Despite South Plains constant dryness, water isn't running out a

Despite South Plains constant dryness, water isn't running out anytime soon

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

West Texans are no stranger to hot, dry conditions.

A few hundred feet lies a large sand aquifer that provides more than enough water to the communities and farmers across the plains. In some areas around Lubbock County, the longevity of that water is in question.

"We keep outgrowing, and growing more and more and so we've only got a limited number of water wells," said Darrell Newsom, City Manager for Wolfforth, TX. 

He said Wolfforth has had to start exploring options to pipe water in.

"We can't continue to go to the same sources," he said. "We have to come up with new resources whether it's reclaimed water, retreated or brought in for somewhere else or whatever that happens to be."

He said this is a reality for a growing number of towns

"I think as big as Lubbock is getting, all the communities in Lubbock County are going to have to go to other resources to diversify their portfolio."

While some areas may be looking for other sources, Keith Whitworth, a field technician supervisor for the High Plains Water District, said the region is not running out of water anytime soon.

"There are some areas that have more water than other areas but we don't really hear of anyone running out that had water before," he said.

In those areas developers are working with future residents to ensure they have a strong supply of water.

"In some areas you can see where they've maybe had to put up storage tanks, their well doesn't produce enough for what they need for their home to operate properly so they'll have some storage tanks in their back yard or somewhere and that's just so they can keep that tank full during the day time and at night when they're not using the water."

He said it just depends on what the Ogallala Aquifer look like below your feet.

"Where that base is lower, you will have more saturated thickness. So the Idalou area, Ransom Canyon, Buffalo area toward Slaton, they will have more saturated thickness then say over by Shallowater and Wolfforth and near the south side of the county."

Even then there is enough water in the area for towns like Wolfforth to bring in and dig for, so running dry is not expected anytime soon.

"If we have those deeper wells we won't be in competition with either ourselves or with the local ag producers at that deeper level and it does have some salinity issues but it's not as bad as the deep water and it's at a level we can use the water treatment plant to clean it up," Newsom said.

Whitworth said just because we have a strong water supply does not mean you should not conserve. He suggests using rainwater to water your lawn, and if you use a well to irrigate, only use the water necessary so you do not deplete your resources.

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