Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No Water = No Jobs

The recent announcement by the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) about likely outdoor watering restrictions will not just be an inconvenience, it will impact the economy.  

Nursery and landscaping, the original green industry, has an annual economic impact of nearly $15 billion on the Texas economy. With water restrictions, fewer plantings and outdoor activities will occur.  

Texans of the 1950s were faced with similar tough decisions on water. What was their response? Build! Build! Build! Local governments, recognizing the severe economic consequences of a lack of water, were determined to do something about it and created new water capacity that served our state well for decades.  

Today, we have a choice to make: We can ration and restrict our way forward, but this drives away jobs, decreases quality options and slows economic activity. Or, we can Conserve, Collaborate and Construct our way to meeting our needs: Conserving water through smart usage, better plants and improved technology; Collaborating with other communities and states on shared water projects; and Constructing both new capacity and modern delivery systems.

There is no single solution to solve our water woes, but there are multiple ways we can make a difference.

Texans of the 1950s are remembered for making tough decisions and providing solutions for over 60 years. How will Texans of today be remembered in 2070?

For more info on the pending SAWS regulations, go here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Commissioner Staples,

I am very gratified to see your commentary on SAWS water restrictions and your thoughts about increasing the supply of water independent of the water conservation well. Here in Austin, where I have served as BOMA Austin's Water Sustainability Chair, we have been involved in the water restriction discussion and rule making process since 2007. Regulation has a serious impact on business and too often those concerns are dismissed. I am a commercial landscaper and our product represents real property value to our clients. Poorly considered public policy can reduce property value and have the additional negative consequence of reducing property tax revenues. Bad policy can also drive business out of the area taking away needed talent from Texas.

Efficient use of our shared water resources is an important part of meeting the water goals and expanding the supply for the State of Texas. Equally important is increasing the supply of fresh water through infrastructure development, technological improvements in treating brackish water and reservoir development. I look forward to seeing the Department of Agriculture's and your continued input into this critical process.

Thank you,

Jody McDaniel
Chair, Water Sustainability Committee-BOMA Austin
Major Accounts Manager-SunTerra Landscape Services