Home > Uncategorized > Texas: Ready for change, or just confessing

Texas: Ready for change, or just confessing

In the last TAMUTimes email that was sent out, a small article was published concerning Texan’s concerns about water.  A survey conducted by the Bush School of Government and Public Service showed that Texans were finally starting to worry about future water supplies for the state.  Maybe this is caused by the severe droughts that have made headline news for the last two consecutive years, or the still recovering water levels in reservoirs near Houston, or the lack of success with recently proposed water infrastructure expansion projects, or maybe it is caused by all the press concerning fracking.  While it was most likely a summation of recent events an, it is about time water concerns rank in the top concerns of the public, even if it is only at 5th place. 

Now that the public has finally recognized that we have a problem, the difficult parts of recovery come into play:  government recognition of concern.  The article points out that the Texas Legislature is now considering several policy options. But when the State economic health relies so heavily on the oil industry, how far will this legislation go?  Texas is already one of the few states that require companies to publish the chemical present in their fracking fluid, but this does not prohibit the type of water used.  The oil company has a history of using their economic pull to adjust the policy in their favor, will that change now that the public is starting to pay closer attention to their water needs?

While this survey states that Texans are concerned about water use and management, nothing was mentioned about the still lack of water access present in the state.  Many of the Colonials have already experienced delays with water access.  Now that the highly vocal and represented residents are seeking changes to the system, I fear that the water access will slip further down the to-do list.

Finally, there is the question if residents are truly willing to do all that is necessary to conserve water.  To ensure that water is accessible for many more years to come, residents will have to put aside some of the accepted cultural practices, like having a green lawn, or a swimming pool in every back yard.  These changes are more than just habit; they are a change to the culturally accepted norm.   I am glad that they Texans recognize that there is a problem, but are they truly willing to go into rehab?

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