The summer of 2011 is going down as one of the hottest on record in Texas. Several Texas cities are getting close to breaking old records for number of triple-digit days, and the end of summer is still pretty far off.
Trees are dying, livestock is being sold off for lack of grazing land, and electric companies are asking customers to cut back on usage to avoid energy blackouts.
While all the above have been experienced by Texans before, one new phenomenon has not, i.e. lack of cold water. “In some cities, the water coming out of the cold tap is lukewarm,” said City Utilities Manager, Jim Huckleberry from Luckenbach, Texas. “I’d say about 95% of the water now coming out of our water plant is between 90 and 100 degrees,” said Huckleberry. “That’s way too warm for consumption, and we’re warning folks to put their water in the fridge for at least an hour or so before drinking it.”
Huckleberry says people just don’t realize how precious cold water is until you don’t have it. “Sure, it don’t matter if you’re bathing in it,” he said, “but just about everything you do to keep cool in summer depends on cold water, from the public pool to the air conditioning in your home, not to mention keeping your body hydrated.” Constant refrigeration of millions of gallons of water for consumption is creating serious problems in many Texas towns.
Texas Governor Rick Perry agrees the lack of cold water in Texas is becoming a real problem and says that if the triple-digit heat continues, he may have to declare a state of emergency and ask the federal government for assistance. “I don’t want to do it,” said Perry, “but I’ll be darned if I’ll sit idly by and deny my fellow Texans their God-given right to have cold water run freely from their kitchen faucets.”