Q&A with Tim Loftus

Trib+Water interview with Tim Loftus: Tim Loftus is a faculty member in the Department of Geography at Texas State University. He also serves as chair in water conservation at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Loftus’s research focuses on water conservation, among other topics. Trib+Water: Can you tell me a bit about the research you do and any recent projects? Tim Loftus: I’m relatively new at Texas State. As I mentioned, I began Sept. 1, and I’m a…

Read More
Program aims to keep local skies bright with stars, not lights

Program aims to keep local skies bright with stars, not lights

  • June 13, 2016
  • News

Members of Keep Utopia Beautiful recently joined Hill Country Alliance program director Cliff Kaplan to encourage Uvalde County Commissioners to support the preservation of dark skies in the area by reducing light pollution. Kaplan, along with Claudia Rogers and Barbara Baggett of Keep Utopia Beautiful, spoke to commissioners May 23, ultimately convincing the county’s governing body to pass a resolution of support… Read more from Uvalde Leader News   Related article: Light Pollution Masks the Milky Way for a Third…

Read More
Eminent Domain and the Landscapes of Texas

Eminent Domain and the Landscapes of Texas

  • June 10, 2016
  • News

A new study looks at the role of eminent domain and condemnation in the changing landscapes of Texas and the Hill Country. Are private companies taking advantage of loose regulations on the use of eminent domain to abuse private property rights? The Texas Hill Country is no stranger to pipelines, transmission lines, roadways and municipal utility districts that use eminent domain for routing infrastructure. Are there improvements to be made to our current system to ensure equity, fairness and a…

Read More
Say goodbye to El Niño and hello to La Niña

Say goodbye to El Niño and hello to La Niña

  • June 10, 2016
  • News

This year’s monstrous El Nino, nicknamed Godzilla by NASA, is dead. It heated up the globe, ended the Central Texas drought, but didn’t quite end California’s four-year drought. El Niño delivered the promised rains to Central Texas, resulting in periods of deadly flooding, and a record 12 month rainfall of nearly 60 inches at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport between May 2015 and April 2016. The last remnants of El Niño may likely have contributed to the recent heavy rain which has resulted…

Read More
Commission rules against pipeline in condemnation case

Commission rules against pipeline in condemnation case

Jeanne Simpson sits before a foot-wide section of 42-inch diameter green pipe, a sample of what is likely to be buried on her property. A fourth-generation landowner, Simpson co-owns and manages the Barreno Ranch southwest of Marfa, a more than 6,000-acre property her great-grandfather settled in 1884. A special commission hearing Wednesday ruled damages to her property from the Trans-Pecos Pipeline to be worth nearly $700,000. The pipeline had offered $18,000. During nearly four hours of testimony, Simpson described the…

Read More

Aquifer District Director Precincts Extended to Annexed Area

New Director precinct boundaries that extend representation into the Shared Territory annexed in response to House Bill 3405 were finalized at the May 26, 2016 Board meeting after extensive research, a public hearing, consideration of numerous public comments, and Board deliberation. The five District Board of Director precincts were redistricted to bring representation into the shared territory in Hays County and group communities of interests and their common sources of water supply.  Very generally, there are two City of Austin…

Read More
Lawyers Say Ruling Bad For Landowners

Lawyers Say Ruling Bad For Landowners

Agriculture and landowner groups recently heralded a Texas Supreme Court ruling favoring a South Plains ranch as a major win for private property rights, but some lawyers and conservationists are painting the decision as more of a win for developers and water marketers. The unanimous ruling, issued last Friday, expanded a 45-year-old tenet of oil and gas law that enables “surface” landowners who don’t own the minerals beneath their property to force drillers to accommodate their existing use of the…

Read More
Wind turbine farms coming to Kimble?

Wind turbine farms coming to Kimble?

James Murr | The Junction Eagle | Wind turbine farms are not strangers to the residents of Texas.  According to the State Energy Conservation Office, “wind resource areas in the Texas Panhandle, along the Gulf Coast south of Galveston, and in the mountain passes and ridge tops of the Trans-Pecos offer Texas some of the greatest wind power potential in the United States.”  It’s evident, however, that the potential for such wind generation is also being assessed for this part…

Read More

Understanding Water Risks Drives Global Investors

Just like homeowners who do not think twice about water supply when they turn on the tap, financial advisors considering investing in companies or new products took water for granted. The same went for governments and multi-lateral finance institutions, like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, when they considered loans to build dams, power plants, and mines. That was before the world’s population and demand for water soared. It was before climate change disrupted previously stable cycles of…

Read More
Golden-cheeked warbler to remain on endangered list

Golden-cheeked warbler to remain on endangered list

Rejecting a bid by former state Comptroller Susan Combs and others to remove special habitat protections for the golden-cheeked warbler, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is set to announce their petition “did not present substantial information that delisting is warranted.” The decision, to be published Friday in the Federal Register, means the federal agency will take no further action on the petition. Three groups — Texans for Positive Economic Policy, led by Combs, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and…

Read More