Texas FFA News  
Texas FFA Hosts Inaugural #SpeakAg Dialogues    
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | Author: Kassidy Bogle, Henderson FFA and Jean-Marie Holmes, Klein Forest FFA

Texas FFA hosted their inaugural #SpeakAg Dialogues at the 90th Annual Texas FFA Convention to inform FFA members about issues that droughts bring to Texas agricultural systems.

During these dialogues, members and guests took part in an open, round-table discussion with water conservationists advocating for the best way to limit water usage as a state.

Guest panelists brought forth three ways to conserve water including desalination, a state water grid and water conservation efforts that attempt to aide statewide droughts.

“We are privileged to take part in this discussion on something that we do feel so strongly about; which is caring for Texas water,” said the 2017 Madisonville FFA Agricultural Issues team. 

John Tracy, a #SpeakAg Panelist, discussed the pros and cons of desalinating water and the costs of desalination plants.

“[Desalinization] is a viable option,” Tracy said. “It’s not going to be something that works everywhere, but in areas it does work it will be an important mechanism to make sure water supplies are met.”

Members of the 2017 Madisonville FFA Ag Issues team advocated for a state water grid.

“Essentially, the state-wide grid is a proposal to build a network of connecting pipelines so that we can easily transfer water across the state,” said Madisonville FFA. “We can transfer water from places with an overabundance [of water] to places in need [of water].”

The presentation showcased the advantages of a state water grid, but also brought to light the outrageous costs of such an advanced project.

“San Antonio just signed a contract with a company called ‘Blue Water Systems’ to pump water through a 241 mile pipeline,” said Madisonville FFA. “The city of San Antonio is paying $1,852 per acre foot.”

Fourth Generation Rice Producer Ronald Gertson also presented on water conservation efforts. He argued that water conservation and usage limits are the best options in the state of Texas.

After hearing all sides, guests in attendance were able to discuss among their tables before the meeting closed.

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