The Important Roles That Groundwater and Water Conservation Essay

...Start of the The Important Roles That Groundwater and Water Conservation Essay...

Economic studies estimate the population of Texas to increase at an average of 1.7 percent annually. The growth supports the demand for retail trade, services, and government output (Rylander, 2002). However, increased water use is a result of the growth as well. West Texas’ primary sources of water are aquifers, such as the Ogallala Aquifer (Wheeler, 2008). They are key components for the economic development, growth, and survival of the agriculture, ranching, energy, and industrial as well as municipalities (Geurrero & Amosson, 2013). Lack of water regulation and conservation initiatives over the years combined with population growth, a longer life span, and drought has caused the depletion of aquifers to an alarming point (Somma, 1997). New regulations are vital for the allocation of water to support the various industries. However, they must involve new methods of water conservation to enable the aquifers to replenish naturally from the absorption of runoff and surface water (Wheeler, 2008).

...Middle of the The Important Roles That Groundwater and Water Conservation Essay...

It suggests that we will see an average increase in temperature of up to 5 degrees by mid-century. Water evaporates faster in higher temperatures causing low reservoir levels, due to the water not being able to seep down through the ground to replenish the aquifers. The increase in temperature accompanied by a predicted increase in the Texas population by 2060 creates a formula for major water shortages (Galbraith, 2011). The article Drawing Straws was also published in the July issue of Texas Monthly (Blakeslee, 2012). The piece points out the lack of a central plan for water supply across the state due to the unstable and inconsistent structure of Texas water policy. Keep in mind that the South Plains will require different strategy concepts and funding needs compared to other demographics of the state. For example, Lubbock water needs are different than Houston, which are different than rice farmers in El Campo. The article details the slow, lack of cooperation from Austin lawmakers and the Water Development Board that negatively affects water policy. Guerrero & Amosson’s (2013) quantitative study states that the lack of direction from Austin is a major concern since 90% of water usage is from agriculture, but it also serves as one of the main economic drivers in the region.

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In her quantitative research based article, Maria O’brian stated it is imperative to obtain balance when allocating water to protect endangered species, serve traditional uses, and provide for an ever increasing urban populace (O’brian, 1999). The ever increasing conflict that is in need of balance and stability is between the agriculture and urban water users and the water use by the wildlife and natural plants. The concern is to go too far in one direction when trying to find the balance, instead of finding the optimal balance where the sharing of shortages among all users is system wide. Almost any form of human activity requires fresh water. 8% of the 1.3 million species live in freshwater, which cover 0.8% of the Earth’s surface and makes up 0.01% of the world’s water (Booker, Michelsen, & Ward, (2005). Due to this complex balance, conflict resolution and effective conservation actions require a close collaboration between the different users of fresh water. It is crucial that we maintain freshwater ecosystems due to their impact on the economy through the valuable commodities they provide to people as well as the habitat for plants and animals. Finding a balance of allocating water between the agriculture and urban water users and the water use by the wildlife and natural plants is crucial.

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