Last year for the first time the federal government released a huge database showing something staggering: A procedure that could cost $100,000 at one hospital cost under $10,000 at another down the road.
The newest River Walk tile mural was unveiled on Tuesday morning and it celebrates the story of water in San Antonio.
"Contrary to popular belief, oil isn’t the lifeblood of this city, it’s water," said Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Executive Director Steven Karr. "So it’s an important story to tell."
To tell that story, the Briscoe collaborated with San Antonio Water Systems and artists from Dunis Studios and decided to continue a long-standing San Antonio tradition of creating and installing large tile murals along the River Walk.
That water tank behind the Arneson River Theater stage marks San Antonio’s oldest pump station. Just to the west of it is the brand new Briscoe Museum. The area between them is the beautiful McNutt Courtyard.
As an entrance to the River Walk, it’s a prime place to carry on a San Antonio art tradition — a painted tile mural.
"It’s completely in the W.P.A. tradition," said tile expert and author Susan Toomey Frost talking about the Works Progress Administration tile murals installed as part of the old River Walk. She cites a long tradition.
Some of Texas’ biggest trade and business associations are looking to counter anti-big government groups like the tea party that have crowded recent Republican primaries -- the group’s effort is in response to actions taken in the past legislative session against state infrastructure bills.
The Texas Future Business Alliance is made up of ten business groups that are supporting Republican candidates who have supported water infrastructure bills and transportation and education funding in the past.
From beer bills and a kumbaya legislative sessions to abortion bills and protests, Texas Public Radio takes a look back at some of 2013 legislative highlights.
The 83rd Legislature had several phases, the first of which was what has been commonly called the Texas lawmakers "kumbaya" session, where Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, was able to pass legislation with bipartisan support for a bill that gives Texas beer makers an opportunity to sell their craft beyond their brew pubs.
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.
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.
After hearing from state lawmakers, conservation groups and affected farmers, the LCRA board voted to raise the lake level threshold before any water is released to the rice farming irrigation areas of Texas.
The LCRA approved raising the lake level threshold from 850,000 acre feet to 1.1 million acre feet of water, and the board also asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to enforce mandatory water restrictions for people living along the Highland Lakes, limiting lawn watering to once a week.
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.