A year after Memorial Day floods, Central Texas still picking up the pieces

A year after Memorial Day floods, Central Texas still picking up the pieces

  Homes destroyed. Lives stolen. Over Memorial Day weekend a year ago in Central Texas, disaster struck. On May 23, 2015, geologic factors, along with already-saturated ground, combined to produce a record-setting flash flood after heavy rain fell upstream of Wimberley in southern Blanco County. “We got so much rainfall in May, it just kind of set the stage,” said Nick Hampshire, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It couldn’t take anything. Everything that fell basically ran off, so…

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Maximizing storm water: Researchers at UTSA trying to purify dirty water faster

All this recent rain has researchers at UTSA excited. They are taking advantage of all the extra water to see how well they can decontaminate it and replenish our drinking supply. They were awarded a $42,800 grant from the San Antonio River Authority and Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance to do so. UTSA is on land that’s considered a ‘recharge zone’ for the aquifer that provides most of our drinking water in South Central Texas. Behind one of the parking lots…

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Study foretold Abengoa woes

Calvin Finch hates to say, “I told you so.” But he feels he should anyway. “Yeah,” Finch said, “and I’m disappointed that I can.” This week, the San Antonio Water System’s board of trustees voted to allow a Kansas City firm to take over the utility’s largest-ever pipeline project, a dramatic turn of events linked to the financial troubles of a firm first enlisted to build the 142-mile pipeline. Last year — months before Abengoa SA, a Spanish firm, fell…

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A sinkhole tells the story of the Edwards Aquifer recovery

A sinkhole tells the story of the Edwards Aquifer recovery

The white Ford Explorer turned right onto the farm road and headed north, as sunlight broke through heavy storm clouds and illuminated the green knobs of the Hill Country on the horizon. In the driver’s seat sat Jon Cradit, a geologist with the Edwards Aquifer Authority. Jim Boenig, an engineer who serves as director of aquifer protection, rode shotgun. Their destination Thursday morning was a private ranch two hours west of San Antonio where a torrent of water cascades into…

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New Colorado Law Brings Rain Barrel Owners Out From Shadows

Rain barrel owners are passionate advocates who believe the practice is an essential water conservation tool.Rain barrel owners are law breakers who steal water from farmers and other water rights holders. These two long-held identities for many rain barrel owners along the Front Range have now been reconciled through a new Colorado law to be signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday. It’s brought enthusiasts like Aaron Broderick out from the shadows… Read more from CPR.org

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In Sharp Reversal, California Suspends Water Restrictions

In Sharp Reversal, California Suspends Water Restrictions

California recently suspended its mandatory statewide 25 percent reduction in urban water use, telling local communities to set their own conservation standards after a relatively wet winter and a year of enormous savings in urban water use. The new rules are a sharp change in policy for a state struggling to manage one of the worst droughts in its history. They came after a winter in which El Niño storms fell short of what meteorologists projected — particularly in the…

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Austin water pipe leaks could fill Lady Bird Lake twice, in 2015

Austin water pipe leaks could fill Lady Bird Lake twice, in 2015

For three years running, Austin Water Utility has posted an increase in the amount of water leaked from city pipes, and utility officials have not pinpointed exactly why. The city’s latest water loss report shows more than 5.8 billion gallons of treated drinking water seeped from city pipes before reaching customers in 2015—a 23 percent increase over the previous year, according to annual water loss audits submitted to the Texas Water Development Board. “We have not identified or pinpointed why…

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With state population growing, Texas water board eyes new water plan

With state population growing, Texas water board eyes new water plan

The Texas Water Development Board recently approved the state’s newest water plan, basically a road map for how the state will meet its water demands over the next half-century amid a steady growth in population. The population boom is expected to be especially acute in the Colorado River basin, home to Austin and Travis County, as well as parts or all of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Fayette, Hays and Williamson counties — some of the fastest-growing areas of the country. Population…

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The Texas Water Development Board adopts 2017 State Water Plan

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today unanimously voted to adopt the 2017 State Water Plan. “The new state water plan projects that Texas’ population will increase more than 70 percent by the year 2070,” said TWDB Board Chairman Bech Bruun, “and the 2017 State Water Plan is our most comprehensive effort to date to ensure we adequately address the water needs of our growing population. The plan contains more than 5,500 strategies that help us conserve the water we…

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The Texas Water Development Board names Jeff Walker as executive administrator

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today named Jeff Walker as the new executive administrator. He will begin his service as executive administrator today. Walker currently serves as the deputy executive administrator of Water Supply and Infrastructure. His areas of responsibility include state water planning, project development, financial assistance, project funds disbursement, water use and population projections, and facility needs assessment. He has served in various positions at the TWDB for more than 25 years, including as director of Project…

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