Future of panhandle water discussed at Water Conservation Sympos - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Future of panhandle water discussed at Water Conservation Symposium

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The future of our area's most important resource brought hundreds together today in Amarillo for a Water Conservation Symposium.

Now that the panhandle is finally ending years of drought, water officials want residents to know that conserving water is still vital for our area.

"We're trying to enlighten people and educate people on the things that can be done through water conservation and heighten the awareness of water," said C. E. Williams, General Manager of the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District. "It's an important resource for all of us here in the panhandle."

More than a dozen speakers hosted sessions ranging from government regulation of groundwater to the use of satellites to evaluate agricultural water use.

"Agriculture is really the major driving force behind not just Amarillo's economy, but our regions economy," said Jarrett Atkinson, a speaker at the symposium. "Amarillo is home to some of the information we can get from the Texas A&M Extension, the USDA's agricultural research facility out at Bushland, all of the various programs that West Texas A&M University has."

Atkinson said the state legislature should soon hand down guidance to the local groundwater districts on how best to manage this resource.

Due to the drought, reservoirs are low and the Ogallala Aquifer is being pumped much faster than the water can be replaced.

These were some of the main factors speakers used to promote water conservation even when there is no drought.

"My opinion is all of us in Texas should always act like we're in a drought," said Dr. Robert Mace, Deputy Executive Administrator for the Texas Water Development Board. "Even when it starts raining, the next drought is always around the next corner."

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