Possibility of new drought raises concerns over water preservation in West Texas

Possibility of new drought raises concerns over water preservation in West Texas
City of Midland. (Source: KWES.)

WEST TEXAS (KWES) - Seven West Texas Mayors got together Wednesday to talk about key issues in the region.

Some of the key issues range from transportation, infrastructure planning and drought prevention.

Water preservation was a hot topic and one that all the mayors seem concerned about.

Water, it's a precious resource. It's no surprise that every mayor in the West Texas region is concerned about the possibility of a drought. There already is one in the Panhandle.

Right now, Midland has secured access to new resources, but one speaker at today's event thinks there's something more to consider.

A drought is not new to the area. Planning from Midland City Officials in the 1970s invested in the T-Bar Ranch Pipeline. The pipeline helped keep Midland afloat nearly 3 years ago.

"Back in the 1970s, they actually invested in the T-bar Ranch. They secured that water supply for the future and when this drought hit, Midland was one of the few communities that was well positioned to develop a resource that they already had," said Scott Hobbs, President, Protection/Hobbs & Todd.

The plan now is to decide what is the area's next investment for supplying water.

Lyle Larson, Texas House of Representatives District 122 said we need to preserve the water underground.

"If you have lakes that have an abundance of water in them, instead of letting the water sit in those lakes and dry up through evaporation, start looking at taking that water and storing it underground," said Larson.

It's a concept that all mayors in the West Texas region are giving careful consideration as they head into the future.

"Two percent of the state right now is under drought, a severe drought in the Panhandle. It's abnormally dry in Midland-Odessa, and throughout this region and very well could start experiencing a severe drought like we experienced in 2011 in the next 30 to 45 days," said Larson.

Planning for the future and remembering the past is part of the plan to keep Midland and the region drought free.

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