West Texas Mayors Team Up To Solve Water Crisis for 100 Years 2/20/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
February 20, 2013
MIDLAND, TX – Midland Mayor Wes Perry, Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald and San Angelo Mayor Alvin New are pushing for new water-project bills in hopes of securing our water supply.
If passed through legislature, the bills would promise access to water for the next 100 years.
Perry says it takes a team effort to make major changes in water development.
"It could start raining today and that would mean we would have plenty of water in our lakes. But that doesn't mean we would still have these solutions for the future,” said Midland Mayor Wes Perry.
After two years of planning, the three mayors have formed the West Texas Water Partnership.
The mayors are backing two water-project bills that would create a water infrastructure fund to loan money for water projects. The fund would come from $2 billion of the state Rainy Day Fund.
The project would create more options for the cities to find, purify and conserve water.
"You got to have diversity in your supplies… that's geographic, underground or surface," said Perry.
One major part of the project is the Cedar Ridge Reservoir. It is a $240 million project out of Abilene that uses part of the Brazos River to create a pipeline, which would supply water to all three cities.
Perry says that the water proposition will eventually help more than the three cities. The finalized plan would help the West Texas area, especially during a population boom.
"We just have to look at water differently and be bigger thinkers. Really the state of Texas has to also. If we’re going to have population increases, we're expecting for a vibrant economy … but if you don't have water; you can just forget it,” said Perry.
The water project bills are still at the very beginning phases.
Perry says the main focus now is Midland, San Angelo and Abilene. However, they are currently in the process of getting smaller cities involved.