Drought Puts Student Athletes in Danger 8/30/12
CBS 7 News
August 30, 2012
ODESSA, TX - Sports fields across the basin are bare, brown and are now becoming dangerous.
School is back in session and football is back on the field.
Across Ector County thousands of student athletes will pad up but the fields they're on, leave little protection once they hit the ground.
ECISD spokesperson Mike Adkins explains there isn’t much the district can do.
"We're under the same restrictions that the rest of the City of Odessa is under in terms of days and times and amounts of water and how we can water."
Fields have even become dangerous in one case an elementary student is sidelined after breaking his wrist when he hit the ground and tried to use it hand to brace the fall.
"It's really hard on their feet. I know my son right now is complaining everday that his ankles hurt," said Christi Craig, who's son plays youth league football.
"If they hit hard enough they could really hurt themselves," said Jaci Pence, who's son also plays youth league football.
But Adkins explains keeping the field plush and green is nearly impossible with the drought and restrictions.
"It's not possible to keep fields and playgrounds watered at two early education centers, 25 elementary schools, six junior highs and two comprehensive high schools."
"It would be nice for them to put some money into a water well and put water wells at the schools and water the grounds. I mean it is for the kid's safety," said Pence.
But building a water well he says isn't so simple and they've already turned down at least one parent teacher association because Adkins says it's too costly and risky.
"We feel very comfortable in saying from all the surveys that we’ve done, the water is inconsistent, there is no guarantee and it is going to require multiple wells."
The district is in talks with the city to approve a variance for the schools to water more in some areas, but says they still don't have a set plan to improve the fields and soften the blows.
"We're trying to find a district wide solution, what that's going to be we're not one hundred percent sure yet."
For any organization or group that is interested in footing the bill for a water well system, the district asks you to first to the legwork.
They ask that a water study and estimates be completed first.