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Water shortages predicted

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The Ellis County Press

AUSTIN - Before watering your lawn today, think about the future. The future water supply of Texas, that is.

Water shortages are predicted within the decade for our state.

Most regions of Texas are experiencing some form of drought presently, and a shortage of freshwater is expected, according to several federal and state agencies.

The Texas Drought Preparedness Council in Austin report May 2003 concluded an unusually dry period in the state.

March through May 2003 was the second driest three-month period on record, according to the council.

May 2003 was the ninth driest May on record.

The Texas Drought Conditions Summary for July 9 labeled the situation in North Texas as 'mild drought conditions,' according to their measuring systems.

As of July 1, 49 Texas communities currently have mandatory water use restrictions, while 10 others are asking for voluntary restrictions.

Water managers in most states expect shortages of freshwater even without a drought under 'average water conditions,' within the next 10 years, according to a report issued July 9 by the General Accounting Office.

Growing population, climate changes, depletion of groundwater and limited building of dams and reservoirs are factors which are impacting water supplies, according to the report.

Texas was among the 16 states where water authorities expect regional shortages in water supply.

The Texas Water Development Board is the state agency which prepares the state's water plan, administers the development of water resources and administers the financial programs for construction of water supplies, wastewater treatment, flood control and agricultural water conservation.

The TWDB has issued a report 'Water for Texas - 2002' which projects the water resources, supplies, and demands for the 16 regions of the state until 2050.

The lengthy report details the growing pressures on the water resources of the state, including the present drought and predicted population increases in most regions. The report can be seen at the agency's website www.twdb.state.tx.us.

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