Farm Press Blog

Proposition 6 is critical for Texas growth


Texans should approve Proposition 6 in the upcoming election. That proposal would provide $2 billion in seed money to jump start a state water plan approved by the Texas legislature last session.

The past three years of drought may have been less noticeable to average Texans than it has to farmers and ranchers who depend on adequate moisture to raise crops and keep livestock healthy or to smalltown residents who faced the dire prospect of running out of water as wells and reservoirs dried up. Some may have carped a bit about local water use restrictions that limited how often they could water their lawns, wash their cars or fill their swimming pools. Some may have been grounded when their favorite fishing holes became inaccessible because boat ramps were a football field away from the water’s edge.

But for the most part, those of us who live in cities and suburbs continue to have enough water to cook, shower daily and flush toilets when necessary. And most of us have been able to keep the grass, if not emerald green, at least alive. Golfers continue to find acceptably manicured courses to pursue their pastime.


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But most give little thought to the devastating effect drought, declining aquifers and shrinking reservoirs have on rural residents. Most don’t see the dusty fields, the scraggly crops and the brown rangeland that make producing food and fiber a near impossibility. And most don’t realize—yet—that farm and ranch failure will affect them at some point as food and clothing prices increase.

And perhaps most don’t yet realize that water is becoming a crucial issue, not only to rural Texans but also to every resident. We are running out of water. We were running out of water before the most recent droughts. Latest estimates indicate that within 40 years, maybe sooner, Texas water resources will be inadequate to meet demand.

The state’s population is growing; competition for water resources is increasing as more businesses, manufacturing companies and people move in and expect adequate water to run plants, keep landscapes colorful and amenities, such as golf courses and swimming pools, operational.

Without adequate water, Texas will cease to be an attractive option for business relocation. The governor can travel from one end of the country to the other to attract new business to the state, but his message of a business friendly environment will be of little value if Texas can’t provide adequate water to support those businesses and the people who come with them.

That’s why it’s important for Texans to approve Proposition 6 in the upcoming election. That proposal would provide $2 billion in seed money to jump start a state water plan approved by the Texas legislature last session.

Texans have opportunity to vote on water issue Nov.5

It’s an off-year election, so turnout is expected to be low. But the issue could not be more important. Developing water resources is not a challenge that can be addressed at the 11thhour. Water plan implementation requires long-range efforts, creative thinking and a commitment to consider multiple options—new reservoirs, improved infrastructures and better conservation programs.

Texans can’t afford to delay implementation of a comprehensive water plan. It’s too important for the state’s growth potential, too important for the state’s economy, including the crucial agriculture sector, too important for the well-being of Texas’ citizens.

Vote yes on Proposition 6.


Also of interest: 

Will fed take over groundwater regulations?

Mexico's water crisis may shed light on water treaty non-complian…  

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

on Oct 25, 2013

This is interesting. Notice this article is missing any specifics of what the prop actually says.
We in Texas are hearing that this is primarily to feed metro areas with water. At the expense of rural areas. A pipeline from South Texas to Dallas/Fort Worth? New reservoirs? Read that imminent domain and flooding of family farms to divert water to some inner city or corporation. Think about all the issues California has with water and that is what prop 6 would create in Texas.
Vote NO on prop 6

on Oct 25, 2013

Prop 6 is designed to guarantee that Texas' major metropolitan areas have a full supply of water at the expense of the rural areas of the state. Notice the article doesn't give any specifics. Things like a pipeline from South Texas (which has it's own water issues) to The Dallas/Fort Worth metro and new reservoirs which actually means family farms and ranches being imminent domained and flooded so inner cities and suburban golf courses can have all the water they want to waste.
Vote NO on prop 6!

on Oct 25, 2013

I very STRONGLY disagree with prop 6 because although Texas may need water, the state water plan calls for the construction of twenty something new shallow, redundant reservoirs to be built on intermittent flow streams and these reservoirs will NOT help add water in times of drought and they won't help farmers even when there is no drought. In fact, they will require hundreds of farmers to give up their best and most productive farm land and the only water the rest of the farmers will get is what they purchase from the water districts at the same rate as their city customers and that is not economically feasible. I will support a state water plan that actually gets more water from desalination of coastal and other brackish water but not from the building of any more mud hole reservoirs on prime farmland. Prop 6 is by and for urban centered water districts. Some rural water and utility districts could use some of the money for infrastructure repair but the lion's share of Prop 6 is to build new mud hole reservoirs on prime farm land to benefit urban dwellers who are still trying to grow a tropical grass (St. Augustine) in an arid environment (most of Texas) without regard to what it cost in money or other people's (rural Texas farmers) assets. Your magazine is supposed to help farmers, so quit advocating the ruin of thousands of acres of prime farm land and the forced retirement or relocation of hundreds of farmers. There is still plenty of water available in existing reservoirs but it will take pipes to get it where it may be needed. This is not being done. Instead, the water districts claim it is cheaper to build reservoirs closer to the urban centers but they are always ready to build yet another reservoir a little further away and run a pipe to it. Their approach gathers up all the water rights from the urban centers to the coast and leaves no bottom land and no water rights for farmers. For example, North Texas Municipal Water District wants to build the Lower Bois D' Arc Creek Reservoir, Parkhouse I &II, and Marvin Nichols Reservoir. Bois D' Arc Creek Reservoir, by their own figures, will be half or less than half full 70% of the time but will waste 16,526 acres of some of the best farmland in Fannin County and about 30 to 40 thousand other acres of farmland for wildlife mitigation and their permit requests the rights to ALL the water that flows in Bois'D Arc Creek, the main drainage channel for Fannin County. This one mud hole reservoir could remove from farmers approximately 1 in every 10 acres in the county. The other reservoirs, Parkhouse I &II and Marvin Nichols, are all on the Sulphur River. Wright Patman, Cooper Lake and others already exist on the Sulphur River. Ralph Hall Reservoir has just been approved. Wright Patman was built to hold the entire flow of the Sulphur so why spend billions building more reservoirs on the same channel? NTMWD claims it costs too much to pipe water from Wright Patman but they are willing to build more reservoirs between Ralph Hall and Wright Patman and pump water from each of them. Why not go directly to the existing reservoir? Could it be greed for water rights and the money it generates? What about the rural citizens? As usual, hold out your begging hand and ask, "What will you give me?" Prop 6 give the Texas Water Development Board the means to fund the State Water Plan, which is the biggest land grab from rural Texans in Texas' history. I've got a view from the other side and I will NOT support it!!!!! I ask you to do likewise.

on Oct 25, 2013

I agree that Texans can’t afford to delay implementation of a comprehensive water plan. Many people think that droughts only affect farmers but they affect everyone in Texas.
Than Nguyen

on Oct 25, 2013

The water plan includes much more than creating new reservoirs, which will account for only about 17 percent of the overall program. See earlier article for more information on the program:
It is a complex, controversial topic and involves more than urban and more than rural Texans. The plan does include improvements to rural water plans and dedicates a lot of resources to conservation.
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