Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Another Texas Town Saved From Running Out of Water

Earl Nottingham/Texas Parks & Wildlife

The carcass of a cow that became mired in dried mud in Knox County, Texas during the summer drought

Texas towns running out of water? It’s been a recurring story lately as the drought continues to take its toll on rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

First, there was Groesbeck.

Like many small towns in Texas, Groesbeck has been struggling with how to supply its residents with water in the midst of record-breaking heat and drought. In November, the Texas government said the town could run out of water in a few weeks. (It even made national news.)

Since then, things have turned around for Groesbeck. In late November, the town announced that they had literally bought a few more months of water by installing a three-mile pipeline further up the Navasota river, where the town’s water comes from. They even moved to Stage 2 water restrictions, which allows residents to water their lawns.

Last week the latest place to come dangerously close to running dry was Robert Lee, a West Texas town with a little over a thousand people about two hours east of Midland. Their sole source  of water is the E.V. Spence Reservoir, which is currently only 0.44 percent full.

Today comes news that salvation has arrived, in the form of a “10-inch, light blue plastic pipe,” according to the Abilene Reporter-News:

“That humdrum pipe is viewed as a lifeline for the residents and businesses of drought-stricken Robert Lee, and should be completed by the end of March. The pipeline will be able to bring in 200,000 gallons of water a day to the town.

“It means survival,” said Robert Lee Mayor John Jacobs. “If you don’t have water, you lose citizens and pretty soon you have a ghost town. West Texas is dotted with ghost towns that just ran out of water.””

Read more at the Reporter-News.


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