These are some of the questions explored in "Texas: The State of Water," a one-hour video documentary to air the evening of May 29 in more than 30 Texas cities.
For the first time, the Emmy Award-winning Texas Parks & Wildlife television series is teaming with KERA-TV in Dallas to produce original, prime-time programming that will air on all 13 Texas public TV stations on the same night.
The documentary is supported with sponsor funding from Brazos Mutual Funds through the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas and by public television viewers. It is being produced in the new high definition video format using KERA equipment.
Lead vocalist Ray Benson of the Grammy-winning western swing band Asleep at the Wheel will narrate the documentary. Co-producer and freelance photographer Curtis Craven traveled across Texas to shoot the project with KERA equipment. Richard Roberts, TPWD media productions director, co-produced it and wrote the script. Rick Thompson, KERA local production director, helped guide the production.
The documentary includes segments involving El Paso, Caddo Lake in East Texas, the Ogallala Aquifer in the Panhandle, the Pecos River area in West Texas, and the Colorado and Trinity River watersheds involving Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and Houston. The program also focuses on the once mighty Rio Grande as a case study to show how, if care is not taken, rivers can stop flowing. The Rio Grande has intermittently ceased flowing into the Gulf of Mexico in recent years, and today in many areas there is little or no water in the riverbed.
"Water is the single most important factor for the future of people and wildlife in Texas, period," said Robert L. Cook, TPWD executive director. "Water is a finite resource that will only get stretched farther as our population expands. There is still time now to plan for a future with enough water for people and wildlife."
"Texas: The State of Water" is part of a broader public information initiative from TPWD that began with a special issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine devoted to water issues in July 2002. The initiative also includes radio, Internet and other components, including publication of Texas Rivers, a book by John Graves with photographs by Wyman Meinzer. Another special issue of TPWD magazine devoted to water resources is planned for July 2003.
"We're trying to make people aware that what happens to water resources in one area may have profound impacts on water and wildlife in the next county or across the state," said Lydia Saldaña, TPWD communications director. "We hope the joy we all share in fishing, paddling, birding, hunting and all the outdoor pursuits that depend on water will inspire Texans to get involved in conservation."
The following stations will broadcast "Texas: The State of Water" in the listed cities on the evening of May 29. Unless otherwise indicated below, stations will air the documentary from 8-9 p.m. CDT.
Consult your local listings for times and stations.