NAWC Speaks to Texas Water Challenges
On May 7, the San Antonio Express-News published a commentary by Marybeth Leongini, NAWC Director of Communications, titled “Infrastructure improvement key to water sufficiency.” Leongini addresses the water infrastructure challenges in Texas and how private water companies in the state provide more efficient water resource planning and management, along with expertise and investment.
Read the full piece below:
Water professionals from around the state descended on Texas recently for the largest regional water conference in the country. As Texans well know, parts of the state face severe drought conditions, and the challenges, no doubt, will be exacerbated as Texas’ population is expected to increase 30 percent over the next 20 years. As population increases, so does the demand for water.
All these factors spotlight the importance of more meaningful water resource planning and management, areas in which regulated water utilities are well known for leading the way. Hundreds of thousands of Texans are served by these utilities, which prioritize investment in their water infrastructure to ensure the highest level of efficiency and to better conserve this valuable natural resource.
For example, Aqua Texas Inc., which serves 177,000 people in 53 Texas counties, has spent $220 million over the past 15 years to improve and rebuild pipes, plants, wells and other water infrastructure. Another water utility, Canyon Lake Water Service Co., which serves 42,000 customers between Austin and San Antonio, in 2017 completed a record capital program of investment in its Texas infrastructure totaling more than $140 million. These companies’ commitment to investment helps minimize water loss, and ensures their customers can count on safe and reliable water service.
The reality is that many municipalities struggle to balance competing fiscal priorities. And in the face of a drought, delayed investment can have serious consequences. By harnessing the expertise and investment of the private sector, Texas can improve the state’s water infrastructure and ensure future generations of Texans have the water they need when they need it.
Marybeth Leongini is director of communications for the National Association of Water Companies.