Friday, October 17, 2014

Texas water wars

San Antonio is big, maybe too big for a city perched on the edge of the desert. With or without an NFL team, its water needs are outstripping capacity.

In addition to the $2 billion taxpayers approved last year to spend ostensibly to develop Texas’ water infrastructure, San Antonio wants to spend $3.4 billion to pipe in water from 130 miles away.

“They want to farm our aquifer, and use it to build over your more sensitive recharge zone over the Edwards Aquifer,” [Linda Curtis] said.

The recharge zone is the best place for groundwater to seep into the acquifer, which historically has provided San Antonio’s freshwater supply. Just north of the city, the recharge zone is where most of the city’s growth is happening.

Piping in water from Burleson County to slake burgeoning San Antonio’s thirst is a very California idea (i.e., destructive). For a hundred years, once fertile parts of California have been bled dry to fuel the growing Southern California megalopolis. Water diversions start out to satisfy current need, but they end up incentivizing growth that then requires more water. Now, as Californians relocate to Texas, we are repeating their mistake.

The higher you build a fire, the more wood it needs to keep from burning out. Self-rationing is the correct response to a tightening of natural resources. San Antonio should try out conservation instead of attracting others here at fellow Texans’ expense.

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