Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Texas Drought and Well Drilling

   The articles I found were about the drought in Texas the past several months and what the residents in Austin, Texas are doing to adapt to the situation. 
   The point of the first article is about how the drought is the worst one that Austin has had in over 50 years and it is taking its toll on the two lakes that primarily supply Austin with its water.  The lakes are down to 30% full and if the drought continues, they will be dry in a matter of a few years (Toohey, 2013).  This leads into the second article.This article points out that residents of Austin are drilling wells into the property to reach water that runs below their land.  Since the water under each person's land is considered their property, the state can't prevent it and the owners can use as much as they want.  The idea for the wells was to bypass the water restriction laws that have already cost residents 10's of thousands of dollars in fines.  With the wells, they can use as much water as they want without getting fined all while keeping their lawns green (Satija & Root, 2013).
   While drilling wells is extremely useful and rational in its own way, drilling them in the middle of the worst drought in Texas in 50+ years just to keep a lawn green without paying fines is a waste.  Not everyone can afford the wells and it is just going to keep diminishing the already scarce resource.  The water that the wells are bringing up is water that runs to a nearby aquifer which is monitored and isn't over used.  However, if people start using too much well water, the aquifer will start to be used up and eventually all water sources near Austin will be useless for everyone.  Someone in class brought up a good point when I was presenting my findings and said that drilling the wells was being used as a status marker.  I don't doubt this.  Many of the people who have drilled are affluent people that have enough money and just want to keep their lawns green.  I don't agree with the well drilling as water in Austin is currently a very scarce resource and people don't seem to notice that fact.
--Craig Hammond


  1. I agree! You shouldn't tap an aquifer just to keep your garden looking good! Landscape better! We have an aquifer on our property and keep the well maintained in case of emergencies. We had a company come out and drill it that also put in a purification system, because we wanted it for drinking not curb appeal. http://sampsonwell.com/services.html

  2. What are the benefits of having a well for your water rather than using city water? I just bought a property and will be building and need to see what the best approach is to take. I was thinking of drilling and just using it as a back up if that's not too bad of an idea.

  3. I've been wanting to have a well drilled on my property for quite a while now. I live in an area where we are always affected by the drought in the summer. My yard definitely suffers as a result. A well would be a total luxury. http://www.brewsterwelldrilling.com/en/municipal-industrial02.htm