Regional Growth Will Require Additional Water Supply
Water is a finite resource and we live in a growing region Census MO Population Percent Change 2000 2010. Most communities in our area depend on ground water. Increasing demand and draw-down of the water table will likely result in a time where ground water withdrawal will exceed recharge from precipitation and water will be mined, diminishing the resource and limiting its use. This was evident during our last significant drought in 2006 when many communities faced issues related to water scarcity. Even communities fortunate enough to have surface water sources will eventually need additional supplies to meet the needs of our growing region in the decades to come.
Tri-State Water Resource Coalition is a non-profit (501c4) organization whose mission is to secure adequate, quality water supplies for the next generation in southwest Missouri, the northeast corner of Oklahoma, and the southeast corner of Kansas.
The “Three Legged Stool” of Water Issues
Water supply is not a stand alone issue. It is closely linked to using water efficiently and to preserving water quality.
Because water is so cheap it’s been very easy to waste water, but water efficiency will become more important as our communities grow and as we face future periods of drought. Families, farmers, businesses and industry will need to find additional ways to use water wisely. Water that we “save” through efficient use is our least expensive “new” water, and it will extend the amount of time that our current supply will meet our needs.
The importance of water quality cannot be overstated. Though not our primary mission, Tri-State Water strongly supports the efforts of our region’s water quality organizations.
Leaders Planning for Future Prosperity
Tri-State Water, along with community leaders from across the region, must look to the horizon and implement planning today to secure adequate, quality water supplies for the future of our region. Many steps in that process have already been taken, many more remain, but the mission is clear and the benefit to our future success is undeniable.