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Abilene, Midland, San Angelo mayors form partnership to plan for long-term water needs

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Jan 29 2014 10:04:08 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 30 2014 01:23:00 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Wednesday, Mayor Norm Archibald announced a partnership between Abilene, Midland and San Angelo to plan for long-term water needs.

They are calling it the West Texas Water Partnership.

Archibald, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales and San Angelo Mayor Dwain Morrison talked about their hopes to bring more water to the area. 

"There's times that one of us is going to have resources that the others don't have and that partnership could come into a big play," Archibald said.

State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-District 24, helped author Proposition 6, which will help pay for and establish water reuse facilities, conservation, and additional reservoirs throughout the state.

Fraser said passage of Prop 6 made it possible to create this partnership because it set aside billions of dollars for rural water projects.

Fraser said we can no longer rely on above ground reservoirs where water is evaporating too quickly.

"We've developed our system as being very dependent on weather and right now weather is not cooperating with us and we've got to find water sources that don't depend on whether it rains or not," Fraser said.

Fraser said some ideas would be to reuse grey water, desalinate brackish water or build below-ground reservoirs.

Fraser also said there is a new problem on the horizon -- the oil boom. 

"The fact that each one of these wells are using a lot of water in fracking in order to develop these wells and if they continue doing that they're going to use up a lot of our drinking water that were going to need for future generations," Fraser said.

The three mayors said the process of deciding on water projects will be very transparent and open to public opinion.