Midland Officials: Water Sources Prepared for Next 50 Years

Midland Officials: Water Sources Prepared for Next 50 Years

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Midland mayor refers to it as "blue gold." Water is one of our most cherished resources in West Texas.

Tall City officials were briefed on Tuesday morning of the new water plan for the region.

Midland was number two in the state in highest water consumption per capita. That was back in 2010.

Now, Midland uses about half as much water. In fact, city leaders say the city is pretty much set for at least the next 50 years.

The 2016 Region F Plan adopted last Thursday summarizes Midland's supply and demand of water.

"Water is what keeps us here. If it wasn't for water, we wouldn't have a community," said Laura Wilson, the Director of Utilities for the City of Midland.

Without water, the city couldn't recruit businesses.

"We have to be very careful with this precious resource. The 'blue gold' as I call it," said Midland Mayor, Jerry Morales.

Midland currently uses water from two aquifers. The Pecos Aquifer in Winkler County and the Ogallala Aquifer in Midland and Martin Counties. The city also uses T-Bar.

With all the recent rains, the city is literally skimming the surface and that's a good thing.

"Right now, we're primarily using surface water from Lake Thomas because it's full. So that of course is a renewable resource," said Wilson.

Hiked water rates and drought restrictions helped with water conservation and seemed to be the most effective method in the 50% decrease of water consumption.

That, on top of four aquifer sources with the infrastructure in place, and a recently renovated water treatment plant, officials say we're in a solid place, despite what the state plan might say.

"When the state plan comes out, if it doesn't present that, we just want it to be very clear from this perspective that everything's in good position," said Morales.

In the West Texas Water Partnership, Midland joined forces with Abilene and San Angelo, who are in the same boat water wise. Should we need to tap into another resource, those are new and available options for the future.

"We are out here in the middle of nowhere. 300 miles from El Paso, 300 miles from Dallas, the metroplex. So we have to take care of ourselves and that's what we've done," said Morales.

The plan has to be approved by the Texas Water Development Board, which will happen next year. When it gets the green light, it will be Midland's water plan for the next five years.

By approving the plan, the city can also ask for funding to get water at a cheaper rate compared to what they could get on their own.