A recent Dallas Morning News article titled “ Water Woes — a Deepening Crisis” by Annette Nivens, special contributor, addresses the water problems facing citizens of Parker County. It is one of a series of articles from a year-long project by the Denton Record-Chronicle and the University of North Texas graduate journalism students regarding the water problems of the DFW area. I recommend a full reading of the article.
I have written columns on this topic but not with the in-depth fact finding these folks did. They went out into the field to observe and interview the Watts family of Watts drilling, academics, and others who have studied the issue.
(Disclaimer: Watts has serviced our well for more than 20 years).
Nivens had some memorable, sobering quotes. One such quote was attributed to Ron Kaiser, professor of water law and policy at Texas A&M University, about overuse of water on lawns and pools in drought: “That’s due to ‘Ignorance and stupidity’ in not planning for the future. … Ignorance comes from not knowing any better. Stupidity comes from knowing we are running low on water but abusing it anyway.”
In our subdivision many wells were stressed this summer. Most finally quit watering their lawns. The vast majority had dry, burned-up grass. A few had green lawns, pumping day and night like there was no tomorrow.
Homeowner Bret Barnett was quoted: “Anyone who moves in thinks because it’s free water, they can use as much as they want. We all need to realize that we share the same resource. We need to be responsible neighbors and conserve.”
Jeff Bennett, another water well driller, said “ There is an overall culture of rampant water use in the name of extravagance during a time of drought.”
Toby Watts said “There are just so many straws we can put in the ground before it all dries up.”
There is mention in the article about fire departments not having enough water to put out fires.
I still think the ultimate solution is to tie on to the Tarrant Water District surface water as have Aledo, Willow Park, and Hudson Oaks, who are no longer dependent on wells. These cities have the necessary powers to force conservation measure at the water meters for the good of all.
You may not like government to regulate the use of water, nor the expense, but what is the alternative?
Jack Watts, the patriarch of the Watts Family has the final answer:
“We are going to run out of water someday. It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time.”
I hope we can use our brains and find solutions that will prove him wrong, But we have to take action now.
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