Yesterday, March 13, I drove out to the Eckert James River Bat Cave, one of the largest bat nurseries in the world, and did some volunteer work. We were so far out in the wilderness it looked like a scene from a movie on Africa, including fording streams. There is no cell phone service out there.
|Jame River, Mason County, TX|
Now, Austin, two hours away, wants our water. Metropolitan Austin has in excess of 1 million people. Versus our 4000. The odds are not in our favor.
So, why the water wars? Two reasons - climbing population and drought.
Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the union. When I was born in 1957 there were about 4 million people in the state. Today, there are nearly 26 million. The farm we lived on is now a neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes surrounded by a large city. And, it keeps increasing.
More people, more demands for water.
At the same time, we have been experiencing drought for years. Depending on the region and the source of information, the drought has been going for anywhere from 5 to 15 years. I can personally attest to how rivers that used to flow with adequate water are now completely dry - and have been for several years.
On top of this is a cause so many people don't want to acknowledge - climate change. Drought in this region is simply something you learn to deal with. But, they are getting more frequent and more severe because of climate change. I find it interesting how people will get all riled up about the water wars and, at the same time, deny that climate change is making the situation worse. Here is a perfect example of a community not far from where I live: