Thursday, February 28, 2013

Texas State Water Plan: A Personal Perspective

Photo from Texas Agriculture Talks

The city isn’t the only party closely following the 2013 Texas legislation and the State Water Plan; there is a larger voice of concern that is often less heard: the farmers.

Mike Barnett, Director of Publications at the Texas Farm Bureau, met with Ross Stromberg, a Texas farmer, and discussed his outlook for farming this spring. According to Barnett, Stromberg’s soil had good moisture and he was grateful for the recent rainfall. However, “He worried though, like so many farmers in Texas are worrying, about prospects for rain this spring. Forecasts aren’t encouraging.” Because Mother Nature hasn’t been on the farmers’ sides the past few years, the future of Texas farmers and agriculture will also be directly affected by the State Water Plan outcome.  (Texas Agriculture Talks)

According to Mike Barnett, this year’s state legislation and the potential funding for the State Water Plan from the Rainy Day Fund are hopeful. However, he claims there are also risks, “Agriculture—with a stellar record of improving efficiency and conservation and doing much more with less over the last two decades—is still the top water user in the state.” He voice’s concern for the future of the state, saying “as water gets more expensive and sources disappear, a clamor could arise to take agriculture’s water—drying up livelihoods, a rich agriculture heritage and ultimately, the food supply” (Your Houston News).

Mose Buchele, State Impact writer, also discusses concerns of agricultural groups who “worry that their water needs might be sidelined this legislative session” (
One way to allocate fairness between agricultural and municipal budgeting, according to farming and ranching interests, “would be to direct money to conservation technologies for agriculture. Machines that monitor soil moisture and double drip irrigation methods were showcased at the [Texas Ag Water] Forum.” (State Impact)

As the 2013 legislation continues, the debate of funding the State Water Plan is again raised. According to the Amarillo news, “what's being discussed in the Capitol isn't so much whether, but how to fund the plan,” which is hopeful news to farmers (News Channel 10).

-Becka Adkins

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