When you look at the globe, it seems like we have a lot of water, but 97% of that water is salt water. Of the remaining 3%, 2.5% is frozen. So, there is a bit of a mad grab for the remaining 1/2% of the world’s water.
70% of that 1/2% is used for agriculture.
Water is the single most constrained resource in the world. It is a fixed asset. The amount of water we have today is the same as the water we had 1,000 years ago, but world population has exploded, and is continuing to grow.
Every major city in Texas is worried about water — how they are going to provide water for everyone.
Good news: In Texas we have a water plan. It’s a $50 billion plan looks out 50 years at population projections. It’s updated every five years. Still, the water fights are going to make oil look like child’s play.
Voters authorized loaning out $27B to communities (managed by the Texas Water Development Board). 20% must be spent on conservation and reuse. 10% must be dedicated to agricultural conservation. Total 30% on conservation.
Conservation is an affordability issue. If we use less water, as the population grows we won’t have to find new water. 30% of ag water gets lost every year by evaporation and other issues.
Surface water: The water you can see.
Aquifer water. Underground. Texas has 10. Very different ecologically.
Our state considers water a private property right. Service water is owned and operated by the state. Of course, the challenge is, they relate. They flow into each other, so we’re on a collision course. One subdivision builds wells. The wells of an older neighboring subdivision go dry.
We have water scarcity issues. San Antonio got all their water from the aquifer, now they are going to have to spend $3B.
So, besides health care, insurance and education, water is another big issue facing Texas (and the rest of the world). Next: payday lending.