(6) comments Back to story

Gary Miller

It isn't a drought.
It's a shortage of tropical storms which provide most of our normal rain. When the tropical storms return later this year the drought will end.

Kevin Lang

IHOG, do you know the last time we had an average or above average rainfall year? Do you know the last time we had a five year period where the average was near our expected average? We're 8 inches below. Sure, one tropical storm can probably put us statistically above average, but the amount of that water that would actually wind up stored in our aquifers would not match the actual rainfall amount. We need a number of light to moderate rains to actually penetrate the soil.

Plus, with our state's population growth, in order to satisfy our water demands, we need more and more rain each year.

Maybe you have a bit of a point regarding the chance of over-dramatizing things by labeling it a drought, but I think you're running the risk of over-trivializing it.

Carlos Ponce

Texas Weather - One day we complain about not enough rainfall, the next, too much. That's the funny thing about averages, drought one year, flooding the next. The average for Galveston should be 50.76 inches per year which should be 4.23 inches per month but it doesn't work out that way. Galveston got 10.93 inches on July 25, 1979 that's just ONE DAY. In June of 1919 Galveston got 21.50 total inches. 18.23 inches in September of 2002.
kevjlang writes "with our state's population growth, in order to satisfy our water demands, we need more and more rain each year". You can't mess with nature without dire consequences. But there is plenty of water. Israel uses desalination for some of its water supply. There were articles in the GDN a while back " LC to consider desalinization" Sunday, August 4, 2013, " Is desalination really an option?"Saturday, October 12, 2013, " League City looks to desalination for future water needs"Sunday, May 19, 2013 etc. It's worth looking into especially for times of "drought".

Kevin Lang

In Israel, desalinization is relatively cheap because their arid climate pretty much keeps cheap natural supplies out of the mix. Here, I think that before we get too invested in desalinization, we need to look at ways to get landscape and other things that don't require potable supplies of the potable water sources. Neither my lawn nor my toilet need the same water I drink and cook with. Of course most of these options will require infrastructure changes, some even within our homes, in order to show maximum benefits.

Carlos Ponce

Dow Chemical is working to provide Freeport, Texas with desalinized water. Other possible projects include Corpus Christi and Brownsville.

Kevin Lang

I don't doubt that at all. I'm not at all opposed to desalinization. It's no panacea, but there are definitely conditions where it can work, and everything is work considering. It's biggest benefit is that, while an expensive source of drinking water, it can plug right into the standard domestic water supply. Essentially a polar opposite of grey water distribution--should be a cheap supply, but there are up-front infrastructure costs. I have no idea of the economic specifics to know which is cheaper in the near term, mid term, or long term. I don't doubt that the lines might cross a number of times.

I'd bet that Dow has a need that will be fulfilled through the project. Perhaps some combination of industrial water and minerals.

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