More than $98 billion a year is the hefty price the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) estimates water shortages during drought periods could cost state businesses and workers by 2060 if water management and conservation practices are not implemented.
Water is the lifeblood of Texas. It supports the economic growth of our state, including the agriculture, manufacturing and construction industries. Conserving water is something we can all do to help ensure we have the water we need into the future.
According to the 2007 State Water Plan, existing water supplies are projected to decrease by 18 percent from 2010 to 2060. And it's not just a Texas problem. According to a new report by The Kiplinger Letter, 36 states will have trouble meeting daily fresh water needs as early as 2015.
In the face of population growth, drought and a growing economy, however, most Texas cities are already taking steps to secure the future water needs of their citizens by following many of the water management strategies recommended in the 2007 State Water Plan. These include the implementation of desalination projects, drought management and water reuse, as well as municipal and irrigation conservation strategies.
If our water planners continue to implement these management strategies, the TWDB estimates up to 9 million acre-feet per year of additional water supplies could be generated by 2060. While conservation strategies alone will not solve all of our water needs, prudent water management and efficiency in water use will go a long way toward ensuring Texans will have an abundant water supply for generations to come.