Desalination has a waste problem

Desalination has a waste problem

The waste product from desalination is growing too large to ignore, argues a paper from a United Nations think tank that provides the first estimate of global brine production from desalination. Producing fresh water in the driest parts of the world by removing the salt from sea water is resulting in a deluge of brine, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. The amount of brine generated by the world’s nearly 16,000 desalination plants is 50 percent larger than…

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Could groundwater pumping cause the ground to sink? It’s possible, scientists say

Could groundwater pumping cause the ground to sink? It’s possible, scientists say

For the last several years, scientists have warned of the sinking ground beneath cities along the Gulf Coast. Known as subsidence, it’s a strange phenomenon that gradually deflates the surface of the ground as groundwater is pumped from beneath. The threat has been mostly noted in cities along the coast, where underground soils are largely composed of a sandy clay. Central Texas lies 130 miles from the coast, but that doesn’t mean parts of it — Bastrop and Lee counties…

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Cow Creek leader reveals suspicions of WCID creation

Cow Creek leader reveals suspicions of WCID creation

Milan Michalec, president of the board of the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District, will address Boerne’s City Council on Tuesday night to question the propriety of WCID No. 3. Michalec describes shortfalls in the process as “egregious” and “secretive,” and believes that Senate Bill 914, which triggered WCID No. 3, should be repealed. With a single public notice printed in a December 2016 issue of the San Antonio Express-News, SB 914 was filed on Feb. 15, 2017, and later approved…

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Permit for popular Float Fest on San Marcos River denied

Permit for popular Float Fest on San Marcos River denied

The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court voted on Thursday to deny a permit for Float Fest, just days after a study commissioned by organizers of the annual music festival showed it generated $12.3 million in total economic impact last year. Without a permit, which is required for gatherings of more than 5,000 people, the event cannot be legally held. Commissioners voted 3-2 during a special meeting that lasted more than three hours to deny the request by festival promoter Marcus Federman. He had…

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After Hurricane Harvey, Texas senator eyes using state’s savings for flood control

After Hurricane Harvey, Texas senator eyes using state’s savings for flood control

  • January 28, 2019
  • News

Before the next Hurricane Harvey strikes and thousands of homes are damaged or destroyed, some Texas lawmakers want to make sure communities statewide are better prepared for floods. On Tuesday, state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, filed legislation to establish Texas’ first-ever flood plan – slated for completion by September 2024. The statewide plan would incorporate regional plans to better coordinate flood-control projects and strategies. It would also look at flooding problems on a watershed basis, not just at the community…

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Bills seek more protection for Texas landowners in eminent domain cases

Bills seek more protection for Texas landowners in eminent domain cases

A byproduct of the booming Texas economy and energy sector — the increasing number of pipelines and transmission lines crisscrossing the state — has left many property owners at the mercy of private companies that have authority to condemn land, two state lawmakers said Wednesday. They’re proposing changes to state law that would give landowners greater protections, and possibly more money, when companies assert eminent domain to force them to sell. The proposals wouldn’t apply to public entities, such as…

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Kinder Morgan sets public meeting

Kinder Morgan sets public meeting

  • January 28, 2019
  • News

Pipeline company says rerouting around Gillespie not an option Kinder Morgan, the pipeline company looking to cross Gillespie County and the Hill Country, will host a public meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds. The open house will have land maps, along with the company’s engineers, construction management team and environmental specialists, according to Kinder Morgan Vice President Allen Fore. The company plans to install a 42-inch, natural gas pipeline 430 miles from the…

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Why aren’t Texas politicians standing up for Texas landowners?

Why aren’t Texas politicians standing up for Texas landowners?

In 2009 the Bureau of Land Management published a series of surveys in the Federal Register that laid claim to small strips of land between the medial line of the Red River—the invisible line down the middle of the waterway that constitutes the border between Texas and Oklahoma—and the river’s south bank. A mundane turning of the federal bureaucracy, one might think, except that the BLM and Texas landowners south of the river happened to disagree pretty vigorously on where…

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Technology and renewables are key to battling climate change

Technology and renewables are key to battling climate change

As the long-term effects of climate change impacts natural resources, one study says it might also dig into the pocketbooks of energy consumers. With energy costs rising due to rising global temperatures, more entities are turning to renewable technologies to help their customers. According to the fourth National Climate Assessment, residential and commercial electricity expenses are projected to increase anywhere from four to 18 percent by 2040 nationwide. Those projections include a reduction in electricity used for heat in states…

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Liberty Hill wastewater treatment plant accused of dumping chemicals into river

  • January 27, 2019
  • News

LEANDER, Texas — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is investigating after getting a complaint about foam and a bleach odor being discharged from the Liberty Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall into the San Gabriel River. Chemicals discharged Thursday Water became foamy Wastewater treatment plant cited last year “This probably was a process failure. I’d be surprised if it was intentional,” Mike Clifford from the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, said. Clifford was contacted by a resident in the area who noticed foam and…

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