Rethinking water: Growing population, limited supply mean costs destined to rise, experts say (Posted By Mike Mecke)


Published: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012

Is water too cheap?

Perhaps the most obvious indication that it is, said Michael Webber, a University of Texas professor who heads a research group focused on water and energy, is how freely we use it.

“A hundred years from now, your grandkids would ask you, `You sprayed what on your lawn? That’s crazy,’” Webber said.

Watering lawns will seem as crazy as throwing diamonds on our lawns; we’re throwing the world’s most important resource – clean drinking water – on the ground, Webber said.

The idea that water is too cheap is endorsed by several water planners and policymakers.

“Water right now is underpriced,” said Becky Motal, general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority.

A growing population requires more water, which the state says can’t come from one source. Addressing the state’s water needs requires a range of solutions, most of which are expensive.

“For most of our recent history, we just treated (water) as if we had an unlimited supply of it. We’re finding to our dismay that that’s not true,” said Andrew Sansom, executive director of the River Systems Institute at Texas State University…………………………….. 

Authority seals water deal with Pickens (Posted By Mike Mecke)

$103M pact region’s largest water transaction

Posted: December 29, 2011

By Kevin Welch

There was talk of a “momentous occasion” and many thanks for making the largest water transaction in Texas Panhandle history final Thursday.

“I don’t think you owe me any thanks,” said wealthy oil and gas man T. Boone Pickens. “You paid for the water.”

The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority paid Pickens’ Mesa Water $103 million for about 211,000 acres of water rights, mostly in Roberts County in the northeast panhandle. The deal covers about 4 trillion gallons of water…………………………………………………………….

The water authority and Pickens have talked about water sales since about 1996, but the deterioration of Lake Meredith’s performance got everyone’s attention. Reaching a deal took nine months of serious negotiations after a phone call from Amarillo City Commissioner Jim Simms.

“He called and said ‘Lake Meredith’s drying up,’” Pickens said. “I got to feeling guilty. I didn’t want my family to say, ‘That’s one of the Pickenses that sold the water to Dallas.’”