San Angelo: STATE OF THE CITY: Water’s role in future stressed (Posted By Mike Mecke)

San Angelo water news – Great to see this very nice little west-central Texas city seriously talking water issues again.  I lived near Angelo and shopped there for eight years and I think it is the best small city in Texas – I hope it does not outgrow that designation – bigger is not always better!

 This article below could not carry all the items discussed.   But, no mention that the Hickory aquifer’s water is radioactive and must be specially treated before use?  Isn’t that a pretty major issue?  That item has blocked potential sales of this groundwater to other areas in the past.

 Or, of starting an even more serious water conservation and Xeriscape landscaping program – which includes rainwater harvesting?  A rainbarrel program similar to Austin’s might kick start it, but I am betting that Angelo residents are much more water savvy than Austin’s and many grew up on harvested rainwater on surrounding farms and ranches.  San Angelo and the area are in a good location to use rainwater harvesting with large tanks - my former Extension program got a large rainwater tank installed at Baptist retirement homes center and they had wisely planned many more in order to reduce their outside water demands.   Rainwater can also be used to flush camodes and even treated fairly easily for drinking water.  Check it out in our magazine advertisers and web sites listed on line.  Contact the local AgriLife Extension office for assistance.

Also not discussed in the article was that the three older, shallow flood control lakes furnishing much of the City’s water should be dredged MUCH deeper and silt sold every time the lakes are down – pretty often?  Should’a/could’a been done years ago during very low lake level periods.   But, better now than never!   Deeper lakes have much less surface area to lose water from evaporation, they hold more water and the water often stays cooler and cleaner with less algae.  And, a side benefit is improved recreation and fishing for area residents. 

Without a firm long-term water supply no town can grow.  “Water is Life!”      Mike

STATE OF THE CITY: Water’s role in future stressed

By Kiah Collier
Updated Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SAN ANGELO, Texas — City leaders on Tuesday received an overwhelmingly positive response from San Angelo’s business community for their handling of the budget shortfall, continued execution of the Capital Improvement Plan and desire to drop the sunset of the half-cent sales tax.

The occasion was the 2010 State of the City presentation, titled “Preparing, Changing, and Improving our Community to Face the Challenges of Tomorrow.”……………………………………………………

Chamber of Commerce President Phil Neighbors, who has seen three state-of-city presentations during his tenure, said he thinks the city has done well addressing the challenges of having to downsize services in the face of a budget shortfall while continuing to move forward with the Capital Improvement Plan, which was implemented in 2007, and securing the city’s future viability with projects like the Hickory Aquifer pipeline — San Angelo’s first underground water supply, expected to be online by 2014…………………………………

“Sunset or not, we can do away with the half-cent sales tax (later),” he said.

In his sixth state-of-city address, Dominguez also emphasized the crucial nature of securing a long-term funding source for a long-term water supply, starting with the Hickory project, which remains largely unfunded.

“This underground water supply, I cannot stress how important it is to the future of this community,” he said…………………………………………………