Facility would solve water needs for Texas
By By the Advocate Editorial Board
March 8, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated March 7, 2012 at 9:08 p.m.
We think that the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is on track to take care of our region's water needs. And that's commendable.
The recent ruling by the Texas Supreme Court complicates water availability for the future. That determination gave landowners the ownership of water beneath their land. While the decision is a victory for property rights, it is counter to future water needs because the state's 96 groundwater districts' authority to regulate water wells on private property is diminished.
We agree that the Legislature should take this issue and pass law that treats groundwater like rivers, lakes and streams.
On the other hand, a coastal desalination plant to solve water demands has been a topic among GBRA officials for some time. Last year, GBRA General Manager Bill West said "a desalination plant would solve all the water needs of Texas."
This year, Jim Murphy, the GBRA's executive manager of water resources and utility operations, spoke at the Victoria Partnership meeting and reiterated West's message, but this time rather than a neat idea, the prospect of a desalination plant seems to be more a reality.
And even better, Victoria is smack dab in the middle of the Texas Coast and the likely location for such a plant.
Now, the GBRA is planning for a desalination plant. Studies for the plant would cost in the neighborhood of $500,000, but the actual cost of the plant is an unknown.
The project will be administered by the University of Texas-San Antonio and the GBRA will distribute it among governmental agencies, engineering firms and corporations.
To defray the cost, the GBRA plans to find entities to share the expense - particularly industry and businesses that would benefit from such a dependable water source. No drought would threaten water use in industries that require lots of water.
Again, we commend the GBRA for its forward thinking, planning and stewardship of our most valuable resource.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.