Texas has water problems. Like many other places in the country, agriculture in the state was damaged by severe droughts. Within six months, 18 public water systems could be out of water. By 2060, the state could be short of its water needs by 8.3 million acre-feet (more than 2.7 trillion gallons).
To address this issue, the Texas Legislature is considering using $2 billion from the state rainy day fund to pay for several water resources project that are part of its 50-year plan. Twenty percent of the funds would be set aside for water conservation and reuse projects.
Texas’ concern about water resources has extended into an interstate conflict. The state has asked the Supreme Court to hear its claim that New Mexico is not meeting its obligations under the Rio Grande Compact.
The Rio Grande Compact is an agreement that allocates water from its eponymous river to Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Texas claims that wells drilled in New Mexico since the signing of the compact are depleting flow in the river. New Mexico officials claim that it is not violating the compact because it is delivering the required amount of water; so long as that happens, it believes state water laws should prevail.
Related posts and articles
As Texas Bakes in a Long Drought, Water Becomes a Focus for Legislators (Fernandez, M., New York Times, Jan. 12, 2013)
Drought Fuels Water War Between Texas and New Mexico (Postel, S., Resilience.org [National Geographic Newswatch], Jan. 21, 2013)