Water

AgriLife Today http://bit.ly/1rFzmHP / cc

The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) imposed stage three water restrictions on April 10, the earliest in area history and only the fourth time ever for the "San Antonio pool." Despite summer being months away, residents are already being asked to restrict their water usage.

The EAA used the stage three restrictions for the first time ever last July  in August of 2012, when the aquifer fell below the mandated 640 feet. All indications are that the drought will continue to get worse through the summer, but are people taking it seriously?

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

After being told by the LCRA that they could face a third growing season with no irrigation water, some rice farmers near the Gulf Coast are considering spending millions of dollars to drill for groundwater.

The LCRA decided they were stopping the flow of water downstream from the Highland Lakes because of low lake levels due to drought conditions.

Roland Gurtson, a rice farmer from Wharton County, said he was one of several farmers who has spent the last two years trying to survive on crop insurance.

Lorne Matalon

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.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

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 future landscape of water in Texas

James Volosin / Hill Country Alliance

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.

Pages