With the lack of rain and the summer heat beating down the area, the Edwards Aquifer Authority is declaring Stage 3 pumping restrictions. It's only the second time that the EAA has declared Stage 3 for users of the San Antonio pool of the Edward Aquifer. The first time was last summer, from August 15th to September 15th.
This year, the EAA is calling for Stage 3 two weeks earlier than last year.
99 percent of Texas counties are in drought according to the Texas Water Development Board. What does this mean for Texas Agriculture. Last year 12 billion dollars were paid out in federal crop insurance across the country, but we have a record planting of corn this year. And there is no garauntee that an early fall won't wipe that planting out.
Texas Matters: The United States Supreme Court is wrapping up its session and decisions continue to come down. A ruling has been made in a Texas-Oklahoma water dispute, and a decision is expended soon on a case involving the Voting Rights Act, which could have major implications in Texas. Also on this show: An inside look at Texas Monthly's Best and Worst Legislators 2013 list, and a look at how Mexico's drug war killings are effecting both sides of the border.
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.