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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1d30001HearSA is an online audio archive of public programming intended to foster discussion and enhance awareness of informative local presentations and events. The archive includes lectures, panel discussions, book readings, and more. HearSA is presented by Texas Public Radio in association with its local partners. It is important to recognize that the opinions presented in these programs are those of the author or presenter, not Texas Public Radio or any of its stations, and are not necessarily endorsed by TPR.If your organization hosts lectures, book readings, panel discussions, or presentations and is interested in participating, email HearSA curator, Nathan Cone at ncone [at] tpr dot org

Population Growth Puts Pressure On Texas' Water Sources

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The legal challenges that come with private property rights and Texas’ growing need for water were the topic of the most recent Texas Water Symposium, held on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

Texas expected to double in population growth over the next 40-50 years, with most of the growth in cities, said Dr. Jay Banner in opening remarks before the panel. “Where will all these people—twice as many people as there currently are—get the water that they need?” he asked, noting the historic drought conditions the state has also endured.

The panel’s moderator, Suzanne Schwartz, offered additional background, pointing out the fact that Texas owns the surface water of the state, but groundwater is privately owned. That has a lot of consequences, she said, including issues of private property rights against uncompensated takings.

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Listen to the below audio for:

  • The differences between resources like oil & gas, and water
  • Whether Texas will be able to meet its water needs for the future
  • How water will be paid for in the future: “We absolutely are not paying the true value of water.” --Amy Hardberger
  • How the legislature needs to act in 2017: “We can’t keep chipping away at little pieces and parcels.”

Panelists:

 Moderator: Suzanne Schwartz, UT School of Law