Editor's note: This report is the first of a two-part series on Graham's pursuit of a viable effluent water re-use project. Despite the fact that Graham and Young County have both been receiving some much needed rain in the past two weeks, the area, as well as the entire state of Texas, is still going through a record drought.

While figures have gone down from 99 percent of the state in drought conditions three months ago to 87 percent of Texas currently in drought, according to data from the Texas Water Development Board, the city of Graham is hedging its bets with new research into the reuse of waste water as a viable method of conservation.

At last Thursday's city council meeting, the city decided to pursue a permit initiating the waste water plan. This decision came after hiring the engineering firm Jacob & Martin, LLC., to conduct a study on the feasibility of reusing the city's wastewater for effluent, available uses.

The project that the city is looking at involves three phases. The first phase utilizes effluent water for industrial sales, the second phase delegates waste water for non-potable irrigation purposes, and the third phase bolsters the city's water supply by reusing wastewater for potable purposes. Jacob & Martin employee Alan Philips said that implementing plans such as these have many benefits, especially in areas where water restrictions are the norm.

Read the entire story in this weekend's edition of the Graham Leader.