Texas is growing fast. We need to protect our water.

Texas is growing fast. We need to protect our water.

Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the country. But a downside of this growth is that, coupled with extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, many of our existing water resources are becoming overburdened. If trends continue, our water supply will be significantly reduced over the next 50 years, and everything we love about the Lone Star State will start to disappear: the economy, recreation, our way of life. According to the 2017 State Water Plan,…

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Water emerges as ‘the new oil’ in $32.5 million sale of vast Permian Basin ranch

Water emerges as ‘the new oil’ in $32.5 million sale of vast Permian Basin ranch

Toby Darden stomped on the ATV’s gas pedal, carving through blustery winds to reach the far northern corner of his 37,000-acre West Texas ranch. He wanted to show off the crown jewel. This wasn’t the spectacular views of the Davis Mountains or the herds of aoudad rams with their distinctive curved horns. It was a big hole in the ground, the first cut at a well — not to bring oil up but water, the precious commodity of the Permian…

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Trinity Glen Rose District studies impacts of new pumping from the Trinity aquifer

Trinity Glen Rose District studies impacts of new pumping from the Trinity aquifer

Over the past year, the Trinity Glen Rose District (TGR) has been working with a groundwater modeling consultant to take a look at how some projected new pumping from the Trinity Aquifer, exempt from TGR regulations, might impact the water source over time. The District was alerted about a year ago that a new water supply company was planning to possibly withdraw approximately 17,000 acre feet of water (5.5 billion gallons) each year to supply water to developments north of…

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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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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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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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Commentary: Austin’s Water Forward plan is a bold step into the future

Commentary: Austin’s Water Forward plan is a bold step into the future

  • January 23, 2019
  • News

 It might be difficult to imagine a lack of water after all of the recent rain and flooding, but we know from history that there is one thing we can always count on in Texas: there will be another drought. During times of drought, supplies are already stretched razor thin, so what will happen when our state’s population more than doubles in the coming decades? Millions of Texans could be left high and dry. Water supply is not an issue…

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Entities turn to new technology to meet water, aquifer demands

Entities turn to new technology to meet water, aquifer demands

As urbanization and climate change are impacting aquifers across the country, officials and municipalities are turning to new technologies to meet water demands. For many entities, investing in Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) systems might be the way to go. ASR, which was first tested and experimented in the 1990s, calls for the pumping of groundwater during periods of heavy supply and storing it in another aquifer for use in times of drought or major drawdown. Kerrville and San Antonio were…

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Bill would prevent Texans from unknowingly buying homes in areas designed to flood

Bill would prevent Texans from unknowingly buying homes in areas designed to flood

  • January 14, 2019
  • News

After Hurricane Harvey inundated the Houston area with rain, scores of homeowners learned too late that their properties were designed to flood. Senate Bill 339 would require such disclosures. It would also force notice of whether a home has previously flooded. State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, on Friday filed legislation that would require sellers of residential properties to notify buyers if a property is located in a flood-prone area — and whether it has previously flooded. Senate Bill 339 would change a…

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