U.S. Water News Online
AUSTIN -- Texans would rather conserve water than build the
new dams and reservoirs called for in the statewide water plan
drafted to meet water needs over the next 50 years, an environmental
group has said.
According to a poll released by the National Wildlife Federation, 54
percent of Texas voters said they would support conservation
measures, including installation of low flow toilets and shower
heads, over new construction.
The poll conducted by the Tarrance Group surveyed 800 registered
voters from April 28-May 2 with a margin of error of plus or minus
3.5 percentage points.
According to the poll, 93 percent of Texans say it is important to
adequately protect rivers, bays and wildlife when planning for future
water needs. The survey also found that 76 percent favor limiting the
amount of water that could be pumped from underground aquifers.
``Texans overwhelmingly want us to focus first on meeting our water
needs through conservation,'' said Susan Kaderka, director of the
group's Austin office.
The Texas Water Development Board in December approved a statewide
water plan designed to meet the state's needs during a projected
population boom over the next half century.
The plan recommends building up to eight new reservoirs and other
water transfer systems at a cost of about $17.9 billion. It does not
include financing nor does it authorize any spending, but is meant to
serve as a blueprint for future planning.
Green groups have been critical of the project from the beginning,
saying the plans all but ignore conservation and that the
construction projects would damage the environment.
Regional water planners were instructed to consider the environmental
impact of their recommendations in order to keep rivers and streams
flowing and limit the impact on endangered species.
The plan includes water reuse, desalination and other conservation
efforts, according to the water development board.
Planners are supposed to issue new recommendations to the plan every
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