The first piece of good news is that last night Lubbock received its first real rainfall in a year. You don't realize how much you like rain until you don't see it for a long, long time and we got a gully washer. Nothing but rain, thunder and lightening for almost 2 hours. The rain that fell last night actually doubled the amount received during the last eight months combined. While it was great, it doesn't even begin to quench the drought going on throughout the state. More must be done.
Throughout the drought and before we have harped on the need for conservation. Other expensive solutions such as reservoirs are no help if there is no water to fill them. Despite this, much of Texas has not had an exemplary record in this area. In fact, a few months ago we posted a somewhat critical blog about West Texas and Texas Tech campus, but some good news in that arena just crossed my desk. The president of Texas Tech University, Guy Bailey, announced the launch of an on-campus sustainability effort. This announcement followed the recommendations of the President’s Sustainability Taskforce. Hopefully, this signals the the end of daily lawn watering at 4pm and frequent power washing of sidewalks.
Finally, it seems that agriculture interests may also be pushed towards increased conservation. Recently, the High Plain Water Conservation District approved new pumping limits and reporting requirements. Covering a 16-county region, landowners will need to start reporting how much water they have used in the year, which requires them to install meters. Growers must pump less than 21 inches of water for each contiguous acre they own. While many landowners were unhappy with the 4-0 vote, it signals an era of seeking to balance private property rights with water reality. We will certainly be watching both of these stories closely and updating you.