The Texas Agriculture Commissioner is pushing congressional leaders to suspend contracts with Mexico if the country doesn't release water owed to Texas farmers and ranchers.
Mexico is required to release 1.8 million acre-feet of water every five years to the U.S. from six tributaries that feed into the Rio Grande. In exchange, the U.S. delivers water from the Colorado River to Mexico, but under the current agreement Mexico has left South Texas farmers dry, owing the state over 350,000 acre-feet of water.
Members of Environment Texas gathered in front of the Governor’s Mansion to urge Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law two bills that address residential water conservation efforts.
"The first, Senate Bill 198, would prohibit homeowner's associations from preventing their members from installing drought-resistant landscaping or xeriscapes. We heard a number of cases of HOAs preventing people from changing their own property to be more drought tolerant," said Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger.
Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law bill providing $2 billion for water-related projects . The bill provides the funding for the next 50 years of water-projects.
"It should help supply our water supply for generations, even though we are expecting rapid population increases and economic growth. Water is an essential part of everyone’s life, it is ensuring that those adequate supplies are available, means better jobs, it means stronger communities, it means healthier families," Perry said.
A House budget committee passed Senate Joint Resolution 1 to fund state-related water plans. The measure sets up an empty fund that the state can use to fund water projects over the next 50 years, and now heads to the House floor for a vote.
While many of the committee confidently voted for the resolution, others had reservations.
Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, a house leader on the Legislative Budget Board, said the joint committee has hit snags in several areas, but has reached a tentative agreement on some key spending issues in regard to Senate Bill 1, the state budget bill.
"Hopefully we will have an agreement sometime today on public education," Pitts said, adding that they were discussing $3.2 billion for public education would be taken from the state general revenue and property tax appraisals.
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance has released its legislative agenda for the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature, throwing its support behind 38 bills that promote water conservation and water quality, call for better funding of state parks, and improve coordination between various agencies dealing with water.
GEAA Executive Director Annalisa Peace said the broad support from the alliance indicates that legislators are thinking creatively and responsibly about Texas’ water problems.
Four major players square off in the fight to save whooping cranes; one side wants to save the birds, while the other side sees an invasion of state's rights. Water management is one of the large items on the table for this session of the Texas Legislature, the question then is: What is the best way to solve the problem?
Texas Springs:Making Connections between Groundwater, Surface Water, Science and Stewardship
Removing one Cedar tree from your property can keep 40 gallons of water in the ground per day; that's 14,600 gallons per year of a resource that is becoming less and less available as much of the state continues to be in drought conditions. This statistic was read off by Dr. Tom Arsuffi at the March 8th meeting of the Texas Water Symposium entitled Texas Springs: Making Connections between Groundwater, Surface Water, Science and Stewardship at the Llano Field Campus of Texas Tech University in Junction, Texas.
We have been in Stage 2 drought restrictions for so long it feels normal, but Stage 3 is just around the corner and you will need to adjust your water lifestyle a little more. Though Texas is a solid red state, Democrats have been fighting the good fight for a long time and many feel like a shift in power is on the horizon.
The final panel discussion of the 2011-2012 Texas Water Symposium series discusses the Texas State Supreme Court ruling in Edwards Aquifer Authority vs. Day. The series is a joint project of Texas Tech University, Schreiner University, the Hill Country Alliance and Texas Public Radio.
Moderating the panel discussion is Evan Smith, editor-in-chief and CEO of the Texas Tribune. On the panel are Russell Johnson and Tom Mason, attorneys from Austin and Greg Ellis an attorney in Houston. All three have experience in Texas water law.