State agencies, Big Country officials offer practical solutions to West Texas water problems

ABILENE, Texas - The water issues and real-life solutions were a hot topic at Thursday's Water Symposium.

Representatives from several state agencies including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board were in Abilene Thursday to talk about solutions to the current water shortage.

Among other speakers were Mayor Norm Archibald who highlighted the city's plans to build the Cedar Ridge Reservoir and a more short term fix.

The Hamby Wastewater Treatment plant has been upgraded to a higher level of standards and will be used to put an average of seven million gallons of water back into Lake Ft. Phantom everyday.

That's about one third of Abilene's daily water usage.

Mayor Archibald also noted that the Cedar Ridge Reservoir would cover a site of about 6,600 acres and be roughly 140 feet deep upon completion.

The Texas State Meteorologist, George Bomar, was also present to talk about cloud seeding.

"Cloud seeding involves the use of aircraft to dispense seeding material into a growing thunderstorm in order to get them to be more efficient rainmakers," said Bomar.

He also mentioned that they've seen significant increases in rainfall from systems that have been seeded and that this project could return to the Big Country if enough interest is expressed.

And with water supplies shrinking for many, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality wants people to know that they're there to help.

"Communities are running out of water, we try to help them address those issues with some innovative ideas," said Winona Henry with the TCEQ.

To help avoid a water crisis, residents, officials, and the agencies all agree, everyone will need to do their part to conserve this precious resource.

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