Water will be the defining issue for Texas in the future. Virtually all our watersheds lie on privately owned lands. So we must now be bold and entrepreneurial—we should raise as much public and private capital as we can to purchase the development rights of private landowners. This will enable them to stay on family property in the coming hard times while at the same time protect vital areas that collect rainfall for our rivers and recharge our aquifers. The next few years present both a last chance and an unprecedented opportunity to ensure sufficient water for our children.

Sansom is the director of the River Systems Institute, at Texas State University, in San Marcos.

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