The outlook in Texas suggests continuing water problems and an ever-greater need for conservation. Yet there are game changers that could help us break the pattern. Austin and San Antonio are two cities providing a model for proactive water planning.
Other developments would allow us to curtail water consumption without harming economic growth. Emerging processes for hydraulic fracturing, for example, could maintain our latest energy boom while minimizing its water needs. As growing populations increasingly strain water supplies, dryland farming is another, if less palatable, option for farmers.