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Who cares about water in Texas?

Who cares about water in Texas?

By Mike Barnett

So who cares about water in Texas? Farmers and ranchers, obviously. The rest of the state? Not so much.

At least that’s the conclusion faculty members at the University of Texas made after examining public opinion polls of issues that matter most to Texans.

The economy, immigration and education are top of mind for most. Yet water—that life-giving resource—registers as a top issue with only 4 percent.

That’s a real concern.

Rural Texans understand burn bans, dry wells and short pastures. Drought is not a word. It is a reality they live with every day.

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A world at war over water? It could happen…

A world at war over water? It could happen…

By Mike Barnett

Earth is facing a looming water crisis and the consequences could spell war in an ever thirstier world.

That’s the consensus of the InterAction Council (IC), a group of 40 former heads of state and former government, academic and foundation leaders.

Look what’s happening here in Texas and you can easily see the causes for concern.

Last year’s drought (ongoing in many parts of the state) brought home to most everyone that water is a limited resource in parts of Texas. Many municipalities continue to scramble to supply their residents while irrigation supplies have been shut off for rice farmers along the Gulf Coast. The “blame game” finger has already started pointing at agriculture, the biggest user of water.

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All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

By Gene Hall

Bad news, meat lovers: We’ll all be vegetarians by the year 2050 because we’ll run out of water to produce livestock. That’s the theory in this article on Yahoo.

 These sweeping and absolute statements can be a lot more about someone’s agenda than futuristic forecasting. When you see something like this, you should ask, “Who doesn’t want anyone eating meat?” Or, “Who wants a grant to study livestock and water supplies?”

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Texas agriculture—responsible water users

Texas agriculture—responsible water users

By Billy Howe

Danny Reible’s op-ed in the Houston Chronicle on May 29 was a curious mixture of “right on target” and “Hey Danny, you’ve got to be kidding.”

First of all, agriculture is committed to efficient water use, and he is correct that a public investment in developing that technology would be very productive. However, Mr. Reible is way off the mark when he suggests agricultural irrigation, which is mostly groundwater, will be responsible for future water shortages in the high-growth areas of Texas.

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Texas groundwater rights continue to take center stage

Texas groundwater rights continue to take center stage

By Regan Beck

An outstanding year for property owners and property rights in the Legislature and the courts includes important steps to help safeguard private property rights in Texas groundwater. Last year’s crippling drought showed us just how critical water is in Texas.

Some say the solution to water shortages is to take Texas groundwater rights away from property owners and give them to the state. Sometimes, those suggesting this have a vested interest in the outcome. They’ve said that property owners only own their water after it’s pumped out of the ground. 

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