Only perpetually booming Phoenix added more people than San Antonio and Fort Worth in the year ending in July 2005, according to the Census Bureau's annual city population estimates released Tuesday. However, the figures don't reflect the demographic chaos caused weeks later by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.
San Antonio, which replaced San Diego as the seventh-largest city in the United States, and Fort Worth added about 21,000 people each, based on government estimates using housing statistics. Phoenix tacked nearly 44,500 people onto its tally.
"What is clearly a change is that San Antonio historically had been among the slower-growing of the major cities," said Steve Murdock, the state demographer based at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "It's become San Antonio's turn, so to speak."
A future stumbling block for San Antonio could be water. The area depends on the drought-sensitive Edwards Aquifer, and a recent engineering report prepared for the Texas Water Development Board indicates the area could lose 50,000 people by 2030 if water-supply needs go unmet.
"The San Antonio area is going to have to make some hard decisions, here and throughout the aquifer region," said Annalisa Peace, executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance. "If we pave over the recharge zone, we'll reduce the amount of available water."
Peace supports stronger limits on how much "impervious cover" - typically concrete slabs or pavement - can be built onto land that acts as a rainwater sponge to replenish the underground lake.
The Red State has more.Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 22, 2006 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack