Life by the Drop: Going Dry in Matagorda Bay
This week, we’ve heard from communities along the Colorado River who survive on its water. But what about the Colorado itself? Does a river have a right to flow? People in Texas bays and coastal areas that depend on fresh water inflows might say it does.
As last year’s drought pushed through the summer, the Colorado brought less and less fresh water into the Gulf of Mexico. Matagorda Bay is where the river empties into the sea. The water quality suffered. Oyster harvesting was shut down. And fishermen reported fewer crabs and fish in the bay. With more and more interests competing for Colorado water, some worry that fresh water scarcity could become the new normal.
In the last stop on our trip down the Colorado River, we visit Captain Jerry West, a fishing guide in Matagorda Bay.
If we don’t get that water down here, like last year — we didn’t get the rains, our bay system suffered; East Bay has really taken a toll, the crabs died off, our oyster population died off.
Our special report, Life by the Drop: Drought Water and the Future of Texas, airs this afternoon at 3 on KUT 90.5.