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Drought, The Everything Disaster

Drought, the everything disaster

It develops in stages, a story that builds upon itself. A few cloudless days. Then a rain-free week. Soon a hot, dry month. Now the hills are brown and the crops need watering — the first signs of drought. The intensely dry conditions that have settled over the American West and Upper Midwest this year are well past the brown hills stage. Nearly 89 percent of nine western states are in some form of drought, and more than a quarter…

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A Drought So Dire That A Utah Town Pulled The Plug On Growth

A drought so dire that a Utah town pulled the plug on growth

The mountain spring that pioneers used to water their hayfields and that filled people’s taps flowed reliably into the old cowboy town of Oakley for decades. So when it dwindled to a trickle in this year’s scorching drought, officials took drastic action to preserve their water: They stopped building. During the coronavirus pandemic, the real estate market in their 1,750-person city boomed as remote workers flocked in from the West Coast and second homeowners staked weekend ranches. But those newcomers…

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Texas Leaders Made A Big Mistake Ignoring Water This Session. But Not All Hope Is Lost.

Texas leaders made a big mistake ignoring water this session. But not all hope is lost.

Last weekend I paddled on the Blanco River with my family. We swam in spring-fed swimming holes, fly fished and lounged in shallow sections of the river, which was flowing nicely thanks to recent rains that ended drought conditions across Texas. Read more from Vanessa Puig-Williams with Environmental Defense Fund here. 

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Behold The Splendid And Fragile Beauty Of The Hill Country’s Keystone River

Behold the splendid and fragile beauty of the Hill Country’s keystone river

From April through October, I swim in the Blanco. It is one of the greatest pleasures I know. It’s a pleasure I share with growing crowds of both locals and visitors who converge on the river’s cypress-lined banks at places like Blanco State Park in Blanco; Blue Hole Regional Park on Cypress Creek, a tributary of the Blanco in Wimberley; and Five Mile Dam Park, a 34-acre Hays County park at the lower end of the river near San Marcos.…

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Texas Groundwater Supplies Are Shrinking, And That’s A Threat To Us All

Texas groundwater supplies are shrinking, and that’s a threat to us all

My great-grandfather founded our family’s Hill Country ranch in 1887. For nearly 100 years, spring water flowed through the seeps and creeks of our land, year-round, and almost without exception. The water began to dry up a little more than 30 years ago as more people dug wells into the Middle Trinity Aquifer. Read more from David K. Langford, former chief executive of the Texas Wildlife Association, in his op-ed with Dallas Morning News here.

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Opportunity To Comment On The Draft 2022 State Water Plan

Opportunity to comment on the Draft 2022 State Water Plan

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is now receiving public comments on the Draft 2022 State Water Plan. Updated and adopted every five years, the state water plan serves as a roadmap for addressing the water needs of our state and ensures that Texas will have adequate water supplies during times of drought in the next 50 years. Read more from Texas Water Development Board here. 

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10 Texas Climate Bills To Watch On Earth Day

10 Texas climate bills to watch on Earth Day

Texas, as the saying goes, has four seasons: drought, flood, blizzard, and twister. This old quip has hit a bit too close to home for Texans this year. We are less than two months removed from a devastating polar vortex that could yet prove to be the costliest disaster in state history. Weeks after enduring some of the coldest temperatures on record, Texans were greeted by an unusually early spring with temperatures creeping close to 100 degrees Farenheit across the…

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With Texas Back In Drought, Watering Cutbacks Resume In San Antonio

With Texas back in drought, watering cutbacks resume in San Antonio

Only two months ago, Texas residents were still watching snow melt from a historic winter freeze. But with little moisture over the past several weeks, drought conditions are now spreading across the state. For the first time since 2018, San Antonio officials on Tuesday declared Stage 2 drought restrictions that only allow watering outdoors once per week between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. San Antonio has received only 3.15 inches of rain so far…

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Nature-based Infrastructure Bill Headed To House Floor As Legislative Session Continues

Nature-based infrastructure bill headed to House floor as Legislative session continues

Texas State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) presented several house bills for the 87th Texas Legislative Session in committees this week, one of which is heading to the house floor. Zwiener presented House Bill 48 to the House International Relations and Economic Development Committee and House Bills 2344 and 2350 to the House Public Education Committee and House Natural Resources Committee, respectively. Read more from Stephanie Gates with San Marcos Daily Record here. 

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