In a Warming West, the Rio Grande Is Drying Up

In a Warming West, the Rio Grande Is Drying Up

Mario Rosales, who farms 365 acres along the Rio Grande, knows the river is in bad shape this year. It has already dried to a dusty ribbon of sand in some parts, and most of the water that does flow is diverted to irrigate crops, including Mr. Rosales’s fields of wheat, oats, alfalfa and New Mexico’s beloved chiles. Because last winter’s mountain snowpack was the second-lowest on record, even that irrigation water may run out at the end of July,…

Read More
Guadalupe bass back story

Guadalupe bass back story

The Texas state record Guadalupe bass measured 17.25 inches, weighed only 3.71 pounds, and was caught on fly fishing tackle from the Colorado River downstream from Austin. What might seem like a yawner of a catch to the average bass angler has greater impact outside the sport than you can imagine. Think more than one million people, or the population of Austin that depends on drawing water from the Colorado River and water supply lakes forming the native range of the species.…

Read More
Water scientist by profession, humorist by choice

Water scientist by profession, humorist by choice

To hear Dr. Robert Mace speak at a water conference is to hear a very knowledgeable water expert mixing in a little humor on the side. Determined to retain the interest of the audience, many times Mace titles his presentations with humorous names, such as “Gone With the Wind: The History of Pumping Water With Windmills” and “Mace’s Believe It or Not: Bizarre Texas Groundwater facts!” and inserts humorous quips in the talks. Even though the new chief water policy officer and…

Read More
Reforestation experts help restore a wild Blanco River

Reforestation experts help restore a wild Blanco River

Each week, Ina Alexatos drives throughout Wimberley in a Subaru Forester with the words Trees for the Blanco printed across the side. She visits riverside landowners one by one to consult them on letting their banks go wild. She then stakes orange flags to mark where a variety of trees — bald cypress, sycamore, pecan — will be planted by volunteers, private contractors or Texas Conservation Corps. Alexatos works as the reforestation coordinator on the Blanco River for Austin-based nonprofit…

Read More
BSEACD Staff Recommends Issuing EP Permit in Phases with Special Conditions

BSEACD Staff Recommends Issuing EP Permit in Phases with Special Conditions

In July of 2017, Electro Purification, LLC (“EP”) applied for a groundwater production permit at the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (“BSEACD”) for a Middle Trinity Aquifer well field in Hays County. The permit application indicates that pumping rates will be phased in over time with a maximum permitted pumping rate of 2.5 million gallons per day (MGD), or approximately 912 million gallons per year, pumped from seven wells located on the Odell and Bridges properties… Read more from…

Read More
Is new wastewater treatment plant to blame for algae in river?

Is new wastewater treatment plant to blame for algae in river?

The South San Gabriel River was so clear as it flowed past Frank and LaWann Tull’s house on Waterford Lane in Georgetown that they held baptisms for their church in April 2016 and April 2017. But this year they couldn’t. Around the beginning of April, t he river became blanketed with thick coats of algae that lasted for several weeks, they said. “We’ve been here 11 years and we’ve never seen anything like this,” said LaWann Tull. “It’s a thick, heavy…

Read More
Fredericksburg one step closer to becoming Dark-Sky community

Fredericksburg one step closer to becoming Dark-Sky community

“Nearly 80 percent of the United States can no longer see the Milky Way,” Ken Kattner, an amateur astronomer and president of International Dark-Sky Association, said. Light pollution remains an ever-radiating problem for not only the United States, but many parts of the world. “Let’s do something about it now before it gets worse,” Kattner said. Also a Houston attorney, Kattner owns an observatory in Fredericksburg. Like several other towns in the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is looking to cut down…

Read More
Texas Water Symposium will discuss “One Water” and how it can provide water for future needs

Texas Water Symposium will discuss “One Water” and how it can provide water for future needs

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Texas Water Symposium with a conversation about emerging water management techniques called “One Water” at 7pm on Wednesday, May 30th.  The program, titled What is “One Water” and can it meet the future water needs of a growing Hill Country? will be held at the Hill Country University Center in Fredericksburg, Texas and will feature representatives from the cities of Fredericksburg, Boerne, and experts on the implementation of One Water in Texas. This event…

Read More

Opinion: Farm Bill will impact Texas’ post-Harvey conservation efforts

As Gus McCrae wisely quipped in “Lonesome Dove”: “Yesterday’s gone, we can’t get it back.” The Farm Bill of yesterday — or four years ago, to be clear — is coming to a close, soon to be replaced by a new bill. Though it may not seem like it at first blush, the Farm Bill has far-reaching effects for Texans and all Americans. Along with funding important initiatives like affordable and accessible food options, commodities, food production and trade, the…

Read More
NASA study shows humans responsible for major shifts in water supply

NASA study shows humans responsible for major shifts in water supply

Humans are dramatically altering water supply in many places worldwide, say NASA scientists who have been tracking regional changes via satellite. The researchers analyzed 14 years of data from NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites, which the space agency has dubbed GRACE. They studied areas with large increases or decreases in freshwater — including water stored in aquifers, ice, lakes, rivers, snow and soil — to determine the most likely causes of these changes. Changes in two-thirds of the 34 hot spots from…

Read More