2011 Water Planning News
December 29, 2011
The Texas Water Crisis
Texas water authorities at every level are on alert. Last summer’s extremely hot, dry weather was a wake-up call. Now more than a dozen Texas towns are in danger of running out of water. Texas is in a water crisis. To make it official, the Texas Water Development Board December report says the state reservoirs are extremely low even after some autumn rain. Read more from CleanHouston.org.
December 21, 2011
Water planners urged to base needs on centuries, not decades, of drought data
Over the past 500 years, Central Texas has seen droughts far worse than the 1950s drought of record, according to a report commissioned by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and published Wednesday in the December issue of the Texas Water Journal. Researchers warn that makers of water policy should broaden their planning to factor in the possibility of droughts far worse than the spell that set the bar more than a half-century ago. Read more from Statesman.com.
December 20, 2011
Growth of large private water companies brings higher water rates, little recourse for consumers
Across the state, a growing number of suburban Texans are getting their water from large, private corporations owned by investors seeking to profit off the sale of an essential resource. State figures show private companies are seeking more price increases every year, and many are substantial. Read full Statesman.com article.
December 5, 2011
Hill Country Landowners take action to protect springs and property rights
So, what happens when local residents and landowners don’t agree with the groundwater management plan handed down by a regional governing body that affects the future of a precious, local groundwater resource? The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has a process for such situations, and it’s now playing out with precision in the Wimberley Valley of Hays County. Read More
November 3, 2011
Future of Central & South Central Texas Fish & Wildlife Now in TCEQ’s Hands
Environmental groups say that upcoming decisions by state water officials will determine the future of Central and South Central Texas rivers and bays as well as oysters, shrimp, whooping cranes, and other fish and wildlife – and economic industries dependent upon those resources. Read More
September 28, 2011
DAVE MCNEELY: It’s time to stop taking water for granted
The water shortage in Texas can certainly use some prayers, and maybe even some rain dances. But it’s going to take more than that — much more. That was the conclusion Saturday of panelists at a session called “The Coming Crisis Over Water.” Read more from Go San Angelo.
State Water Plan comment period open through October 25th
The Texas Water Development Board has posted the 2012 State Water Plan in draft form for public review and comment. This is your opportunity to provide input to the State of Texas about the future of our water resources. An email option makes it easy to send comments. Several public meetings will be held to gather input including October 3rd in San Antonio followed by a formal public hearing in Austin on October 17th. Learn more from TWDB.
September 7, 2011
BSEACD News: Stage III Critical Drought Imminent
The Barton Spring Edwards Aquifer Conservation District issued an update this week about drought conditions, conservation and restrictions to expect. “The District asks all of its groundwater-using residents to continue their water conservation measures and be even better stewards of an increasingly scarce resource. A list of water conservation measures and more detailed information on aquifer conditions are available on District’s website athttp://www.bseacd.org.” Read the Aquifer Bulletin here.
July 22, 2011
Drought intensifies across lower Colorado River basin
A prolonged stretch of exceptionally dry weather is causing the drought across Texas and the lower Colorado River basin to intensify.”This has been the driest nine months in Texas history – the absolute driest,” LCRA General Manager Becky Motal said. “This is a serious situation, but it’s not dire. Water flowing into the Highland Lakes is down to a trickle in places. Rest assured LCRA is managing the region’s water supply to make it through this exceptional drought, and we are asking everyone to use water as efficiently as possible and reduce water use wherever they can.” Read full from Statesman.com article here.
July 22, 2011
Silt decreasing our water supplies
Did you know the 2007 Texas State Water Plan estimates an 18% decrease in existing water supplies by 2060? Silt build-up in reservoirs is one two reasons given for the decline. The other is depleted groundwater supplies. Look to Denver, Colorado to see what it can cost to remove sediment from a lake. Denver Water is dredging the Strontia Springs Reservoir to remove at least 625,000 cubic yards of sediment. The cost is just over $30 million. Watch video
July 7, 2011
Uvalde pipeline is still a bad idea
The investors and promoters behind what is known as the “Uvalde Pipeline” have tried for two legislative sessions to change the law governing the Edwards Aquifer Authority that prohibits the transport of Edwards Aquifer water out of Uvalde and Medina counties. Read full SA Express article here.
July 5, 2011
Watershed planning short course Nov. 14–18 in Bandera
The Texas Water Resources Institute will be presenting a Texas Watershed Planning Short Course Nov. 14–18 in Bandera. “Well-considered holistic watershed protection plans involving as many stakeholders as possible in their development are becoming the widely accepted approach to protecting Texas surface waters,” said Kevin Wagner, an associate director at the institute and course leader. Read more here.
June 21, 2011
Highland Lakes Face Drought – A five part series by Kate Galbraith
This week The Texas Tribune is featuring the five part series about the LCRA,Water Fight, about the devastating drought’s affect on the diverse interests in the Highland Lakes. “Three major power plants are using about 45 percent more water now versus two years ago.”
June 19, 2011
Dwindling Lakes, Growing Water Demand in Central Texas
On the cliffs surrounding Central Texas’ large Lake Buchanan, a white ring extends some 13 feet above the shoreline, marking where the water reaches when the lake is full. At nearby Lake Travis, staircases that once led to the water’s edge now end well above it. These two lakes serve as key water sources for dozens of cities and hundreds of farmers, as well as for several power plants. Read more from Texas Tribune here.
June 16, 2011
Drought could dry Llano River by week’s end, officials say
As of Wednesday, the Llano River, which normally courses through town at 158 cubic feet per second this time of year, was flowing at 3.8 cubic feet per second — the slowest since 1953, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The river is the city’s sole source of drinking water. Read full Statesman.com article here.
June 14, 2011
Power plant in Matagorda Co. gains in water fight
The Lower Colorado River Authority says there is enough water, even in dry times, for a proposed coal-fired power plant in Matagorda County — a finding that all but removes one of the last hurdles for the controversial project. Read full Houston Chronicle article here.
June 13, 2011
South Llano Watershed Alliance to celebrate top ten ranking for the Llano River
The Llano River was recently named one of the “Top Ten Waters to Watch” for 2011. This ranking will be discussed and celebrated at June 25th meeting of the South Llano Watershed Alliance. Read more
LCRA to consider water deal for power plant
In one of its first major water contracts since a record drought left the basin stricken in 2009, the board of the Lower Colorado River Authority could decide on Wednesday to sell at least 8.3 billion gallons of water a year to a proposed coal-fired power plant near the Gulf coast. Read full Statesman.com articlehere.
June 8, 2011
Desired Future Conditions Threaten the Colorado River
The adopted Desired Future Conditions for our aquifers will cause the Colorado River to lose its base-flow by 2060. Environmental Stewardship illustrates this point and introduces “Project Game-Changer” Learn more
Head of Major Texas Electric and Water Supplier Resigns
The general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority announced his resignation Tuesday, setting off a potential battle over the future of the enormous Central Texas wholesale electricity and water supplier. Read full Texas Tribune article here.
April 25, 2011
New permit could lead to additional water supply in the future
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on April 20 granted LCRA a permit to capture water from the Colorado River downstream of Austin during high flows and store it in yet-to-be-built reservoirs in the lower basin. Read more from LCRA here. Read more from the Austin American Statesmanhere.
April 20, 2011
Flow into Colorado lower than drought-of-record period, LCRA says
In the latest sign of how dry the recent drought has been, Lower Colorado River Authority officials announced Wednesday that the flow of water from streams and creeks into the Colorado River over the past six months is worse than any similar period during the worst-ever drought. Read more from Statesman.com here.
March 31, 2011
Two reports give conflicting views of future water supply
A report released last month by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority regarding water planning in Kendall County and Fair Oaks Ranch is based on estimates of available groundwater that are substantially different – 67 percent less – than estimates released by the Texas Water Development Board on Feb. 7. Read full Boerne Star article here.
March 2, 2011
Capitol awash with water issues
Senate committee takes up measure that would equate groundwater with private property. Read full Statesman.com article here.
February 22, 2011
Growth and How it Affects Our Water
“There is little or no understanding of a term that is familiar to ranchers called ‘carrying capacity’. On a ranch or a pasture, it means the numbers of animals, including livestock and wildlife, which can be maintained without damaging the desired rangeland vegetation…I think towns, cities, counties and regions also have a sustainable carrying capacity for people.” Read this insightful article by Mike Mecke here.
February 17, 2011
Our Water is Our Future – Citizen unite in opposition the Uvalde water pipeline
The Keep Our Water Association has launched campaign in response to an ongoing movement by private investors to pass legislation that will allow the transport Edwards water away from the rural western region. The mission: To protect and preserve the wellbeing of the western portion of the Edwards Aquifer and those citizens and businesses that are affected by it. Learn more here.
February 15, 2011
LCRA’s sale of small water systems brings backlash from communities
What began in the 1990s as an effort by the Lower Colorado River Authority to bail out failing, far-flung sewage and water systems, eventually became a utility and infrastructure spree as the LCRA extended its clout, transforming the development of the Hill Country in the process. But in November, the LCRA announced that it would sell 32 systems it still controlled because they collectively cost about $3 million more to operate than they raise in rates. Read full Statesman.com article here.
The Changing Face of Water Rights
The State Bar of Texas’ water rights conference is coming up February 24 – 25th at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa. Anyone interested in becoming better educated about water law, groundwater management, state water planning, environmental flows is welcome to register. Program details and registration here.
February 4, 2011
Local Environmental Groups Laud Resolution Adopted by SAWS
At their meeting Tuesday, SAWS voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that ended a five year long legal dispute between SAWS and the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, the Helotes Heritage Association, the City of Grey Forest, the San Geronimo Valley Alliance, and the Hill Country Planning Association. Learn more