Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 20, 2013

Water takes center stage in Texas Legislature

Mineral Wells Index

— From staff reports

PALO PINTO COUNTY – Water issues, particularly access and funding, have taken center stage during the 83rd Texas Legislature as state leaders debate the future needs of a growing state.

“Water is important for all Texans, especially farmers and ranchers,” said Greg Gilbert, president of Palo Pinto County Farm Bureau.

“Without water, we can’t grow our crops or water our livestock, and that means less food for everyone.”

Conservation is an important tool to ensure enough water is available to meet the state’s increasing population. Legislators, state agencies and organizations like Texas Farm Bureau are encouraging both rural and urban citizens to find ways to use less of the state’s short supply.

“Farmers use cutting-edge irrigation techniques to be sure they only use as much water as is needed to grow their crops,” Gilbert said. “We want to encourage our urban neighbors to find ways that they can save, too. That can be as simple as following lawn watering restrictions or only turning on the tap when necessary.”

Texas legislators are considering bills to encourage xeriscaping, drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting and other conservation techniques.

During the session, farmers and ranchers also would like to see expanded financial support for water infrastructure and programs.