Texas State Water Plan looks ahead 50 years

Local farmers may have to make tough choices when adapting to drought

Author: John Honore, Meteorologist, jhonore@ksat.com
Published On: Jan 31 2013 08:59:47 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 31 2013 10:30:00 PM CST
LACOSTE, Texas -

State legislators are discussing how to fund the $53 billion Texas State Water Plan, a collaboration of proposals on how to secure water for the state for the next 50 years

As Medina Lake continues to run dry, it does not look like water from that lake will be made available to farmers to irrigate their crops this spring. With the lack of tapable resources for water, many farmers are going to have to rely heavily on Mother Nature this spring and many are worried their fields are going to remain barren.

"I guess in reality everybody is kind of bummed out. There's going to be a lot of irrigated farmers over the past many many years that are going to be dry land," said Craig Muennink, a grain distributor who business relies heavily on the success of local farmers' corn crops.

Muennink has 10, 54 bushel silos for corn distribution. He says because of the drought he will be lucky to fill one of them with local crops this year.

He's trying to help his farmer clients adapt to the conditions.

"We're just trying to pick a variety to accommodate the drought conditions. Something that is going to be tolerant," Muennink said.

Muenninck says that part of the Texas Water Plan should be to allow farmers to pump water from underneath their land to irrigate crops.

Calvin Finch, director of Texas A&M University's Water Conservation and Technology Center says Muenninck might be on to something - but farmers may have to harvest water instead of growing crops with it.

"You maybe able to get more return on your time and your property from leasing your water or selling your water than raising some of the crops," Finch said.

With the state growing at such a rapid rate, competition for water between individuals, industry, and farmers may squeeze some types of crops out of Texas fields.

For a list of recent stories John Honore has done, click here.