Environment

As part of Texas Public Radio's on-going focus on the environment, we are proud to bring the public and our members special events, stories and initiatives to help improve and draw attention to the city's health and environment.

San Antonio Water System

The San Antonio Water System has issued a record number of landscaping coupons to customers wanting to lower yard water usage.

When SAWS first debuted its Watersaver Landscape Coupon program in 2013, there were about 4,000 applicants. Karen Guz, the Director of Conservation at SAWS, says the number “shocked us, honestly. we didn’t think we’d have that high of participation.”

In 1922, seven Western states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming and California — drew up an agreement on how to divide the waters of the Colorado River. But there was one big problem with the plan: They overestimated how much water the river could provide.

As a result, each state was promised more water than actually exists. This miscalculation — and the subsequent mismanagement of water resources in those states — has created a water crisis that now affects nearly 40 million Americans.

Texas Wind Power Subsidies In Jeopardy

Jun 25, 2015

Texas leads the United States in the production of wind power, largely in thanks to a state mandate that utilities source a certain amount of electricity from renewables.

Wind power provides 10 percent of the Lone Star State’s energy. The industry uses a combination of private investment for production and government subsidies for transmission lines.

But there’s a movement to repeal state subsidies for wind power. Reporter Lorne Matalon of Marfa Public Radio reports.

Texas Parks and Wildlife

  A group of state and local agencies is putting together a series of workshops for landowners and volunteers who are working on cleaning up debris from Memorial Day floods on the Blanco River.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy and other groups are concerned that people may be doing more harm than good by burning fallen trees and digging out debris from the river banks.

After Fracking Ban, Denton Residents Ponder Next Steps

Jun 3, 2015
Courtesy: Brandi Korte / Frack Free Denton

DENTON – Frustrated and grasping for options that weren’t apparent, Denton residents flooded a city council meeting Tuesday night to assess where things stand after state lawmakers smacked down an ordinance voters passed last fall to ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits. 

The key question before the council: Should it remove the now-toothless ordinance from its books to stave off further legal trouble, or keep it to strike a symbolic blow for local control on the off chance that the law will prove useful again some day? 

“We find ourselves today at a melancholy crossroads,” said Adam Briggle, a North Texas University philosophy professor and one of six advocates arrested since Monday for trying to prevent a gas company from resuming fracking operations. “It is certainly disheartening, and it’s confusing.” 

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