Rainwater Harvest as a solution to drought and flood?

Rainwater Harvest as a solution to drought and flood?

Stormwater is starting to get some serious attention in California, as the state’s drought enters a fifth year. Thanks in part to El Niño, rain has been surging through downspouts and gutters lately. And a lot of it: one storm in Los Angeles County, packing one inch of rainfall, means 10 billion gallons of water. The Oakland-based Pacific Institute estimates that rainfall captured in the San Francisco Bay Area and metro Southern California could, in a strong year, provide enough water…

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The best time to plan for drought is when we aren’t in one

The best time to plan for drought is when we aren’t in one

Drought is nothing new to Texans; it is frequent and inevitable. Across much of Texas the end of the current drought is being declared—soil moisture levels are nearing normal and ephemeral rivers are flowing again—while other portions of the state are already on the verge of slipping back into drought conditions despite recent rains. This reprieve from drought is a most welcome relief, yet we can be certain there is another drought around the corner. Drought, unlike a hurricane or…

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May marks wettest month for Texas in recorded history

May marks wettest month for Texas in recorded history

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that May was the wettest month on record for the Continental US- and the wettest for both Oklahoma and Texas in recorded history, with rainfall totals almost twice the average levels. Recent rains have nearly eliminated drought from the state of Texas. More information on this particularly wet weather pattern can be found here.  http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/national/201505 US Drought Monitor June 9, 2015    

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Texas planners look to aquifers to prepare for next drought

Texas planners look to aquifers to prepare for next drought

The torrential storms of last month essentially ended one of Texas’ worst droughts, but much of the excess water has already flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or will evaporate by year’s end. With a wary eye toward the next prolonged dry-streak that inevitably will come, some think expanding the use of underground aquifers may help slake the thirst of Texas’ rapidly growing population. Three trillion gallons of water gushed from swollen Texas rivers into the Gulf of Mexico in…

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The Texas Drought is over, but what about the next?

The Texas Drought is over, but what about the next?

The drought that just ended (in all but a small corner of the Texas Panhandle, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor) made Texans aware of the importance of a reliable water supply, for themselves and for the state’s economy. The Texas Legislature in 2013 backed up the State Water Plan with a mechanism for new project funding, including conservation, and the electorate concurred. That well-placed concern, and in some cases panic, about reliable water has been displaced by rain. The…

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Our Water Future Is Not For Sale

Our Water Future Is Not For Sale

San Antonio’s business-as-usual is putting our water future at risk. Last week Brooks City Base sought rush-rush rezoning approval to allow Niagara Bottling to put San Antonio’s water in plastic bottles to sell nationwide. This, while San Antonio Water System (SAWS) wants us to spend $3.4 billion on the Vista Ridge pipeline to bring incredibly expensive additional water to San Antonio. City Council fortunately paused the zoning deal, but it did not kill it.  It should; it is a bad…

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California drought in the news

It seems that everywhere we turn, there is news of the historic drought currently gripping California. Could the current water shortage mark the end ofCalifornia’s booming growth? Or is it simply another obstacle to overcome – a “resource management issue,” as some put it. Others are looking at how California can encourage water-saving behavior changes – to reduce water use by 25% below 2013 levels – without rationing at the household level. And as the drought and below average snow…

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One year of water left in California?

California has mandated a 25% cut in water use one month after an LA Times op-ed by NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti kicked off with: “California has about one year of water left.” But, what did that headline actually mean? “One of the key points of the op-ed was that, since we will be relying more heavily on groundwater this year (perhaps an unprecedented 85% to 90% statewide), that we need to be extremely mindful to use it sparingly — all…

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