Environment

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)

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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Environment
8:44 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Despite Efforts, The Rio Grande Is One Dirty Border

Kayakers head out on the Rio Grande toward one of the international bridges that connect Laredo, Texas, and the town of Nuevo Laredo in Mexico. Raw sewage and animal carcasses float in the water.
Neena Satija Texas Tribune

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:13 pm

There's one easy way to find out how bad the water quality is in the Rio Grande: get into a kayak.

Paddle through chocolate brown water in Laredo and the overwhelming smell makes it hard to breathe. A dog's carcass floats by; there are many dead fish, too.

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Environment
2:07 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Environmentalists & Attorney General Both Happy About EPA Case, But For Different Reasons

EPA

Texas Environmentalists and Attorney General Greg Abbott are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court is willing to hear the case regarding how the Environmental Protection Agency will regulate power plant greenhouse gases.

"We hope the Supreme Court rules in the EPA’s favor -- that they adopt the standards -- however, even if they don’t the EPA does have other ways to get at this issue," said Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas.

Metzger said the EPA could rewrite the rules and target chemical pollutant that is emitted with the carbon gases.

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Texas Drought
8:53 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Texas Ag Commissioner Pushes Water Conservation To Save Highland Lakes

March 30, 2013: Around many parts of Lake Buchanan, lost items like this old mooring rope can be found once again as much of the water has long since evaporated.
©Aaron Bates Photography. Twitter @AaronBatesPhoto

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is strongly urging cities and all households, especially those in the Highland Lakes region, to adopt his “Texas Water Smart” program to conserve water and reduce the need for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to shut off the flow of water downstream.  

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