It’s no secret. The weather is dry in Texas and it doesn’t look like things are getting better any time soon.
In fact, climatologists predict that, without a big rain event, Texas will be in its worst recorded drought by October.
"We're living history right now,” Stacey Steinbach with the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts said. “That drought from the ‘50s was really bad and this one is either as bad or may eventually exceed it."
That's why there's a sense of urgency at the Texas Groundwater Summit, a gathering of scientists, water managers and planners.
"We do not have enough water to sustain the growth the state is living with,” Dirk Aaron, manager of the the Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District, said. “The sense of urgency is for people in the community to understand that."
Based in Bell County, Aaron’s conservation district is the guardian of the water supply that feeds Salado Springs.
"We have to have a sustained change in our habits with water to live through a drought like this," Aaron said.
Managers of the Barton Springs portion of the Edwards Aquifer face similar challenges.
"We're knocking on the door of a stage four exceptional drought, which would be unprecedented for our district,” John Dupnik with the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District said. “We've never experienced one."
But some scientists think a solution may be coming to the surface: brackish water.
"A lot of people have stayed away from brackish groundwater because it is not potable, it's not freshwater, you can't use it for drinking purposes, but that is really being identified more and more as a source," water attorney Ty Embrey said.
Brackish water is loaded with dissolved salts and minerals and is costly to clean up.
"There's plenty of water there. It's just a matter of making it more usable," Dupnik said.
Experts estimate that the development of a cheap and effective way to clean up brackish water would double the state's underground water supply.
Water managers are still waiting on technology to catch up. Right now, there are 38 brackish water treatment plants in Texas, but their output is still very limited.
That leaves water managers—and the rest of Texas—hoping for rain.