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…

Read More
Austin’s eels born in the Sargasso Sea, surmount Longhorn Dam

Austin’s eels born in the Sargasso Sea, surmount Longhorn Dam

You’ve heard of the endemic salamanders that live in Barton Springs, but did you know that Austin is also home to nocturnal eels? Swimmers who frequent the springs by moonlight sometimes catch a glimpse of sinuous yellow eels moving slowly through strands of algae and blades of aquatic grass on nightly excursions in search of food. These are American eels, Anguilla rostrata, which plumb the depths of Barton Springs and Lady Bird Lake, hiding in dense vegetation or rocky crags…

Read More
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 —…

Read More
‘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…

Read More
Deal keeps four lakes intact for now

Deal keeps four lakes intact for now

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority won’t drain its four remaining lakes on the Guadalupe River, but all recreation on the water will soon be banned, at least temporarily. Those are the major terms of a legal settlement approved Monday by a judge and announced in a Guadalupe County courtroom teeming with property owners. The accord stipulates that lakes McQueeney, Placid, Meadow and Gonzales will stay full for at least the next year. But starting Thursday, no one will be allowed to…

Read More
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…

Read More
State-funded studies help federal agency remove two mussels from endangered species candidate list

State-funded studies help federal agency remove two mussels from endangered species candidate list

  • September 5, 2019
  • News

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has determined that two Texas mussels can be removed from the list of candidate species under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The determinations were based mainly on research funded by the Texas Comptroller’s office and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Genetic studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and conservation maps made by Texas A&M University’s Natural Resources Institute (NRI) showed that the smooth pimpleback and golden orb mussels actually…

Read More
Moonlight helps white barn owls stun their prey

Moonlight helps white barn owls stun their prey

Barn owls are skilled nocturnal hunters, swooping across open landscapes to scout out small rodents that scurry below. But scientists have long been puzzled by a trait that seems like it would work against the birds during their nighttime prowls. Some barn owls boast a brilliant white plumage—an unusual feature for an animal that should, in theory, need to remain inconspicuous against the darkened sky. The bellies of Tyto alba, as the common barn owl is formally known, can range…

Read More
In latest development, SOAH disagrees with citizen groups on proposed Vulcan Quarry

In latest development, SOAH disagrees with citizen groups on proposed Vulcan Quarry

External Article – Press Release from Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry State Office of Administrative Hearings administrative law judges Rebecca Smith and Victor Simonds rendered a long-awaited decision Tuesday morning in the contested case hearing against Vulcan Construction Materials. In June 2017, Vulcan submitted an air quality permit application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a rock crusher at its proposed 1500-acre open-pit limestone quarry between Bulverde and New Braunfels. In late 2018, over 100 individuals, groups, and…

Read More
Underground lakes part of major new discoveries at Natural Bridge Caverns

Underground lakes part of major new discoveries at Natural Bridge Caverns

A 19-hour trip deep into the caves at Natural Bridge Caverns in July led to some major new discoveries, including underground lakes and massive rooms. Brad Wuest and Travis Wuest, who own and operate Natural Bridge Caverns, were joined by Bill Steele on their journey into the uncharted portions of the cave. Travertine Passage is one of the new areas the team discovered during their July trip. “I was descending deeper than anticipated into large, never before seen passage. I could…

Read More