Several Water Options for Amarillo

Emmett Autrey, City of Amarillo
Emmett Autrey, City of Amarillo
Amarillo City Commissioner Jim Sims
Amarillo City Commissioner Jim Sims

There's another bed of water under the Ogallala Aquifer...

That's what Amarillo City officials are saying after test wells show an unknown source could end up being very fruitful.

City officials say the lake isn't our only way of getting water.. In fact Amarillo owns more than 200 thousand acres of mostly undeveloped water rights.

Emmett Autrey with the City of Amarillo says, "We have gone back into the area southwest of town and we are looking at, two fold things, we are rehabilitating some of the older ogallala wells to try and improve the production on them, that's going to be an marginal improvement. But mainly now especially in the area we call city lake, we have been drilling test holes there strictly for the Santa Rosa aquifer."

The Santa Rosa apparently lies just under the Ogallala.... Officials say they can get the water out using existing pipelines. This comes into place since building pipelines is expensive.

In fact, one 19 mile pipeline being set up in Potter County will cost the city about 30 million dollars.

Officials say the cost is worth it... And they have been setting aside for the 2011 project.

Amarillo City Commissioner Jim Simms says, "That's the place where we should expand and we can rest some of these well's that we have been heavily using."

There are several other acres of water that has no pipeline run to it... Autrey says we could get well into 2050 before deciding on whether to drill in to those area's or not.