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February 08, 2012

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs Stresses Importance of Water Management for State’s Prosperity

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs released today The Impact of the 2011 Drought and Beyond – an analysis of the effects of the severe 2011 drought in Texas, current and future water resources in the state and innovative solutions being used in Texas and elsewhere in the Southwest to solve the water crisis.

“Planning and managing water use will be of utmost importance for the state’s growth and prosperity,” Combs said. “While recent rains have helped put a dent in drought severity in different parts of the state, we’re not out of the woods. Texas is prone to cycles of drought which makes it important for residents, businesses and state and local governments to manage water use. Every Texan has a stake in water issues the state faces.”

The Texas Water Development Board’s 2012 State Water Plan predicts water demand in Texas will rise by 22 percent by 2060, and estimates that should we experience another “drought of record” like in the 1950s, it could cost Texas businesses and workers nearly $116 billion in income by 2060.

The Impact of the 2011 Drought and Beyond looks at innovative water management solutions such as aquifer storage and recovery, used in cities such as San Antonio; the use of treated wastewater for irrigation; and the conversion of brackish groundwater into drinking water (known as desalination).

“We also contacted water planners in cities in New Mexico and Arizona that have grappled with water issues since the 1980s and ‘90s. Their strategies range from diversified water portfolios that draw water from different sources, to rebates for landscaping with native, drought-tolerant plants. This water report helps give valuable insight as Texas looks for a broad range of solutions to water issues,” Combs said.

The Impact of the 2011 Drought and Beyond can be found online at http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/drought/.

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