Pray El Niño pays Texas a visit

By Kenneth Dierschke
TFB President

I read recently that climatologists are predicting a 70 percent chance for El Niño to develop this year in the Pacific Ocean. I hope they are wrong. What we need is a 100 percent chance.

El Niño is the warming of the central and eastern Pacific Oceans. It alters the jet stream flow across the United States and helps bring wetter-than-normal weather to Texas.

Farmers and ranchers have been praying for a major weather-maker for many years. Despite a recent wet spell that has greened up the country considerably, most of Texas is still suffering from the same drought that we’ve been battling since the last El Niño episode in 2009-2010. Texas agriculture has lost billions of dollars because of the dry weather. We need a drought-buster to fill soil profiles and replenish the aquifers used for irrigation.

Sadly, it’s not just agriculture that is affected. Municipal water supplies for many Texas cities and towns are literally drying up. Currently, the state’s surface reservoirs stand at only 64 percent full. The Highland Lakes reservoirs in Central Texas are only a third full. The situation is dire in some parts of Texas. Wichita Falls, for example, is weeks away from running out of water.

Without water, growth stops, industry flees, and Texas residents lose homes and jobs.

Luckily, voters had the foresight last year to vote for Proposition 6, which will address the long-term water needs of the state. However, until that funding is directed to the most critical projects on the drawing board, Texas needs some short-term relief.

We can look toward the Gulf of Mexico for a hurricane or tropical storm, but climatologists say chances are not good for storms to develop. And nobody wants the destruction that those storms could bring.

Better we have an event like El Niño. Although it doesn’t guarantee abundant rainfall, it looks like the best shot we have.

Promising signs point toward a wet fall. All Texans have a stake in this. Let’s join together and pray El Niño pays us a visit.

2 Responses to “Pray El Niño pays Texas a visit”

  1. Actually Prop 6 only removes control from local stakeholders, and gives it to an unelected board of people with absolutely no criteria as to experience or educational qualification for the positions.

    In fact, these seats of power will eventually morph into purely political positions held or controlled by big idea developers who never take any long-range responsibility for their never-ending, irresponsible land development, pro-growth promotions. They will be able to use these positions to enrich themselves personally, and further their own and their cronies political agenda without remedy from the general populace or landowners, who will be stuck paying the bill for their next, bigger, better, swell idea.

    If one understands the possibilities for abuse, it becomes clear that creating the Texas Water Development Board was probably the worst idea Texas has approved in half a century.

    Give it up! There are no political machinations to reverse a drought. True Texans accept this as fact. Fortitude and prayer are the only ‘cures’.

    The idea that Texas should endeavor to sustain the current level of growth in perpetuity will only lead to the eventual demise of our blessed, unique Texas heritage.

  2. Mike Barnett says:

    If we are not proactive in building water resources we will run out. The Texas Water Development Board may not be a perfect solution. There’s always room for improvement for everything. But they are guided by a road map from regional planning groups representing every area of the state. The water needs of Texas are massive. The TWDB is attempting to address them.

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