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West Texas Water Partnership

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Mother Nature has dealt the entire state a cruel hand with its recent drought, and with its already-dry conditions, West Texas residents have been in and out of acute water conservation mode for years as they have seen their some of their reservoirs become puddles that are only 1 percent to 5 percent full.

The best way to offset the drought’s crippling effects and to prepare for growth is to work together develop several long-term cooperative water management strategies to address future water demands, part of which may include bringing more water to the region. No one city can bear the cost of bringing water in alone, and whether the source is groundwater or surface water, many questions and valid concerns will arise, ranging from environmental to the effect on the source and its inhabitants.

To share these burdens and minimize potential impacts to the environment, Abilene, Midland and San Angelo have joined hands as the West Texas Water Partnership (WTWP). This partnership acknowledges water resource development in the region can best be achieved by working together. It eliminates the adverse effects that competing for water would have.

Each city has funded the engineering, legal and organizational needs of an effort to evaluate and develop water management strategies, maximize existing water resources and acquire future groundwater or surface water supplies, if necessary.

The Partnership is in the early stages of research, committed to only seeking realistic water solutions through a transparent process leading to an outcome that is fair for all involved. The group will consider all input and options, and is not bound by any agenda or calendar.

Mayor Dwain Morrison on the West Texas Water Partnership

  • What is the West Texas Water Partnership?

  • What prompted this partnership?

  • Isn’t the state supposed to provide water? I thought there was a state water plan.

  • What about the CRMWD? Is it not its mission to address these very issues in West Texas?

  • How will the WTWP pay for any water projects?

  • Do citizens get to vote on whether their city will participate in a water project?

  • How will the WTWP decide whether to move forward with a project?

  • Where will the WTWP look for water?

  • Shouldn’t we be focusing more on water conservation and recycling than getting new, expensive water sources?

  • Will the WTWP help rural communities with their water issues?

  • When will the WTWP make a decision on a water project?

  • Will the WTWP affect or be used for water projects currently on tap, such as Abilene’s Cedar Ridge Reservoir?

  • Who will eventually decide whether a proposed water supply project requires a permit? The state?

  • West Texas has experienced a drought for some time – why hasn’t this happened sooner?

  • What if the effort doesn’t work? Do you have a “Plan B”?