In an attempt to prepare for the future, the city of Lubbock passed a plan addressing the growing demand of water.
Lubbock’s city secretary, Becky Garza, said the city council passed the 2013 Strategic Water Supply Plan with a vote of 7-0 in favor during a February 28 meeting.
This is not the first plan made. Back in 2007, a Strategic Water Supply Plan was created, which was to be updated every five years. Before the initial plan in 2007, an assessment of the city’s water supply was done on an as needed basis. It was an aim of the Water Resources Department to keep the information current and develop a structure to provide stability, enhance conservation and manage affordability.
According to the current Water Supply Plan, the goal was to provide a guiding document in which the plans for development and implementation are given to provide the supply of water for the next 100 years.
Aubrey Spear, director of water resources, said Lubbock is not in a water crisis. The approved plan is a way for the city to continue to meet the rising demand of water.
“The road map shows how we can supply water for the next 100 years,” he said.
As a result of population elevation and contamination of ground water, the Lubbock Well Field became inactive last year. Because agricultural irrigation has increased, the production capabilities of the Ogallala Aquifer have quickly diminished.
A graph included in the Strategic Supply Plan displays the changing location providing the water supply.
For the last 45 years, Lubbock has relied on surface and ground water for its supply including Lake Meredith, Roberts County Well Field, Bailey County Well Field, and Lake Alan Henry. The source of water supply changes constantly, which is the cause for regular evaluations of the water supply.
Around 17 percent of Lubbock’s water supply is estimated to come from Lake Alan Henry beginning this year, according to the plan.
According to a 1999 study by The American Water Works Association the main uses for water in households are toilets, washing machines and shower heads. Citizens of Lubbock can know the Water Supply Plan is now being implemented to help ensure adequate water supply for the future, Spear said.
“This should provide a positive outlook for the community and businesses,” he said.
The city also has a mission to reach the people of Lubbock through public school educational programs and community events, as well as providing consultations for irrigation.
In regards to future ideas and tactics, Spear said the planning will not stop. Even though the city has a plan now, it’s only a guide continuing to sustain water for years to come.
“Water planning is a never-ending story in a changing world,” he said. “Planning does not stop. Implementation does not stop. We have water for the future. If we are proactive, the plan will actually paint the future for us.”