

All of their leaders keeping their community in mind.

The main topics of the night were texting while driving.

"There's nothing inherently wrong with it other than it's dangerous," U.S. Representative, Mike Conaway, said.

Along with trash in the city.

"Plastic bags, if you dispose of them properly, there's nothing wrong with it but people don't do that," he said.

Representative Conaway said these are problems every county deals with.

"These issues kind of roll in waves," Conaway said. "This gives them the idea to bounce ideas off of each other and come up with possible solutions."

But perhaps the biggest issue even Rep. Conaway has heard about all the way in Washington is the West Texas water supply.

"It's now at the front of everybody's mind and as far as I'm concerned, we want to keep it as a local issue," Rep. Conaway said.

The city of Marfa gets their water from an underground source but Mayor Dan Dunlap said last year they had everything working against them.

"We had the drought," Dunlap said. "We had a lot of grassfires so the fire department drew a lot of water."

Dunlap is hoping Marfa set an example for others at the meeting.

"We have an ongoing conservation program that we continue to pursue," Dunlap said. "It's just an ongoing effort to be accountable for the water that you produce."

But overall, Dunlap said it's a chance for everyone to work together.

"It's great because we have such a mix of small towns and Midland/Odessa participating tonight, we're gonna be able to have them share with us some of the issues that they have," Dunlap said.

"I believe folks in West Texas and Austin have a much better chance of solving these issues the right way than anybody in Washington D.C. ever thought of," Rep. Conaway said.