The American West is not a place rich in water.
If the people who live in the American West don’t learn to curb their water consumption, and quick, water will be a thousand times more valuable than oil ever was.
Thankfully, Roy Spence, one of the founders of ad giant GSD&M is working with state officials on a campaign to get Texans to cherish water. GSD&M is partnering with Texas State University’s Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and the Texas Water Development Board on the project, which is still in its early stages.
With a crush of people moving to Texas — the population is expected to increase by 70 percent over the next half-century — the state predicts that without new infrastructure and conservation projects, roughly one-third of Texans will have less than half the water supplies they require during severe drought conditions.
“The way Texas is growing, we can’t conserve our way out of needing more water,” Spence said. “We need to develop more water resources, including reservoirs,” underground storage and desalination plants.
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GSD&M’s origin story is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Let’s hear it directly from Spence:
Long story short, I met three or four people my sophomore year and we decided to start doing these multimedia shows. Back then it was just crazy film and music. And we had thousands of kids at college lining up, paying us fifty cents to get in. And our brownie. We can talk about it. It’s America. You know, it’s free enterprise.
And we looked at each other and we said, “Maybe we can make a living and a life doing what we love to do.” So, we started the company kind of in college and we started GSD&M [Gurasich, Spence, Darilek, McClure]. I went down to the bank with a brand new tie-dyed t-shirt and a ponytail looking awesome. I asked for $5,000 to start my business and the loan officer says, “Well, what’s your business plan?”
And I was like frozen. I went, “Uh, what?” He said, “What’s your business plan?” I said, “Well, we want to stay together, we want to stay in Austin, we want to make a difference, and get rich.” And he loaned me the money.
I love it when the idealists win.