News Feature | June 17, 2014

Texas Drought: Will Utilities Run Out Of Water?

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

texasdroughtreg

Texas water utilities are struggling in the face of a record-breaking drought. 

"More than 30 small Texas public suppliers could run out of drinking water in 45 to 90 days as the state’s drought worsens," the Associated Press reported in late May.

State officials said no residents would go without water. If a supplier runs out, the water could be trucked in. 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality "takes an active role in assisting these water systems, from helping to secure new water supplies, reuse and conserve existing supplies, and working with other funding agencies in seeking resources for new alternative water supplies, treatment and infrastructure,” spokesman Terry Clawson said in an email to the AP. 

Water is already being trucked in at some locations. 

"Critical drought conditions in one North Texas city have forced an entertainment park to truck in well water for its slides and river float attraction," the Associated Press reported in a separate piece.

Castaway Cove Waterpark "plans to haul up to 9,000 gallons of well water daily. The wells have been tested by an independent lab so the water complies with state health regulations. Park revenues will pay the estimated $70,000 water-hauling cost," the report said. 

Back in 2012, Spicewood Beach was the first place in Texas to use up all its water. 

"Spicewood Beach is a small community of some 1,100 people, about 40 miles outside of Austin, Texas in the Hill County. On January, 30, 2012, it became the first Texas town to run dry during the current drought," NPR reported

"About 90 percent of the state is designated under some sort of drought condition," Gregory Morgan with the City of Tyler Utilities and Public Works recently said to KETK

Keep up-to-date at Water Online's Water Scarcity Solution Center.

Image credit: "Blanco River," ejmc © 2011, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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