Users of water for irrigation purposes from flowing streams are
only out the expense of a 34 cent postage stamp. Example; if I
have 11 acres of alfalfa and want 11 acre feet of water per year,
all I must do is apply for it.
SOLUTION: Charge a minimum of $1.00 per acre foot of water
taken from a flowing stream. In the above example the user
would be charged $11.00. This amount spread out over the price
of a crop of alfalfa hay would be extremely minimal and yet if
instituted statewide would generate millions of dollars that
would fund a regulatory agency and the salaries of the water
Authors note: The Rio Grande has a noticeable drop in
water levels. In places where one could canoe or raft down the
river, requires portage now. The San Saba will completely stop
flowing due to the amount of water pumped out to support the
pecan orchards along certain stretches during the summer.
Drinking water- As we are all aware, drinking water taken from
impoundments is not only used for drinking purposes but also
the watering of yards etc. One has only to drive down our city
streets and see the water running down the gutters to see the
unwise use of our drinking water.
SOLUTION: Charge the municipalities and others drawing water
from our impoundments a pro- rated fee for the use of this water
and encourage the wise use of our water by making it a Class C
Misdemeanor, enforceable by any certified peace officer, for
the waste of water.
Authors note: Many cities have this Class C Misdemeanor
but are enforced only after drought conditions exist.
Well water irrigation- currently there are no restrictions on
the use of well water for irrigation purposes and one just has
to drive through farm country to see wells pumping out water
while it is raining and even after rains which pulls the water
table down requiring homeowners and others such as ranchers with
windmills to have to continually lower their wells.
SOLUTION: Install meters on all irrigation wells and charge a
pro-rated amount for any amount over an established reasonable
amount. Encourage the wise use of water by beginning programs
in schools and various farm organizations. Encourage the use
of water retention pits that would catch runoff that could be
pumped at no penalty to the user and encourage the use of natural
resources such as windmills, wind-chargers, solar panels, etc.,
etc., by not charging for the water recovered by the use of
301-87 on March 1, 2002, creating the American Conservation Corp
to ease unemployment problems and aid conservation, is a very
good bi-partisan indicator of the importance of conservation
to a large majority of all the elected representatives of our
great country. Now is the time to enact measures and establish
programs that will be funded by the Federal government that
will once again put Texas at the forefront of the conservation
movement that is just beginning.
Water Masters need to be re-established and be in place and
overseeing, the building of all water retention ponds, lakes,
ditches, irrigation canals, etc., and the current use of all
our water resources, to be sure all requirements of the law
Recreational uses- Currently, users of our water resources
for recreation are enjoying a free ride. Just as one cannot
expect to be given free entrance to a movie theater, one should
not expect to use a natural resource for fun or profit at no
charge. The use of our water for recreational profit should
be licensed and regulated just as any other use. Example; the
Schlitterbahn users create a tremendous littering problem as
do fishermen and other recreational water users. A fee to
operate a business is certainly in order. Such fees may be
added to fishing licenses, boat registrations, sewage permits,
and a fee to operate a water related business included on any
state required license.
Recovery methods- The recovery of water can be in several methods
such as those mentioned above. Another method would be the use of
brush control to renew our flowing streams. As a child growing up
in South Texas, I heard the saying that a cactus plant consumes
11 times its weight in water per day and a mesquite bush consumes
7 times its weight in water per day. What of cedar and other flora?
I am aware of Rocky Creek in lrion County, Texas being restored to
a running stream by just removing the brush for a certain distance
on each side of the stream. If all brush is removed and then plants
necessary for the prevention of soil erosion re-established by the
American Conservation Corps is the problem not solved? A study of
Texas history reveals that much of Texas was a native grassland
and the overgrazing and prevention of natural processes, such as
fires, enhanced the growth of underbrush thereby reducing the
flow of water in stream, springs and seeps and furthermore
reducing the availability of water to wildlife and domestic
The above listed suggestions and solutions are the thoughts of
one person and only a minute part of the problem as I see it.
However, we must start somewhere and in view of the developments
in Washington and the current widespread approval for conservation
measures across our great nation, the time to act is now!!!
Will we drink oil or water?"