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By Carl Parker
For the Record 

Count Your Blessings


Last updated 3/29/2022 at 2:07pm

We in Southeast Texas need to wake up and realize that we are blessed in many ways; but the most valuable commodity available to us, our homes and our business entities is fresh water. We are blessed with two great rivers, a brackish lake that provides us with sailing, fishing and other recreational opportunities. We should truly count our blessings, particularly in light of the fact that many parts of Texas are rapidly running out of water. In San Antonio, for example, when simply drilling a well was all you needed to do to produce fresh water, at one point the city realized a shortage of water was due to a fish hatchery nearby using more water each day than the entire city. This led to more regulation.

Underground water is controlled by aquifers, many of which have been damaged by drilling and other oil and gas producing techniques. We need to be supportive of such organizations as the Sabine River Authority and the Neches River Authority. We should also pay attention to the Jefferson County Navigation District which is struggling to deepen the waterway up to the Neches to accommodate super tankers.

With the expansion of the Panama Canal, super tankers are becoming more prevalent, carrying more crude oil to our refineries in Southeast Texas. The technique of 'lightering' has become necessary. It is the practice of off-loading large tankers by transferring crude oil from the larger ships to the smaller ones in order to navigate the close waterways. It is inefficient and adds to our cost of gasoline at the pump.

We should all be supportive of our waterway organizations and delight in the fact we are so blessed.


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