Texas Tribune Q&A with HCA’s Katherine Romans

Texas Tribune Q&A with HCA’s Katherine Romans

HCA Executive Director, Katherine Romans, discusses water issues facing our region in this week’s Trib+Water Q&A. “The Hill Country is really a region of extremes, where it goes from serious droughts to catastrophic flooding in an incredibly short period of time. We’re also seeing increased population growth; it’s projected to double over the next 35 years or so. The biggest challenge is going to be keeping people aware of the limitations of water resources. It’s easy to engage the public…

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What is the Future of Water in Texas?

What is the Future of Water in Texas?

LISTEN: State Representative Lyle Larson from San Antonio joins Robert Puente, President and CEO of San Antonio Water System; Blair Calvert Fitzsimons, CEO of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust; and Meredith Miller, Senior Programs Coordinator for The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment to discuss the future of Texas water on TPR’s The Source. As the state legislative session rolls on, water is never far off the agenda. State Representative Lyle Larson from San Antonio says water will be his…

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Are There Any Lingering Drought Effects in Texas?

Are There Any Lingering Drought Effects in Texas?

Micke Mecke | Ranch & Rural Living | Most of Texas has been blessed with average or above average rainfall for the past year or more! It is not uncommon to hear your TV weather folks say “The drought in Texas is over,” and often that is echoed in the local coffee shops or by groups of weathered ranchers talking happily about the latest rain. But, looking back at the number of drought years and exceptionally hot years we have had in the past seven or eight years, I have…

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Can you water your landscape less and still have thriving plants?

Can you water your landscape less and still have thriving plants?

What if there was a way to irrigate less but still have good-looking landscapes? Thanks to research results recently published by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), homeowners and landscapers can now learn exactly how little water is needed by popular Central Texas ornamental plants to not only survive but thrive. The drought survivability study, conducted in San Antonio throughout 2015, found that many ornamental plants popular in Central Texas…

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Feeling the Burn in Big Bend

Feeling the Burn in Big Bend

“It’s a place of delicate balance between fiercely competing plants, many living at the edge of their geographic ranges and tolerances for temperature and aridity. It’s an ecosystem on a knife edge, dependent on regular rains and steady temperatures. So in 2011, when drought devastated vast regions of Texas, the results in the Chisos were, even by that year’s standard, particularly dire.” Asher Elbein discusses the long-term effects of the 2011 drought on Big Bend’s unique sky islands in this…

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Drought conditions slowly returning to South Texas

Drought conditions slowly returning to South Texas

Aside from yesterday’s one-one-hundredth of an inch of rain, San Antonio hasn’t seen a significant amount of measurable rainfall since early June. That lack of rain is starting to take its toll on the area water supply, possibly bringing back drought conditions. It took about five months for the Edwards Aquifer to rise about 30 feet from just over 660 feet to its peak in early June, but only five weeks to lose all of that gain. But the Edwards…

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Opinion: What San Antonio should learn from Melbourne

Opinion: What San Antonio should learn from Melbourne

San Antonio just made it through one of the worst droughts in Texas history. Climate change means we’ll have more — unpredictably longer and more intense. Is San Antonio prepared? Nope. And the San Antonio Water System is leading us the wrong direction. Express-News staff writer Brendan Gibbons’ recent front-page article about summer water consumption between 2011 and 2015 gives clues about why. Drought preparedness requires real conservation — ongoing commitment to keeping all the water we have, and guarding…

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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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