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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 11:15 AM
Original message
Texas water supply for the future is uncertain
Houston Chronicle 11/13/11
Texas water supply for the future is uncertain

DALLAS - Texas has a powerful thirst, one that won't be quenched any time soon given projections that the state's population will double to 46 million over the next half-century.

In the past, Texans - particularly those in the most populated areas - found water for all those extra showers, sprinklers and toilets by heading to where the water was and grabbing it. They did this with big reservoirs, deep wells and long pipelines. Whatever it took.

But the days of cheap and abundant water are coming to an end, and where the additional supply will come from is not clear.

The devastating drought of the 1950s, the marker for the worst-case dry spell in Texas history, prompted a massive investment in the state's water infrastructure designed to ensure there would be enough water to meet the demand in decades to come.

Sixty years later, with the state gripped once again by a record-setting drought, lawmakers are balking at the price tag of a plan designed to meet demand for the next 50 years - a staggering $53 billion for more reservoirs, desalination plants and pipelines, among other projects.


Everyone of us should be scared because the Lege and the voters of Texas are refusing to face the facts. :grr:
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. Interactive Map: Texas Cities at Risk of Running Out of Water
Texas Tribune 11/13/11

Interactive Map: Texas Cities at Risk of Running Out of Water

Eighteen communities across Texas, including the Austin suburbs of Leander and Cedar Park, are on the Texas Commission on Environmental Qualitys high priority water list, which covers cities and towns that either could run out of water within six months if nothing changes (like rainfall or a new pipeline connection) or do not know how much water they have remaining.

Use the map below to see where each community is located. Each location is color coded by how many days away the projected out-of-water date is from today's publication date if the situation does not change. Click on an icon to view more detailed information, or use the table below.


This is just the beginning. And while communities run the risk of running out of drinking water, the TCEQ continues to approve projects that are likely to cause pollution of groundwater. Nuts!

:kick:
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northoftheborder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Excellent resource for info about TX water problems.
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plumbob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. $53 billion is about what we spend in 6 months in Iraq.
But there's always money for war and hardly ever any for people.

If the Lege lets us run out of water, I believe beatings are in order.

Can't tell if I'm being sarcastic or not.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'll stand in line with you to generate some of those beatings
It's no surprise that there are many Lege members choosing to "retire" this next session. It's called "cutting and running". They know what's coming, and they do not want the responsibility of fixing the huge mess they made.

Here's another one that announced today he is not seeking re-election
Texas Tribune 11/15/11
Madden Bows Out

State Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano, won't seek an 11th term in the Texas House, he told the Tribune this afternoon.

"It's true I'm not running again. It's wonderful to go out on top," Madden said. "I am smiling and happy."

Madden, chairman of the House Committee on Corrections, has been central in legislative work on adult prisons, the Texas Youth Commission and other criminal justice issues. He's also on the Redistricting Committee and, over his 20 years in office, served on a long list of other important panels, including Calendars and Public Education.


:grr:
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TxVietVet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. So, the asshats that helped in building this disaster
want no part of fixing it? This doesn't look good at all.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Isn't that how it always works
Someone breaks it, but someone else has to fix it. I'm thinking of the economy nationally too. And it's so frustrating to hear people completely blame Obama for the mess we're in, forgetting that it was bushie that got us into two wars!

Pumping those war billions into our economy - fixing our infrastructure or creating green jobs would be something! But it would never happen because that's socialism you see. :mad:
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onestepforward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. An example of 'fracking' on our water supply
Edited on Wed Nov-16-11 12:59 AM by onestepforward
http://www.powermag.com/water/The-Water-Energy-Balancin...

-snip-

For example, in September, one natural gas drilling company grabbed the headlines in Dallas and Ft. Worth because it had been using millions of gallons of drinkable water while North Texans faced water restrictions due to the exceptional drought that has gripped Texas this year.

Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by WFFA, the Dallas ABC affiliate, revealed that Chesapeake Energy used and paid for more than 24 million gallons of water from Fort Worth city fire hydrants in July. That same month in Arlington, Texas, Chesapeake drew more than 37 million gallons of water.
-snip-


In addition, the water cannot be recycled back into the system because it is too contaminated. Fracking can require 4 million gallons of water per well.

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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Fracking is a total waste of water
The value they put on the "cheap gas" does not fully reflect the cost of the water they waste. As you said the water can not be recycled. It is essentially lost to any other use. :mad:
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TEXASYANKEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Somewhat avoidable.
What is so sad is that this situation was somewhat avoidable. A few years ago cities in north Texas were under water restrictions because we were in a drought and the lakes were low. Then as soon as the rains came, off went the water restrictions. Why didn't we just stay on restrictions, since everyone was used to them. Even something simple, like Stage 1 or Stage 2? But, no, nobody thought long term. Sad.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Another example would be our dependence on oil
Remember the first oil crisis in the 70s? If that wasn't a huge wake-up call for America, what was it? And what did we do in the subsequent 3 1/2 decades to address the issue as a nation? Not much right. Politically no one wants to tell voters that we have to cut some resource that is going to make their lives tougher or more expensive.
:shrug:

This kind of "I can't believe it will ever happen in the U.S. kind of attitude" is ridiculous. We are not immune to shortages, yet the mentality of the lawmakers and yes even the citizens of this country is that something will be done. Done by whom? Who is going to lead and make people understand that this is serious. We can not live without water - period.

But you hear some people thinking that this water issue/drought is like the global warming issue. That this isn't going to kill us right away and something will be done before then. :banghead:
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. Water in Texas - The thirsty road ahead
The Economist 11/12/11
Water in Texas - The thirsty road ahead

THIS year Texas had the hottest summer ever recorded in any state. In September wildfires swept through the town of Bastrop, outside Austin, destroying more than 1,000 homes. Thousands of cattle have been sold. The town of Big Spring, up the road from the oil hub of Midland, is planning to recycle wastewater for drinking; two of the reservoirs that supply the city are almost empty. The severe drought that has parched most of the state this year shows no signs of abating. The state climatologist reckons that it could last for the rest of the decade.

But the most sobering fact may be that Texass water woes are structural. A growing population needs more water. As it stands, the state needs about 18m acre-feet of water a year, according to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). By 2060 demand is projected to rise to 22m acre-feet a year. The available supply is expected to decline from 17m acre-feet to about 15.3m, as some aquifers are being depleted and areas of the state will come under new regulations. The TWDB forecasts a total statewide shortfall of 8.3m acre-feet by 2060, because the regions that have enough water cannot simply pipe it to the driest places. If nothing is done, it warns, the economic losses could reach $115.7 billion a year by 2060.

The agencys water plan for 2012, which is set to be approved later this month, recommends 562 new projectsdeveloping new reservoirs, improving conservation, preventing erosionthat would free millions of additional acre-feet. On November 8th voters narrowly approved a ballot initiative that will authorise the state to issue up to an additional $6 billion in bonds for such efforts. But the TWDBs recommended projects would cost an estimated $53 billion, and still leave some places short. Well, I think we need to pray for rain, says Chris Wingert, the general manager of the West Central Texas Municipal Water District in Abilene.

:kick:
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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Wasting our precious water
simply because they don't want to have to pipe it or haul it to next job.



Each well here takes 3-5 million gallons, but elsewhere the process demands far more -- upward of 13 million gallons for the wells south of San Antonio.

Unlike swimming pools, golf courses or your shower, this water is lost. It's removed from the cycle in two ways. A significant portion is lost down in the formation as a part of the fracture. This is water for money, and the gas that emerges pays well, heats houses, powers plants and all those things we expect every day.

The second portion of water lost on every well presents a significant quandary. It comes back to the surface, millions of gallons at a time, loaded with salt, hydrocarbons and frac chemicals.

The state of the art in the Barnett Shale has been to truck the fluid to disposal wells that convey the waste to deep saltwater formations. We have disposed of billions of gallons in the hidden reaches of Earth.


Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/11/19/3537703/in-fort...
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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. State park revenues drop due to drought
Lakes, rivers, stock ponds and other waterways aren't the only things evaporating under the relentless, record-setting heat and drought that has hammered Texas for the past year.

Revenue streams fueling operation of state parks and funding fisheries and wildlife management programs have slowed significantly as park visitation faded and fewer folks bought fishing or hunting licenses.

Park revenue, generated through entrance and use fees such as those charged for overnight camping, for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31 was about $1.2 million less than the previous year and already is about $2 million behind projections for the current fiscal year, said Gene McCarty, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department deputy executive director for operations.
http://www.chron.com/sports/outdoors/article/State-park...
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I expect we will see some state parks shuttered
They only say "things could get really bad" in the story but you know that's being discussed somewhere in the chain.
:cry:
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. No water, no gas
Converting water into money. Just like the article says.

Water is the magic ingredient. It, along with now-famous "frac chemicals," breaks the rock. No water, no gas. It's an elaborate way of converting pure water to money.


And as long as that money those fracking firms are making makes its way back as political donations to the decision makers - this huge waste will continue.

Corporations never do things out of the "kindness of their hear". They do things to maximize profits - periods. And the only way they will be forced to do something that costs them money in order to protect water resources - is to be forced to do it by law.
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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. SCORCHED... from Carter
The raindrops came and went without much evidence that theyd been here at all. They vanished, right back up into the cloud bank, if you could call it such wispy little formations with just enough gray makeup to engender false hopes of fall showers. Such has been the story of the rain, or more accurately, the lack thereof, in the La Nia year of 2011.

Suffice it to say, most of Texas needs a drink. A long one.

According to those who pronounce such things, Texas is now officially in the midst of the driest one-year period on record and the second-longest drought in recorded history. The longest, of course, was the fabled drought of the 50s, a time frame that my older country friends tell me I should be thankful I never knew.
http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2011/dec/atissue/
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Ishoutandscream2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
17. Yeah, there are quite a few on DU loving this
They think it's just great this is happening to Texas. There's a thread now in LBN.

There are some sick, twisted folks on DU.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. They hate us
It's always been a problem on DU. :(
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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. One thing that could help
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 08:03 PM by white cloud
is make these well fracking crews use natural gas out of well to do their fracking and quit using surface and aquifer water to frack with.

They drill down and pull off the natural gas from shale formation, compress and condense it into liquid and use LNG the to frack well.

No waste water, abandon FW wells, and no depleted water tables that can't ever be used again.

This also eliminated the second and biggest hazard to water table and scaring of land from brine water by eliminating some of salt water injection sites and all the shipping of heavy brine water back to SWIS. Salt water injection site don't care what they put down hole or what strata it goes into.

This aquifer depletion is getting very serious IMO. Just look at West Texas cotton / crop farmer whom can't afford to water any more if the have any water left. Deep water pump is expensive. Ruined many a farmer land over the year. Table have dropped from 100 feet to 180 on caprock and rolling plains, if there is any left. Pecos county well went dry and they quit farming years ago.

But it is money, time consuming, hurts their secondary recovery. Big oilly need all that money so they can pay ther tax lawyer and ceo bonus's
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Yes corporate greed
Is an evil thing. And they won't do the right thing, especially if it costs more money. They never look beyond their immediate bottom line.

And the legislators and office holders that have let them run rampant and waste all this water are to blame as well.

First they came for the famers' water, then they came for the drinking water in small communities and then ....

:mad:
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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Propane substitutes for water in shale fracking
By Anna Driver

HOUSTON | Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:17am EST

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Many controversies surround hydraulic fracturing of underground shale deposits in the quest for oil and gas, but a small Canadian oilfield services company has pioneered a way around one of them: the use of prodigious amounts of water in the process.

"Fracking" generally involves blasting millions of gallons of water down a shale well to free up oil and natural gas, and then the water needs to be disposed of because it may contain toxic drilling byproducts like heavy metals.

Much of the water required for a so-called frack job is sourced from lakes, rivers or city water systems, and water is in short supply in some drilling areas, such as drought-plagued Texas.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/22/us-shale-prop...
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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Cities, the new hydrofracking victims
Despite devastating health risks, both parties are pushing to allow more drilling near urban areas



Topics:Energy, Environment


On the relatively rare occasions that city folk and suburbanites previously had to think about oil and gas drilling, many probably conjured images of grasshopper-esque rigs dotting remote landscapes like Wyomings mountain range, Alaskas tundra or Oklahomas wind-swept plains. Most probably didnt equate drilling with the bright lights of their big city, but they should have because urban America is fast becoming ground zero for the same fights over energy that have long threatened the great wide open.

With our nations still unquenchable (and still highly subsidized) thirst for fossil fuels, the false comfort of NIMBY-ism and the fairy-tale notions of safety in numbers is quickly vanishing in our cities, as controversial oil and gas exploration projects creep into metropolitan areas. Incredibly, this geographic trend is accelerating just as new drilling techniques are evoking serious concerns about excessive air pollution and about adverse effects on limited water supplies problems that have plagued rural energy-producing regions for decades, but are sure to be even worse as they hit densely populated areas.
http://www.salon.com/2011/11/22/cities_the_new_hydrofra...
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