So far in our special report on Texas water issues, we’ve heard from communities along the Colorado River that survive with its water. But what about the Colorado itself? Does a river have a right to flow? People in Texas bays and coastal areas that depend on fresh water inflows might answer in the affirmative.
As last year’s drought pushed through the summer, the Colorado brought less and less fresh water into the Gulf of Mexico. In Matagorda Bay, where the river empties into the sea, the water quality suffered. Oyster harvesting was shut down and fishermen reported fewer crabs and fish in the bay.
With more and more interests competing for Colorado water, including rice farmers, a booming upstream population, and a coal-fired power plant project, some worry that fresh water scarcity could become the new normal.
In the last stop on our trip down the Colorado River, we visit Captain Jerry West, a fishing guide in Matagorda Bay.
You can listen to the sound portrait and view a slideshow produced by StateImpact Texas’ Filipa Rodrigues by clicking the video player above.