City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City staff members have completed a draft land management plan to protect the city’s natural resources at the William H. Russell Karst Preserve, the 191-acre Southwest Austin site previously known as the Blowing Sink Research Management Area. The natural features of the land, which was formerly used as a livestock ranch, have been subject to decades of abuse, posing a threat to the Edwards Aquifer as well as several vulnerable wildlife species. Serving as a formal agreement among Austin Water, the Parks…

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The next megadrought in the American Southwest may be right around the corner

The next megadrought in the American Southwest may be right around the corner

IF THE PLANET CONTINUES TO WARM AT CURRENT RATES, SCIENTISTS PROJECT THE LIKELIHOOD OF A MEGADROUGHT IN THE SOUTHWEST WILL INCREASE TO ABOVE 70 PERCENT. WE’RE SIMPLY NOT PREPARED. “This is absolutely abysmal,” David Gutzler said in March 2018, speaking to an auditorium full of US and Mexican water engineers and hydrologists in El Paso, Texas. He was talking about the state of the snow in Colorado at the time, the snow that would melt and feed the Rio Grande…

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Voters should confirm groundwater district in November

Voters should confirm groundwater district in November

I’ve been saying for a long time that we need a groundwater conservation district in western Travis County, and now we can confirm our very own this November. Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District covers 200 square miles of southwest Travis County south of the Colorado River and west of MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1), including Oak Hill, Bee Cave, Lakeway and parts of West Lake Hills. After years in the making, it was created during the 2017 legislative session with…

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Ensuring One Water delivers for healthy waterways

Ensuring One Water delivers for healthy waterways

Texas Living Waters is an active advocate for the One Water approach because it offers tremendous opportunities for improving how water is managed. Even so, we are concerned that the available One Water implementation frameworks are not providing adequate guidance or methodologies for ensuring that implementation of One Water principles will result in actual on-the-ground benefits in achieving “healthy waterways,” which is a key component of the One Water approach. There often seems to be an assumption that implementing a One Water…

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Building a water-resilient future for all Texans

Building a water-resilient future for all Texans

After heavy rains last winter and early this summer, Texas is seeing a rapid return to hot, bone-dry conditions. While we watch our lawns brown and wait for the rains to return, the age-old question echoes again, “Does fast-growing Texas, which is adding 1,000 new residents every day, have enough water to weather future prolonged droughts?” Without more efficient water practices and broader uptake of water reuse technologies, the answer could well be, ’No.″ And that could mean a ruinous…

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The credible case for One Water

The credible case for One Water

The state of Texas is a behemoth. At some 268,820 square miles — from the Piney Woods of East Texas, the Texas Hill Country and the Texas Panhandle to the desert mountains of West Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast — the Lone Star State encompasses disparate climate regions, each with varied economic, social and environmental drivers. As climate change continues, each of these areas will change. As a general rule, scientists predict a significantly warmer and drier climate —…

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‘Endless source of water’: Texas man plans to take machine to Bahamas to aid recovery

‘Endless source of water’: Texas man plans to take machine to Bahamas to aid recovery

Families in Flint, Mich., still dealing with lead in their pipes have a continuous source of clean, free water thanks to a Texas man who developed a machine to pull water from the air. Now, Moses West wants to take that machine to the Bahamas to aid in recovery after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the islands. “This is a long-term recovery for the people there, and one of the stresses that they do not need to have is a lack of…

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What’s porous paving? All new lots in New Orleans must have in city’s fight with water woes

What’s porous paving? All new lots in New Orleans must have in city’s fight with water woes

New Orleans is a city often inundated by water and, just as often, a city frustrated in its attempts to deal with it. Now, joining a movement that supporters say will help mitigate flooding and soil subsidence, the City Council has decided that all new commercial parking surfaces in New Orleans must be porous. The rules unanimously approved by the council last week require businesses to use pervious paving — which lets rainwater flow through it, to be absorbed by the…

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New tools for flood preparedness available for Medina River near Bandera, Texas

New tools for flood preparedness available for Medina River near Bandera, Texas

  • August 27, 2019
  • News

New tools for flood preparedness are now available for the Medina River near Bandera, Texas, from the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District, and the Texas Water Development Board. Resources include two new USGS real-time streamflow gaging stations upstream from Bandera, a series of flood-inundation maps for a 23-mile stretch along the Medina River and online communication tools. Bandera County has experienced several severe floods, including devasting floods in 1978, 2002 and 2015. A need…

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Creatures of the deep karst

Creatures of the deep karst

Groundwater—the water that is stored beneath the Earth’s surface in soil and rock—makes up more than 95 percent of the Earth’s liquid fresh water. The subsurface aquatic realm is also the world’s largest freshwater habitat. Although organisms that live only in subterranean aquifers make up a relatively small fraction of the total number of freshwater species, they are an important component of biodiversity. They are poorly understood, however, because they are to a large extent inaccessible and are difficult or…

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