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The Lower Colorado River Authority has rescinded its request to block the flow of water headed downstream into Matagorda Bay from the Highland Lakes.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