Whereas farmers depend on the Rio Grande for irrigation, a lot of the water that El Paso residents drink comes from aquifers deep underground. These crucial water sources are additionally in danger.
In 1979, the Texas Water Growth Board predicted that El Paso would run out of groundwater by 2031. At the moment, every inhabitant used a mean of over 200 liters of water per day. Most of this water was drawn from the town’s two aquifers – the Hueco Bolson to the east and the Mesilla Bolson to the west.
For the following 20 years, the water firm launched a marketing campaign calling on residents to make use of much less water by changing their lawns with native vegetation, amongst different issues. Right this moment the typical water utilization is 134 gallons per particular person per day. That is nonetheless increased than the US nationwide common of 82 gallons, however decrease than consumption in another locations within the nation with equally dry climates, equivalent to Arizona (145 gallons) and Utah (169 gallons).
The aquifers are in higher form because of this – one thing. “The water stage is falling, however not like a rock,” says Scott Reinert, useful resource supervisor at El Paso Water. Even so, extra water comes out of the aquifer than it does again in.
El Paso Water pumps between 40,000 and 50,000 acre-feet of water from the Hueco Bolson every year, changing roughly 5,000 acre-feet yearly. (An acre-foot is a cumbersome unit of measure utilized by water utilities – it is sufficient water to cowl an acre of land or simply over half a soccer discipline with one foot of water.) There’s some pure replenishment from different groundwater as nicely and the circulate, but it surely’s in all probability not sufficient to maintain up with the pumping.