TCU professor: Texas water supply can be maintained

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TCU professor Becky Johnson spoke Tuesday on the changes needed to conserve and maintain Texas' water supply.

The environmental science professor spoke on TCU's campus about the global shortage of water and then discussed local efforts to conserve the resource.

She said that three planets will be needed to meet the economic demands of population growth. Three percent of all water on earth is freshwater and only 1 percent of that is surface water usable for drinking. 

Johnson said agricultural practices and water usage must change to preserve the limited amount of water on the planet.

“We cannot keep doing what we do now and have enough water to grow our food in the future,” she said.

Johnson offered three solutions to water shortages in Texas: indirect water reuse, direct water reuse and rerouting water from East to West Texas.

She said the idea of direct water reuse, or “toilet-to-tap” water, has met some resistance from the public. However, she said Texas is beginning to embrace the concept.

Johnson also presented some of Fort Worth’s current conservation programs.

“If we implement water management strategies and effectively maintain them, we actually have enough water to maintain our society, but that’s a big 'if',” Johnson said.

Audience member Sharon Richey said the lecture confirmed what she had recently learned about Fort Worth’s water supply and its usage limits.

“Nature will find a perfect balance if we don’t mess it up,” said Richey, a member of TCU Silver Frogs.

Julia Sanders is the 109's water conservation reporter.  Email her at j.c.sanders@tcu.edu and follow her on Twitter at @sanders_julia

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