Letter from the Editor
By: John Davis
Researchers look at ways to save our most precious resource, on Earth and in space.
Water. The world's most valuable resource.
The South Plains of Texas realized long ago that this dwindling resource needed careful conservation, and this area, as well as the state of Texas, serves as a shining example of conservation efforts at all levels.
We are hardly alone in our struggle to keep the Ogallala Aquifer with us for as long as possible. Many places in the world face the same issues. Groundwater meets the needs of municipalities, growers and energy producers, who sometimes take it out of the ground faster than it can be replenished. Already, some areas of the South Plains have had to change farming because the water just isn't there anymore.
Despite the glum outlook, researchers from a multitude of disciplines have dedicated their brainpower to solving the water problems before us. Finding new water resources, discovering ways to cheaply desalinate and treat low-quality waters, using low-quality waters for energy production instead of potable water and genetically modifying plants to withstand a dryland growing environment while producing a profitable yield and teaching growers how to employ better techniques are just a few of the many aspects Texas Tech scientists are chiseling away at the issue.
In a way, the South Plains serves as the perfect laboratory for understanding not only how water usage affects the daily lives of citizens, but also serves as the lifeblood for the region's economy. Taking away energy resources or agriculture from the equation would mean massive economic upset on a global scale.
So while there's no one magic bullet, all the researchers agree that careful planning and understanding of the problems can make the water woes we face not so daunting. Increasing that understanding, developing new technologies and increasing water conservation education not only help to stretch our precious resources, but also help other areas facing the same issues to keep their water resources with them for as long as possible.Sincerely
John Davis, Editor