Environment

Environment
5:53 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Edwards Aquifer Authority Declares Rare Wintertime Stage 3 Restrictions

In a rare move for this time of year, the Edwards Aquifer Authority has declared Stage 3 water restrictions.

SAWS customers need not worry. A spokesperson tells TPR there is enough reserve water on hand at its Carrizo Aquifer storage site in southern Bexar County to not impose restrictions on its customers. But, SAWS itself will have to reduce its pumping out of the Edwards Aquifer by 35 percent.

SAWS, along with small municipalities like Universal City and Alamo Heights, are permit holders of the EAA. SAWS happens to be the largest permit holder.

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Environment
3:54 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Environmental Group In Texas Watches SCOTUS Decision On EPA Pollution Rules

CPS Energy plant on Calaveras Lake.
Karen Fasimpaur Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court is examining whether the Environmental Protection Agency overreached its authority with its regulations on cross-state pollution, but environmental groups in Texas say the EPA is simply operating within the confines of the Clean Air Act.

United States Supreme Court Justices heard oral arguments on Tuesday regarding a case that alleges the EPA overreached its authority by issuing regulations for pollution that drifts into states bordering one another.

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Environment
9:20 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Post-BP Oil Spill Restoration Projects Proposed For Texas Gulf Coast

Diver near an artificial reef.
Texas Parks & Wildlife

Restoration plans have been laid out for the Gulf Coast in Texas following the BP oil spill in 2010 that spewed more than 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees have proposed five projects in Texas totaling $18.4 million dollars from BP, and officials are looking for public comment.

The projects do not directly address the spill damage but offer other amenities that would bring both ecological and economic benefits to the Gulf.

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Texas Drought
4:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Central Texas Farmers Could Lose Water Access Due to Drought

Rice farmers in Texas could face a third year in a row of being cut off from water due to severe drought conditions. (Jeff Heimsath/StateImpact Texas)

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 3:58 pm

Half of Texas is experiencing drought conditions, and for the third year in a row, rice farmers in Central Texas may be cut off from water supplies because of severe drought.

The Lower Colorado River Authority has asked the state to approve emergency plans to cut water to farmers in 2014 if reservoir lakes are at less than 55 percent capacity. The lakes are currently 36 percent full.

Homes and businesses would also face water restrictions.

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Texas Water
1:18 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Del Rio Mayor Threatens Legal Action If SAWS Water Plan Is Approved

SAWS is considering plans to purchase water from the Val Verde Water Company.
SAWS

Del Rio is fighting to keep water within its county lines from being shipped to San Antonio, but if a proposed plan goes through, Del Rio Mayor Roberto Fernandez is threatening legal action.

Citizens in the city are concerned that the plan to use 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year from Val Verde County will siphon away vital water that flows into its main water source, the San Felipe Springs.

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Texas Water
2:47 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

How LCRA River Restrictions Are Affecting Oyster Harvesters In Matagorda Bay

Workers shuck oysters at one of Buddy Treybig's oyster processing facilities.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Matagorda is just another small Texas town, but its bay is one of the key areas in the state for oyster harvesting and processing. It’s also where the mouth of the Colorado River feeds into the Gulf of Mexico, which creates a unique habitat for animals that survive within a careful balance of fresh and salt water.

The area has been hit hard in recent years by drought, and the lack of rainfall has also taken its toll on the aquatic life, whose survival depends on the fresh water to lower the salinity levels of the bay, which is where shrimp hatch and oysters reproduce.

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Environment
5:02 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

SARA General Manager Says City Not Ready For Ban On Plastic Bags - Yet

Plastic bags are a significant problem for trash along the San Antonio River. This pictures illustrates a portion of trash at Blue Wing Road near the Salado Creek confluence.
San Antonio River Authority

A bag ban proposal is working its way through City Hall after District 7 Councilman Cris Medina submitted what's called a Council Consideration Request (CCR).

Medina's proposal includes a ban on single-use plastic bags in San Antonio, but included in the request is also a proposal for council meetings to go paperless and also updates to construction standards to build homes in a more energy-efficient manner.

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Texas Water
10:49 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Thanks To October Rains, LCRA Pulls Request To Stop Water Flow Into Matagorda Bay

Lower Colorado River Authority

The Lower Colorado River Authority has rescinded its request to block the flow of water headed downstream into Matagorda Bay from the Highland Lakes.

In the early part of October, the LCRA issued an emergency request from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, but this Tuesday they said recent rains that led to flooding in sections of Central Texas brought the lake levels up to a suitable level.

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Texas Water
3:46 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

LCRA Could Stop The Flow Of Water To Rice Farmers For A Third Straight Year

Lakes all over Texas, like Medina Lake, have suffered in the drought. This photo taken on Jan. 31, 2013.
Flickr user jwhippy cc

The Lower Colorado River Authority may soon be requesting permission from the state to stop the flow of irrigation water headed downstream to Texas rice farmers from the Highland Lakes.

A statement released by the LCRA detailed the staff recommendation.

Ronald Gertson with the group the Colorado Water Issues Committee, which represents the interest of Texas rice farmers, said for the last two years rice farmers have been cut off by the LCRA.

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Water
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Texas Water Symposium: Private Property Rights

Schreiner University

As we struggle to meet water resource challenges, what is the proper role that government should play regarding land development and other traditionally unregulated issues, in order to protect stream flows and the private property rights of landowners? All are potentially impacted by water marketing and increased withdrawals from aquifers. Stay tuned for the Texas Water Symposium, presented by the Hill Country Alliance, Schreiner University, and Texas Tech University, and recorded on the campus of Schreiner University in Kerrville.

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