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City of Andrews working on a critical water plan for the future

The city plans to spend $10M in the next 10 years to help create a more sustainable water supply.

ANDREWS, Texas — Good 'ole H2O.

"You probably don't realize the importance of water as much as you do as when you live in a desert," Steve Eggleston, city manager said.

In these days of over 100-degree heat, that supply is our lifeline.

And out in the small city of Andrews, down the road, that lifeline could be in jeopardy.

"The Texas Water Development Board actually has shown that it's dropped five to ten feet in the last ten years. We did tests on our own wells and we've shown that they've dropped about two feet in the last ten years, which raises some concerns that the aquifer is dropping," Eggleston said.

The city manager describes the aquifer as a big storage cavern or river of water underground.

"Andrews county's at the very end of the aquifer. It flows from north to south and we're the very end and actually by the time it gets to Andrews county it's doing what they call fingering and it's just little streams that, it's almost a hit and miss whether you can hit water or not," Eggleston said.

That's why the city is taking action now.

"We're drilling two new wells into the aquifer on land that we own 10 miles north of here. We're also looking at building a new supply line that links the aquifer, the well field to our city and we're going to be spending over the next two years about seven million dollars on that," Eggleston said.

In the next 10 years they plan to have four more wells drilled and larger supply lines.

"One of them is a 20-inch line and one of them is a 14-inch line. The problem with the 14-inch line is it's very old and it doesn't carry the volume that we need, so we're actually replacing the 14-inch with a 20-inch right now," Eggleston said.

Their plans go beyond ten years. A more long term plan includes tapping into other aquifers or using methods that would secure their water supply for generations to come.

Currently, Andrews has 19 operating water wells. They're working on drilling another right now and in 6 weeks they'll start drilling the next one.

The cost? It won't effect your water rates.

Their city manager says their $10M budget for the next ten years will be sourced from their sales tax.

City residents voted to approve those funds could go to water projects two years ago.

Read the full Andrews hydrology study here.