It is time for new vision at the Tarrant Regional Water District (formerly Tarrant County-Water Board).
That was the message Ben Boothe delivered when he ran for the board several years ago, but the voters decided to go with traditional old "system" players. As a result, the thinking, projections and basic philosophy have not improved. Instead the water board is mired deeper in law suits for new water development, is struggling to get funding for the "vaunted downtown water project", and finds projections of increased water consumption plus hotter dryer climate factors are making the water planners more nervous.
The Tarrant Regional Water District (Tarrant County Water Board) is using thinking, numbers and projection systems that are dated and need to be improved." said Boothe. Plus legal aspects have become more complicated, because Texas is accustomed to getting it's way. It ran into two problems in Oklahoma.
1. The contract that TRWD had signed with the Indian tribe there was not a good and complete legal document.
2. Oklahoma law and tradition is fiercely protective of water rights these days of diminishing supplies. They are not stupid and know how valuable water has become.
Someone at TRWD didn't check out Oklahoma law on water rights.
TRWD, like many water boards, has been blindsided by legal obstructions to new water supplies in Oklahoma, and delays in developing a new reservoir in East Texas. It has also been caught short because of drying climates, more consumption and less production than it projected. Furthermore it has been distracted by a huge transfer of resources and manpower to the "Downtown Ft.Worth Water Project". The Indians of Oklahoma had second thoughts of providing their sacred water so that Fort Worth citizens could canoe near the downtown skyline, when water is becoming so scarce.
Leaflets like this emerged in Oklahoma,
with opposition to sending water to Texas
Texas attorneys have found that Oklahoma Law and Texas law on water rights conflict. Whoever negotiated the TRWD's legal contract with the Indians did not do a thorough job.
And even the TRWD's own charts show that all the lakes in Tarrant County are below normal levels, because of warmer climate conditions. Climate conditions that they have not done a good job of predicting.
Boothe and Associates, working with State agencies and with organizations like the Texas Association of Counties, has created a system of water production for municipalities, that by combining desalination, with wind and solar power can produce water for 300 years, in cities such as Fort Worth, for about 1/4 the cost that the County is now paying to produce and pump water.
The concept of using water for "Recreational and City Aesthetics" is a dated concept that flies in the face of diminishing supplies and raging conflicts over every source of water in the region. Therefore marketing the image of affluent "yuppies" in their canoes under the Fort Worth Skyline, after eating dinner on the proposed "river walk", has run into the face of cold reality.The reality is that removing water from one area disenfranchises opportunity for survival and production, from one area, to benefit another. It was another mistake in strategy of the Tarrant Regional Water District, that exemplifies the dated thinking of the leadership. It points to the need for a more visionary approach to water planning. "We can't waste our resources and time on recreational ventures when we should be thinking about economic development and survival" said Boothe.
Using scarce water for recreation, as a marketing image is a dated concept, when towns are dying for lack of water and farmers and Indian tribes consider the resource sacred.
Vernon Cook, President of the Texas Association of Counties said: "We have a desperate situation in many towns in West Texas. Ben's desalination program may be the answer to saving many cities from drying up."
Recently Boothe Keynoted the Texas Economic Development Council. There he presented a powerful test at their regional meeting on South Padre Island. "What are the 4 elements of survival?" Then he asked the audience of economic development executives: "What are the 3 basic ideas for economic development throughout history?"
His presentation was a historical, and timely report of research showing the needs for Texas survival as well as 3 "coming crisis" situations:
* Depletion of oil and energy resources (causing water and food prices to rise)
* Depletion of water resources (causing food prices to skyrocket, and limiting development of towns and cities).
* An Imperative to utilize alternative energies for the long run to desalinate water, in so doing to create a long term, cheap source of energy, that can be used to tap huge supplies of brackish and salt water.
Boothe cited Perth and Sidney Australia as examples, both of which have incorporated desalination plants to provide unlimited fresh water supplies, and are powering these plants with wind power.
"Fort Worth, and 60 or more Texas cities north and west could incorporate this system in Texas. We have already proven that it works. We are just waiting for men of vision and leadership to 'get it', and step forward." Said Boothe http://www.benboothe.com
"This is important to our State. City and county leaders must change their thinking. Ben Boothe's Wind power (http://www.wind-inc.com) concept has been studied and proven and is in use in Europe, Canada, Australia, Latin America and is in the planning stage in parts of the USA. Texas, an energy state has been the last to see the importance of "end user" Wind Power combined with the desalination plants, and yet Texas needs it more than most states because our electric bills here are higher than any other state since we deregulated." said State Senator, Eddie Lucio Jr.
We direct you to see the turbines, that can make from $10,000 per month to $80,000 per month in electricity at Ben Boothe's company. http://www.wind-inc.com
"I deeply believe that this is a solid answer for cities like Fort Worth, Wichita Falls, Weatherford, San Angelo, Abilene, Sweetwater, Lubbock, Dumas, Lamesa, Big Spring, Alpine, Tahoka, Canyon, Tulia, Haskell, Plainview, Amarillo and many others." said Boothe. Fort Worth leaders such as Don Woodard, Senior and his "Colonial Country Club Breakfast Leadership Group" have consistently opposed the downtown Fort Worth water project as a "boondoogle grab for federal money". They projected that the cost would increase from the projected $450,000,000 and have seen cost estimates rise to nearly one Billion Dollars. For 1/8 of that amount, Boothe's water system could provide a water supply for Fort Worth, for the entire city for 300 years, and produce water and energy at a fraction of the present operating costs of the Tarrant County system. This poses a basic question. In essence, isn't that what a "Water Development Board" should be doing? Development of new water systems to provide for future survival. Boothe's approach is practical and based upon a foundation of basic essentials for survival. "We can live without recreation and without new restaurants and parks. Of course, in a rich and overflowing economy, we would love to have both. But we cannot live without good long term water supplies, that are protected from scarcity and rising energy costs."
Boothe recently met with officials of the Texas Prison System, and they asked him if he would go through a state prison facility, and make a study on how helpful wind power would be for the prison. "Prisons use tons of water, and a lot of electricity, so in high wind areas, with our Wind-Inc. turbines, we can save the Texas prison system close to $100,000,000 per year, using this system." said Boothe. The State of Texas, through the Governor's office also provided high level assistance to Boothe because as the people representing the Governor said: "Ben, you are right on track of the most important issue and need of Texas. Water, and clean renewable energy development." Boothe also has had encouragement from officials in Washington, D.C. who have mandated that local cities utilize renewable energy and environmental creativity to conserve energy and water.
"All we need are local leaders, with courage and vision to step forward and break through the negative inertia of doing the same things we have done for the past 70 years. The old thinking will no longer work, because the resources and assumptions of supplies of water and energy have all changed." said Boothe.
Boothe is confident that the sheer economics and logic of replacing old system thinking with new concepts will prevail. "I just hope that my home town will do it in a timely manner, so we can be ahead in economic development, instead of being behind Iowa, Oklahoma, and New Mexico." said Boothe.
In the meantime, while Texas lags behind, Boothe's company is getting inquiries and requests from other states. New Mexico, Montana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, even Arizona, are showing interest in Wind, Solar and Desalination. "It could be that the civic leaders there want to jump in ahead of Texas for economic development, jobs, and availability of government grant reasons." said Boothe.
Our firm stands ready as a resource to help the City of Ft. Worth and Tarrant County and other counties throughout Texas. We are a local resource, with deep roots and love for "Cowtown". We are eager to share our vision with progressive movers and shakers who wish to create a new paradigm for progress, rather than allow our area to be one left behind in the new rush for "water resource" related survival. Contact information at:http://www.benboothe.com