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Water conservation vs. water sequestration June 18, 2010

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in Water & Business, water conservation, Water Footprint, Water Reuse, Water/Energy Connection.
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One of the states with the most drastic need for water is the second largest state in the United States of America: Texas. With so much agriculture and ranching in Texas, their need for water is exacerbated. The two most prominent solutions to solve water issues are water conservation and water sequestration-the gathering of water from other sources.
Many professionals in the water industry promote water conservation instead of water sequestration. This is not because they have something to benefit, it is because conservation is the only reasonable long-term solution. By promoting conservation, people use less water to complete the same function, such as showering or washing your hands. This is the best long-term solution because it significantly reduces the amount of water wasted.
Water sequestration seems to be a good idea to many people because they think that more water means it will last longer. While this is partially true—the more water you have, the longer it will last—it is a poor long-term solution. By using excess water for those tasks such as showering or washing your hands, there is a significant amount of wastewater which cannot be re-used. As a result, we need to clean and purify all of the water that we use. This also increases the costs of transporting water, since we need to move more water to each site. With a greater cost of infrastructure, our governmental entities will have less money to spend on other crucial projects.
Also, water sequestration projects tend to be incredibly expensive, whereas water conservation projects are relatively inexpensive. Here are three proposed water sequestration projects in Texas, and their accompanying costs:
Brownsville Weir $89.6 million
Fastrill $569 million
Marvin Nichols $2.2 billion
As I mentioned previously, the cost of water conservation measures are difficult to report because conservation measures are typically handled by individual water districts. As a result, the cost of such projects is largely dependant on the cost of the contract with the water district.
Download this .PDF for more information on Texas water: http://www.texaswatermatters.org/projects/save/save.pdf
Brian O’Neill
boneill@waterwise-consulting.com

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