A water inventory of the Texas coastal zone.
The large industrial and agricultural sectors of the dynamic economy of the coastal zone require and use vast quantities of water. Large population centers which have developed, principally in the heavily industrialized areas such as Orange-Beaumont-Port Arthur, Houston-Baytown, and Corpus Christi, have also created a large local demand for water. Collectively municipalities, industry, mining, agriculture, and maintenance of adequate environmental conditions for continuing productivity of the estuaries make the coastal zone the most water-demanding area of Texas. Through the use of saline water by industry, where feasible, available water supplies have generally been adequate to meet the progressively increasing demands of the region, although heavy overdraft of ground water aquifers in localized ares has substantially contributed to an increasingly menacing pair of problems- land subsidence and saline water intrusion. However, even without considering fresh water needs of the estuaries, some areas of the coastal zone are fast approaching, or have already reached, critical shortages of fresh water.