Tag Archives: water bill

More water than I thought

You can make a discovery on occasion just by reading the material that comes with your water bill.

For example:

I did not know that there exists not one aquifer underground, but two of them.

Our water bill arrived this weekend. I opened it up and started reading the “2015 Water Quality Report” issued by the City of Amarillo. In the very first paragraph, it informed me that we have (a) the Ogallala Aquifer and (b) the Santa Rosa Aquifer coursing under our feet.

Santa Rosa? I didn’t even know such a thing exists. Or, if I knew about it already, I must have forgotten about it.


The Santa Rosa consists of “brackish” water, or water than is a good bit saltier than potable drinking water. Tulia — a town just south of Amarillo — has access to it.

It runs under the Ogallala, which is spread under seven or eight states. The Santa Rosa is a good bit smaller in size, but it’s there.

I take some heart in learning about the Santa Rosa. The city already has secured significant water resources that officials say will last for a couple of centuries. Beyond that, well after we’re all gone, it’s anyone’s guess.

None of the water rights secured, I’m pretty sure, involve the Santa Rosa.

It’s going to be expensive to pull this water out of the ground and make it suitable for drinking. Desalination projects clearly must be developed here for humans to consume the water.

According to a website I accessed: “Though not nearly as large as the Ogallala, it (the Santa Rosa) provides a virtually  untapped source of drinking water for West Texas communities. Only a handful of communities, such as Tulia, Texas, has accessed it. Salt concentrations are about 5,000 parts per million, well in the range of purification efforts.”

You can learn things from unexpected sources, yes?

I’m glad I took a minute to read the water bill handout. Maybe I ought to read more of this stuff.