Tag Archives: Amarillo water

This plumber did it the right way

I must be living right.

How else does one explain a fruitful experience with a plumber?

We called the plumber 10 days ago to trouble-shoot a kitchen sink issue: the water pressure had slowed to a mere trickle; I tried to clear out the sediment that collects occasionally in the nozzle; it didn’t do a thing.

Thus, the call went out to the plumber.

He answered the call and performed a “routine” service call on the clogged up kitchen faucet. Cost? $92.50. Then he left.

Just a few days later, the faucet slowed way down — again!

This morning I decided to call the plumber back. I phoned the office and told the receptionist about our problem. I mentioned to her that the plumber had done something to “fix” it just 10 days earlier. “I think it’s a ‘call back,'” she said, meaning she didn’t think we’d be charged for another service call.

The plumber arrived a little while later. He repaired the faucet once more. Then he left.

Later that morning, I was running the water. Then — just like that! — it slowed down again.

I was so mad I could’ve spit.

I called the plumber back. Same morning. I told the receptionist that his second “fix” didn’t take.

The plumber returned for the third time in 10 days — and twice in the same morning! He fixed it yet again. No service charge on that call, either.

This time, he got it right. The water is flowing nicely.

The message I want to leave? My wife and I are living the good life, which is so good.

And not all plumbers are out to, um, soak their customers.

Pumping water saves water? Sure it does

Allow me this admission.

Sometimes — maybe more often than I care to admit — I’m a bit slow on the uptake when it involves certain elements of science.

I’m not a scientist. Or a mathematician. Or an accountant. Numbers and scientific theories boggle me.

So it is with that caveat that I suggest that I am beginning to accept the notion that pumping water out of Lake Meredith to 11 cities throughout the Panhandle actually saves surface water that collects in the lake.


The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority is starting to pump water out of the lake in the wake of recent rainfall that has continued to restore the lake levels to something far greater than puddle designation.

Kent Satterwhite, general manager of CRMWA, said: “Everything we pump out of the lake is one gallon less than we pump out of the (Ogallala) aquifer.” He said it is “really important. The aquifer as you use it, it’s gone. It recharges to some slight degree … So it’s really important to try to preserve it and that’s why the lake is here to take some of the heat off the aquifer.”

Who knew?

Pumping water also maximizes the quality of the water, Satterwhite said. The Canadian River contains salt that evaporates more easily during dry periods.

Lake Meredith’s levels have risen fairly dramatically in recent days. It’s nearly at 50 feet, which is far greater than the 26 feet it measured in 2013. OK, so the lake isĀ now about halfway toward its historic high of 100-plus feet set back in the early 1970s.

I guess I’m tryingĀ to express some appreciationĀ of theĀ knowledge that water managers must have to monitor this priceless resource.

The region depends on itĀ at almost every level imaginable. There must beĀ some faith placed in theĀ individuals charged with ensuring we keep it as close to forever as we can.

Water supply excellent … for now

Lynn Tate, head of the High Plains Water District, gave the Rotary Club of Amarillo some good news Thursday.

Amarillo is in excellent shape with regard to its long-term supply of water. We’re in far better shape than almost any other significant city in Texas, he said. T. Boone Pickens once had this idea of pumping water from the Texas Panhandle to places downstate; it didn’t work out, Pickens never found a willing buyer and he ended up selling the water to the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, which quenches Amarillo’s thirst.

We’ve got about 200 years worth of water available to us from the Ogallala Aquifer, which covers several states from Texas to Nebraska and even parts of the Dakotas.

Hey, no problem with water supply.

Should we be complacent? I don’t think so.

I didn’t hear Tate say anything about whether cities — namely Amarillo — should institute mandatory conservation measures.

He seemed curiously serene about it.

I am in no position to question seriously Lynn Tate’s expertise on these matters. He’s a lot more educated than I am on these matters. He grew up in a farming and ranching family in the eastern Panhandle. He went to law school and has had a successful law practice in Amarillo. He’s a first-rate agriculture lawyer.

However, I cannot help but think the city ought to be a tad more proactive in its water conservation efforts than it seems to be at the moment. Same with CRMWA and the High Plains Water District.

Tate did mention that irrigated agriculture accounts for 85 to 90 percent of all water use in the Panhandle, which means there’s little that homeowners in Amarillo can do to prevent the decline in water resources. He also said he believes the aquifer is recharging in some areas and that the water levels are “stabilizing.”

Isn’t it time, though, to discuss openly what we should do to forestall the day when crises arrive and we might not have enough water to take care of our needs?

I know that 200 years is a long way off. We’ll all be gone by then. So will our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. Good stewardship requires us to think even beyond that time, doesn’t it?

Just sayin’.