Water Shortage; Water Surplus (Posted By Gary Cutrer)

Quachita River in South Arkansas wends its way through forests and cotton and soybean fields.

Quachita River in South Arkansas wends its way through forests and cotton and soybean fields. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Depending on where you live on Earth you no doubt experience either insufficient water or an abundance, even excess, of water. Growing up in South Arkansas, I never considered that having more water or more rain would be desirable. Winter and early spring, especially, seemed dismal, with rain that seemed to stretch for weeks on end, and sometimes did.

Spring rains came so steadily and often, that when the rain finally broke, the entire landscape was soggy. When I walked outside, my footprints would fill up with water. For weeks after the rainy season, I could dig a posthole and it would immediately fill with water.

South Arkansas rivers and creeks are plentiful and they often flood, overrunning their banks and blocking highways and roads, especially in spring. A “drouth” consists of going two weeks without rain and that does happen once in a while, usually in late summer or early fall.

Semi-arid West Texas is always needing rain, seems like, though some years are better than others, as in this shot. Photo by Gary Cutrer.

Semi-arid West Texas is always needing rain, seems like, though some years are better than others, as in this shot. Photo by Gary Cutrer.

Now I live in West Texas and water is always a concern, especially for those of us who make a living in agriculture. Rainfall is rare and welcomed when it does come. Getting enough rain and water is a big concern for the larger cities in our area as well. And our mega-cities in Texas, such as the San Antonio-to-Austin megalopolis, are demanding more and more water resources, to the point of attempting to politically limit water rights for rural landowners.

Now, if we could just package up some of that excess South Arkansas water and ship it to West Texas and let it loose, that would solve two problems at once. But how do we do that? The likelihood is that such a solution is impossible. So we’ll have to make do with and conserve what we have, use technology and our noodles and think of new solutions.

This blog will address water issues with a focus on Texas and the Southwest — because that’s where the authors reside and because water is a big concern here, as it is many places in the world. We hope you find some value in our opinions and insights and the links to related information we plan to provide here. Please bookmark us and return often!

1 Comment to “Water Shortage; Water Surplus”

  1. By Nancy Pricer, June 11, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    Gary, I came across your website while looking for an article that I thought I saw. Actually I only saw the headline, but I thought it had something to do with as we get closer to water shortages, there may be changes in water rights? Have you heard anything about that? Maybe I just read into the headline wrong.

    Thanks!

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