By Kenneth Dierschke
Water grows Texas.
It always has. Water grows families. Water grows jobs. Water grows food.
Yet Texas is thirsty. Many years of drought have left us with withered lawns, parched pastures and shrinking water supplies. Surface water levels have dropped to 60 percent of capacity and Texas grows thirstier by the day. A possibility that we turn on the tap and nothing comes out is finally dawning on us. We are realizing the precious resource we’ve always taken for granted is actually limited indeed.
Nothing is more important to Texas’ future than a reliable supply of clean water. And Texans can take a giant step toward ensuring those supplies by voting “Yes” on Proposition 6 on Nov. 5.
If approved, Proposition 6 would authorize $2 billion to create a self-sustaining account to finance water resource programs which will ensure the availability of adequate water for the next 50 years. Those funds would be dedicated solely to funding a comprehensive statewide water plan that enhances water supplies via infrastructure improvements, surface water enhancements, desalination and conservation.
Proposition 6 allows Texas to meet its future water needs.
- Proposition 6 will help cities that have been short of water during this current drought to develop conservation plans and new sources of supply so the well doesn’t run dry again.
- Proposition 6 will allow adequate water to meet the needs of businesses and industries that grow jobs for the Lone Star State.
- Proposition 6 will allow farmers and ranchers and small communities a chance to invest in infrastructure, conservation and development so Texas agriculture remains strong and rural communities are not left behind.
What Proposition 6 does not do is raise taxes.
Throughout Texas history, droughts have been prevalent, leaving deep scars on those who suffered through them. The 1930s Dust Bowl and 1950s drought still evoke images of despair. State leaders during the 1950s drought made important investments in water resources to protect against future shortages.
Few could have imagined, however, that Texas would grow from roughly 8 million citizens to over 25 million today, and an expected 46 million by 2050. Those 46 million people will use an additional 2.7 trillion gallons of water.
Unless we follow the lead of our forefathers in preparing for the future, prospects for our great state are dim.
We can do nothing, fight about dwindling resources in the future and watch our economy stagnate. Or we can work together, assure adequate water supplies for Texas for the next 50 years and continue our shining economic growth.
One of nine propositions on the ballot, Proposition 6, if passed, will secure water for Texas families, jobs and agriculture.
Texas Farm Bureau supports Proposition 6. We view it as a serious investment in the future of the Lone Star State.
Water grows Texas. It always has. Cut it off and Texas withers.
Proposition 6 keeps the tap turned on. Our future is in our hands. Vote ‘Yes’ on Proposition 6.
Kenneth Dierschke is a cotton and grain farmer from San Angelo and president of Texas Farm Bureau.