Among the Texas Tech students helping record audio for our Lubbock days is Roxie Bustamante, who also recaps several sessions for us. Including this one:
Ken Rainwater gave a presentation titled Hydrology 101: Texas Style. He discussed topics such as the hydrologic cycle, hydo-illogic cycle, and surface water issues. Although the presentation contained data for Texas communities, Rainwater also discussed the issues in a broader sense.
However, the main issue that was continuously debated was whether water should be a public or private right. Panel speaker David Sandino discussed his experience with water being a private right. He said generally cities that privatize their water generally do not accomplish any economic benefit, because of the limitations it presents on the retail of water.
Another issue discussed was the government’s neglect to define what affordable water is for people, not only across the United States, but also for different districts within the same state.
Water rights are different for each state. In Texas, people can pump water, even if it affects their neighbors’ water source. The Ozarka controversy was a specific example of the issue.
The audience was engaged throughout the session and shared some of their experiences with a variety of water issues and asked questions about the levels of the aquifers across the United States.
Panelist Jeff Johnson commented on what he sees as government's procrastination problem with a quote from Winston Churchill: “Never doubt that Americans will do the right thing after they have tried everything else.”