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Texas AM Study: North Texas Water Disappearing

April 14, 2013


Two scientists from the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at Vernon warn of likely future problems looming with the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex’s main water supply. AgriLife Research geospatial hydrology assistant professor Dr. Srinivasulu Ale, and his post-doctoral research associate Dr. Sriroop Chaudhuri recently completed an evaluation of groundwater resources in the Trinity and Woodbine aquifers that lie under the metroplex, and have published their findings in an international journal, Science of the Total Environment.

The “Characterization of Groundwater Resources in the Trinity and Woodbine Aquifers in Texas” study’s primary research objective was to map and analyze the changes in water levels and quality in the Trinity and Woodbine aquifers between 1960 and 2010. Data used for the analysis was provided by the Texas Water Development Board.

An article by Texas A&M Agrilife Today’s Kay Ledbetter notes that the Trinity Aquifer is a major aquifer extending across much of the central and northeastern part of the state, while the Woodbine Aquifer is a minor aquifer located in northeast Texas and overlies the Trinity Aquifer. Both aquifers provide water for municipal, industrial, domestic, livestock and small irrigation supplies.

The study abstract notes that “a vast region in north-central Texas, centering on Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, suffers from intense groundwater drawdown and water quality degradation, which led to inclusion of 18 counties of this region into Priority Groundwater Management Areas.”



In today’s Dallas Morning News, writer Wendy Hundley reports that  Robert Mace, a Texas Water Development Board administrator tells the News that he was surprised by the study’s findings on water quality, he said the decline in the aquifers’ levels is well documented.

“We’re continuing to pump water from the aquifer at greater levels than it can support,” he said. “The levels continue to go down.”With population growth, “the aquifer is incapable of supplying enough water to support the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Mace said.

Because lakes are vulnerable to drought and evaporation, groundwater will become a more important resource, he said. Groundwater provides only 7 percent of the region’s water supplies, Mace said.

But that could change in the coming years, said Ken Kramer, water resources chair for the Sierra Club Lone Star chapter.“So we better protect that source of water for the future,” Kramer said.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. R A King permalink
    April 14, 2013 11:24 am

    We could clean up Mt Creek Lake and it’s aquifer-oh wait, no-it’s been PERMANENTLY RUINED by industry. Everywhere we dump and inject is RUINED for at least a hundred years-and of course that water won’t be back.any time soon, while causing earthquakes below the ground. Very upsetting and avoidable.

  2. April 14, 2013 12:08 pm

    Sadly, this startling news has been developing for a very long time, but most people are oblivious to the realities of our water shortage and so they continue their customary water uses as if the supply is endless. Unfortunately, that also extends to our elected leaders who seem more interested in trying to make money than in thinking about our survival as a species.

    Note to all living humans: You CANNOT survive without an adequate supply of clean, fresh water! Anybody telling you that we have plenty of water is either illiterate about the matter and should be saying nothing, or else they know the truth and are flat out lying to you!

  3. R A King permalink
    April 15, 2013 12:59 pm

    It is EARTH WEEK here at my school; and our children are on the PA system admonishing us to conserve water as only 1% of the water on the planet is suitable for human use. Sobering thought….

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