Fronteras: Federal prosecutors in Texas and New Mexico are dealing with an unusual case involving a man from a Mennonite community in Mexico. We take you into the fields of New Mexico where workers are cleaning out an ancient irrigation system. These hand-dug ditches may help retain precious river water in times of drought. Further south, drought is forcing a Mexican city to ration water -- and it's only spring.
Texas Matters: Texas has enjoyed cheap water for years, but it may not be that way for much longer as the days of relying on a single source for water are coming to a close. Desalinating salt water is expensive, but could help the state cope with water shortages. Also on this show: Lesser prairie chicken protection, fracking and cancer in Flower Mound, Texas.
The Pedernales River runs 106 miles through the Hill Country before eventually joining the Colorado River at Lake Travis. Its catchment area—the land that drains into the river—touches 8 counties and covers more than 800,000 acres.
The basin provides habitat for numerous fish and wildlife, supports agricultural, ranching and hunting pursuits, and contributes 23% of the flow into Lake Travis, providing a critical source of drinking water for downstream users such as the City of Austin.
With water on the minds of many, the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program is a citywide, long-standing effort to maintain sustainable water levels.
In April, the San Antonio city council will hear once again about the city's Aquifer Protection Program. It began around 2000, approved by voters to use 1/8th cent sales tax revenue to purchase land over the sensitive Recharge Zone in Bexar County.
In 2005 the program changed a little to include Medina and Uvalde Counties.
Fronteras: As California struggles with its water crisis and the rest of the southwest deals with drought, some criticize Arizona farmers for exporting some of their crops overseas. In the final part of our series "Pipe Dreams" we look at the controversy of indirectly exporting water overseas. A new lawsuit in Arizona federal court is trying to block new state abortion restrictions from taking effect on April 1. What's at stake in that state's latest legal fight over abortion? Also, crowded college classrooms have some U.S. students heading south of the border for their higher education.
A study paid for by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce details the impacts of water shortages on the city's future growth. Jobs, spending, migration are all affected drastically if the city continues to grow without making proper accommodations, argues the study.
San Antonio Water System officials are in talks to find a supply of water in addition to the Edwards Aquifer to meet growth demands over the next few decades.
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has joined the discussion with a new study, the Impact of Potential Water Shortages on San Antonio’s Economy, which illustrates the link between long-term water needs and San Antonio’s economy.
Fronteras: The exhibit Standing Their Ground: Tejanos at the Alamo takes a new look at the story of the Alamo siege and battle. Water experts say the Southwest should get used to the idea of drinking recycled water as treatment plants become more sophisticated. Water "czar" Pat Mulroy has just retired -- she leaves behind a big legacy and big lessons about the Colorado River during this record drought.
San Antonio District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg is asking for a comprehensive water plan through the year 2050.
The plan would include how city growth patterns will impact the Edwards Aquifer and San Antonio Water System. Nirenberg said the number one threat to the state's economy and future prosperity is water scarcity.
In a request to the city staff, he outlined a compilation of all city policies, procedures, standards and regulations into one place so that council members can easily understand the water situation now and for the future.
Commissioners with the Texas Commissioner on Environmental Quality spent nearly six hours hearing testimony from those that would be affected by a request from the Lower Colorado River Authority to stop the flow of water coming from the Highland Lakes.
A crowd of about 250 farmers, water planners and state and local officials shared their thoughts with TCEQ about a request from the LCRA to stop the flow of water from the Highland Lakes unless the lakes had a combined storage of 1.1 million acre feet -- more than half full.