Residents in Odessa, Texas, have been facing a water crisis and the region has been without water for over two days. This is the second water shortage in the state since 2021. Last year, the water crisis was caused by extremely cold conditions, which led to a statewide freeze.
Texas has been trying to woo businesses from other states. After Tesla, Caterpillar is now also moving its headquarters to the state which is run by Greg Abbott, a Republican. What’s causing the Odessa water crisis and why is there a water shortage in the state?
Extreme weather conditions are adding to the water crisis.
While the 2021 water shortage in Texas was due to extremely cold conditions, the current water crisis is due to hotter-than-usual weather, which has led to drought-like conditions in many parts of the state.
According to the data released by TWDB (Texas Water Development Board), 79 percent of the state was witnessing drought conditions as of June 7. Some regions have “exceptional drought conditions.” The TWDB also said that the statewide water reservoir storage from May to June has been 78.1 percent of the capacity, which is 8 percentage points below the historical average for this time of the year.
What's causing the Odessa water crisis?
Amid the heatwave, the main water line in Odessa broke, which dropped the water pressure across the city water system. The incident prompted the City of Odessa Public Water System to issue a “boil water notice.”
The residents have been advised to boil the water before consumption. The City of Odessa also advised residents to consume bottled water or instead obtain water suitable for human consumption from other sources.
The city of Odessa is working to resolve the water shortage.
In its most recent update on June 15, 11:58 a.m., the City of Odessa said, "Repairs to the line were completed at approximately 3:45 a.m. this morning, but a Boil Water Notice is still in effect until further notice.” It added, “The City has begun to turn the system back on slowly to maintain the strength of all lines. After full pressure is reached, the city will remain under a boil water notice for the next 24 hours.”
While the city has been taking several steps to provide drinking water to the residents, many have complained that they have been without water. Also, some have complained of getting contaminated water from the faucets.
Governor Greg Abbott responded to the Odessa water shortage.
Governor Greg Abbott responded to Odessa's main water line break. He said, “The State of Texas is taking swift action to respond to Odessa’s impacted water supply and support the local community in meeting their water needs.” Abbott also called upon the residents to follow the guidelines issued by local officials.
The state needs billions of dollars to revamp its water infrastructure. It will receive $2.9 billion over five years from Biden’s infrastructure act, which was passed in 2021. However, the state might need more funds for its water infrastructure.
So far, Democrats were on a backfoot amid the shortage of several food products in the U.S. After the Texas water shortage, many liberals on social media are slamming Abbott, who is due for reelection in 2022. Abbott’s popularity took a hit after the mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school.
Amid the increasing cases of mass shootings in the U.S., a group of bipartisan lawmakers has agreed on a Gun Bill to tighten the laws. Among others, it's looking to plug what’s known as the “boyfriend loophole.”