The confluence of the Lower Pecos River and Independence Creek. The effect of the creek can be seen in these water jars—the jar on the left is a sample from the Lower Pecos above the confluence, and on the right is a sample from the Lower Pecos taken at the confluence.
Clean, fresh water is essential to the well-being of every living thing on the planet. Without it, businesses can’t function, families can’t cook a safe meal, economies can’t grow and nature can’t flourish. The quality and quantity of this precious resource will in large measure determine who, in future generations, will thrive—and literally, who will survive.
Texas is still battling a multi-year drought. While current conditions are no match for 2011, which was the worst single-year drought on record, there are still many cities that are in danger of running out of water. What has become a new reality for so many Texans magnifies our state’s looming predicament: a precarious water supply at a time of rapidly increasing population. Texas is projected to have about 50 million people by 2060 but our water resources will dwindle by nearly 10 percent. Water shortages will cost businesses and workers nearly $116 billion per year.
It’s clear how important it is for Texas to have strategies in place that encourage responsible water stewardship. That’s why The Nature Conservancy was instrumental in helping pass Proposition 6 during the 2013 legislative session. Prop. 6 recognizes the importance of conservation in Texas’ long-term water planning and devotes a historic level of funding toward state water projects. It will help growing cities secure the water they need and create strong conservation programs for the future.
But as we seek to secure adequate water supplies for the future, we recognize the need to plan with an eye on agricultural and industrial use as well as strong urban development. Our systems—land, water and marine—are fully interconnected and we must respect that connection and work toward the goal of whole system conservation.
Since 95 percent of land in Texas is privately owned, the Conservancy will continue to work with landowners, local governments and business to ensure the protection of land in vital watersheds. In the last decade, we have worked alongside local governments in Central Texas to invest more than half a billion dollars in water protection funds; we’ve also helped protect more than 100,000 acres of critical groundwater lands in San Antonio, including 21 percent of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, the most sensitive area of the entire aquifer. The health of the Edwards Aquifer is critical—it is the sole source of drinking water for more than two million Central Texans.
The Conservancy’s work benefits nearly a dozen different waterways around the state: the Devils, Blanco, Brazos, Frio, Nueces, Sabinal and Pedernales Rivers; Barton, Independence and Love Creeks, and Caddo Lake. We are committed to freshwater conservation for a simple reason: Conserving water for tomorrow is the greatest legacy we can leave for future generations.
Download Fact Sheets
Texas Freshwater (PDF)
Blanco River Project (PDF)