The 1928 Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide Page: 93
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THE TEXAS ALMANAC. 93
daily Just how much water is "mined"
in Texas is problematical, but this figure,
which included reports from all of the
larger incorporated places, probably rep-
resented 85 per cent of the "mined" wa-
ters for commercial purposes in Texas, ex-
clusive of irrigation and commercial min-
eral waters. Hence it seems probable
that the consumption of artesian and
other well waters in the cities and towns
of Texas ranges around 115,000 000 gal-
lons daily. Of course, this figure is ap-
proximate, for incomplete reports were
received, and in many instances no dif-
ferentiation was made where cities rely
upon both well and river or lake sup-
plies It seems, however, that one is jus-
tified in assuming that, at an ordinary
rate of 50c a thousand gallons, that the
total annual value of commercially pro-
duced well waters of Texas is $18 000,000.
or $20,000000 annually, which puts the
"mined" waters of Texas among the lead-
ing minerals of the State in point of
value. In 1925, the State Health Board of
Texas estimated, on the basis of a general
survev, that the total consumption of
waters in Texas for all domestic and in-
dustrial purposes was 250,000 000 gallons
daily. This, of course, includes consump-
tion from all sources. wells, streams,
lakes and springs The total annual value
of waters sold in Texas is probably
around $45,000,000 annually.
The water conservation problems of
man are partly solved by nature, which
has left large reservoirs of healthful wa-
ters underground; in many places when
wells are drilled to this reservoir the wa-
ters flow to the surface of their own
pressure. The chief artesian belts of
Texas are (1) along the coastal plain and
(2) throughout Central Texas, especially
along the black land belt and Grand
Of the deep waters of Texas, Professor
Ellis W Shuler of Southern Methodist
University has said-
"The outstanding fact in the develop-
ment of Texas in the last thirty-five years
is not the development of her mineral re-
sources nor her oil sppplies, fabulously
great as they are. It is in the develop-
ment of her priceless underground w ter
supply, her artesian waters.
"It is the supreme triumph of man over
nature when he releases himself from
the confines of surface waters and drills
a well and builds a city on the prairie,
such as Denton, Texas. with its ten thou-
sand inhabitants and two great State
Search Began in 1828.
"Empirical search for artesian waters
in the State was begun early. Tn 1828
Leon R Alemy was given a monopoly of
drilling artesian wells in Texas for a pe-
riod of six years.
"In 1856 the United States Congress
passed an appropriation of $100,000 for
boring artesian wells in the arid region
between the Nueces and Rio Grande.
Most of these efforts were abortive. In
1868 a well was bored on the Capitol Hill
at Austin. At 1 200 feet mineral water
was found and the well abandoned. Good
water could have been secured by drilling
200 feet deeper.
"Scientific knowledge of the under-
ground water bearing sand layers in the
areas of the Black and Grand Prairies
was first worked out by Dr. Robert T.
Hill in 1896 and for the Texas coastal
plain by Dr Alexander Deussen in 1914
and the empirical knowledge given by
haphazard drilling over the area was or-
ganized so that the water driller now
knows the depth to which his drill must
go to find water and about what vol-
ume of water may be expected.
"Artesian water furnishes a part or the
whole water supply of practically all 'the
important cities and towns of Texas,
though its most important aspect perhaps
is in the increase of small towns and vil-
lages on the prairies. The artesian water
supply of Texas has made possible the
change from a cattle and ranch country
to a densely populated agricultural
"Could the early explorer. Philip Nolan,
make his trip again to the Black ando
Grand Prairies of Texas he would find on
his 'dry, treeless prairies' hundreds of
farmhouses and towns where he could be
srved with water, delicious and refresh-
ing. No single factor has had so much
effect in the growth of its citizenship; in
changing the character of its agricultural
Industries, and in adding to the total well
living of the State as that of the exploita-
tion of its artesian water supply.
Artesian Water Sands.
"The structure of the coastal plain
gives ideal conditions for the development
of artesian water Consisting of great
sheets of sands, shales, clays and lime-
stone, dipping toward the Gulf. they un-
derlap each other like shingles on a roof,
but, unlike shingles, the beds point to
the ridge instead of the eaves, so that
the bottom beds come to the surface as
one passes up inland from the Gulf. Each
sheet of sand which thus comes to the
surface forms a catchment area and the
sand bed fills with water, held in above
and below by shale or some tight imper-
vious ground rock The catchment area
being high gives a hydrostatic head so
that when the drill bores into the sand
bed the water rises in the well and, if
the head is sufficient, flows.
"Important water producing sands are
those of the Trinity, Glen Ros, Paluxy,
Woodbine and Nacatoch in the Cretaceous
beds. Important sands In the Tertiary
beds are the Catahoula, DeWift, Yegua
and Lissie in Southwestern Texas and in
the area adjacent to the Gulf.
"Artesian sands are found also in the
area of the Llano Estacado and in the
Principal Watersheds of Texas.
The great expanse of the surface of
Texas, consisting of 265,896 square miles
of gross area, is drained through thirteen
primary watersheds and three large tribu-
tary streams are usually classed sepa-
rately, making a total of sixteen basins,
ten of which lie entirely in Texas and six
of which lie partly in other States and
the Republic of Mexico. In addition there
is a narrow strip along the coast that is
drained directly into the Gulf by small
streams. The principal catchment basins
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The 1928 Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, book, 1928~; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123786/m1/96/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.