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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We Must Protect the Endangered Species Act

We Must Protect the Endangered Species Act

“Texas Hill Country is home to the golden-cheeked warbler, a true Lone Star State native. It does not breed or raise its young anywhere else in the world except in 33 Texas counties. The striking black-and-white songbird with the brilliant golden face is finicky when it comes to housing materials, building its nests from the bark of mature juniper trees. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put the warbler on the endangered species list in 1990 because its habitat in…

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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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SAWS Board Approves Garney Takeover of Vista Ridge Project

The San Antonio Water System board on Wednesday unanimously approved a measure that lets Garney Construction, a Missouri-based construction firm, take over control and 80% equity of the Vista Ridge water pipeline project from financially-troubled Abengoa Vista Ridge, a subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Abengoa Sociedad Anónima that filed for bankruptcy in March. There is some final paperwork that SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente has to finalize, but Garney will officially take over the project by June 10. Abengoa will reimburse SAWS for…

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After SAWS vote, construction firm takes reins on pipeline project

The construction firm originally tapped to build a 142-mile pipeline to deliver water to the San Antonio Water System will now take control of the project. On Wednesday, SAWS’ board of trustees voted unanimously to allow a subsidiary of Spanish conglomerate Abengoa, S.A., to sell 80 percent of its stake in the project to Garney Construction, a Kansas City firm with offices in 11 states that has worked as a contractor on SAWS projects for 30 years. Garney will also…

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