Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Looking at the Bigger Picture: the Texas Water Plan and Global Water Plans

There is increasing potential for a special session to be held this summer regarding the proposed state water plan. The 2013 legislation is nearing a close and yesterday, April 29, things heated up in the House as HB 11 did not manage to get the necessary votes for approval.  According to State Impact, State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, presented an amendment to HB 11 requesting that the $2 billion that was proposed to be taken from the Rainy Day Fund instead be allocated from across-the-board budget cuts. This upset State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, who felt Creighton was using supplementary state programs, and specifically education funding, as a way to coincide with the opposed House members in hopes of funding the water plan.

Similar to the Texas water crisis, population growth has resulted in limited water resources globally. Lack of access to clean water is a growing concern for many countries, such as Ethiopia. In addition, the shortage of sanitary drinking-water also leads to the spread of bacteria and disease. Similar to Texas’s projected Water Plan that includes conservation and harvesting of rain water, thanks to the help of Plan (http://plan-international.org/about-plan/resources/news/world-water-day-harvesting-rainwater-in-nepal) around 250 residents in Nepal now harvest rain water in their 6,500 liter capacity tanks.

A more structured and comparative example of the Texas Water Plan to a global plan would be the World Health Organization’s Water Safety Plans, the first edition being published in 1984-85 in three volumes: recommendations, health criteria and other supporting information, and surveillance and control of community supplies. The most recent version was updated and published in 2005 in Geneva. As stated in WHO's, “one-sixth of humanity lack access to any form of safe and improved water supply within 1 kilometer of their home and one-fifth of humanity lack access to any form of adequate and improved excreta disposal (WHO and UNICEF 2000)".

The WHO Water Safety Plans lists current management approaches, similar to the list in the Texas Water Plan: Water supply systems can be considered as a number of steps aimed at assuring the safety of drinking-water, including: preventing pollution of source waters;selective water harvesting; controlled storage; treatment prior to distribution; protection during distribution; and safe storage within the home.

-Becca Adkins
Looking at the Bigger Picture: the Texas Water Plan and Global Water Plans : Texas Water Plan - Post 4

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