Whooping Cranes at Center of Water Dispute

When it comes to water supply, there is always a question of which needs are the highest priority.  In Texas, we all agree (for the most part) that the needs of people pull rank over the needs of the environment – for better or for worse.  This article discusses the role of endangered species in the priorities debate.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and representatives from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) claim that there is plenty of water provided for the bays and estuaries inhabited by the whooping cranes, while The Aransas Project, advocates for the cranes, claim that the State has not managed fresh water flows in such a way that protects the birds’ habitat and are requesting Federal protection through a lawsuit.  In spite of the opposing  views represented by the parties involved, I think there is something missing.

The TCEQ/GBRA camp insist that protection of the birds threatens the ability of the State to meet the water supply needs of the upriver populations.  My question is this:  How are they defining the term “needs”?  Do upriver populations “need” to water their lawns in the midst of a drought?  Do they “need” to continue consumption at their current rates in order to live well?  These are the questions I want someone addressing.  Perhaps the court will see to them.  Read more in the article below:

Whooping cranes at center of water dispute – Houston Chronicle.

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