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Win For Farmers Confirms State Water Rights System

Win for farmers confirms state water rights system

In a win for farmers, ranchers and longtime water rights holders, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday let stand a Brazos River basin decision that limits the power of the state to divvy up water during drought. Farmers along the Brazos River, whose basin includes Williamson County, had sued the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, arguing that officials overstepped their bounds and treated farmers unfairly as the agency tried to balance water needs during a scorching drought. In the balance…

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UT Study: More Development Regulation Needed

UT study: More development regulation needed

A major new study on protecting the Hill Country from unrelenting population growth and land development was recently unveiled for Comal County residents. “People love this place and they really want to be here and appreciate the beauty that the Hill Country has to offer, but if we’re not prepared to deal with growth and manage it effectively, we have the potential to love this place to death,” study co-author Britin Bostick told the crowd of about 75 attending a…

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Proposed Texas Water Grid To Share Water Statewide

Proposed Texas Water Grid to Share Water Statewide

"In order to have a sustainable Texas—both the economy and the supporting environment— we must realize that  water is in a special category. If we overbuild or overuse our water resources or pollute them too badly, there are NO substitutes. Research this matter and think about it. Have we maxed out our water conservation efforts in every city, in every town, for every water-using industry and on every irrigated farm? Has every alternate option been considered, planned and put to use? Those options might be: rainwater harvesting, efficient ag and urban irrigation, groundwater desalination, wastewater…

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With A Rush For Water, Experts Debate What Will Happen To Aquifers

With a rush for water, experts debate what will happen to aquifers

Four groundwater scientists grappled with some big questions about the aquifer in Central Texas expected to be tapped to supply fast-growing San Antonio and Austin. A water symposium at Texas State University on Thursday addressed the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, a layer of sand deposited 50 to 60 million years ago. This geological layer extends along most of the Gulf Coast, but many experts think the most water-rich part is in Burleson and Milam counties east of Austin. Three huge water-supply projects…

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Interregional Water Piping To Supply Thirsty Regions Debated In Statehouse

Interregional Water Piping to Supply Thirsty Regions Debated in Statehouse

Texas House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources debated the long-term ability of water rich rural regions to supply the thirsty growth of municipalities. Growing Texas metroplexes will continue to advocate for Interregional water supply pipelines to supply their projected demands while rural residents who will supply this water worry about their aquifers’ sustainability. The Sierra Club’s Ken Kramer was invited by the Committee to testify on behalf of the environment. His call for a sensible balance of water management…

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Waters Of The United States And The Clean Waters Act: New EPA Rules

Waters of the United States and the Clean Waters Act: New EPA Rules

There has been considerable interest in the Hill Country about the EPA’s new Waters of the US (WOTUS) rules clarifications. The debate revolves around the EPA including more waterways into its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act than it traditionally has. (We should remember that the rules explicitly exempt Agricultural uses.) A good explanation of the evolving rules comes from a recent University of Texas School of Law forum on the topic. Read more from Colleen Schreiber: December 3, 2015 Panel…

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Information And Assistance Available For Accessing Low-interest SWIFT Funds For Conservation Projects

Information and assistance available for accessing low-interest SWIFT funds for conservation projects

The Texas Water Development Board’s water project funding program known as SWIFT (State Water Implementation Fund for Texas) helps communities develop and optimize water supplies at cost-effective rates by providing flexible low-interest loans.  An exciting aspect of the SWIFT program is the commitment to use at least 20% of funding to provide low interest loans for conservation projects that will generate greater water efficiency in both urban and rural areas.  That is a great deal for Texas and Texans. Several…

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San Antonio’s Vista Ridge Pipeline Project Partners Face Off In Legal Dispute

San Antonio’s Vista Ridge Pipeline project partners face off in legal dispute

In a move that could cause further turbulence for a proposed $3.4 billion San Antonio pipeline project, one groundwater company has sued another after it says it was cut out of money related to the deal. Brenham-based Metropolitan Water Company is suing Austin-based Blue Water Systems in Travis District Court over a dispute involving water at the proposed pipeline’s source, in areas to the northeast of Austin. The suit claims that Met Water signed into an revenue-sharing agreement with Blue…

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Texas Water Symposium To Explore The Health And Long-term Sustainability Of The Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer

Texas Water Symposium to explore the health and long-term sustainability of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer

The first Texas Water Symposium of 2016 has been set for February 11th at Texas State University in San Marcos.  The program will feature a conversation between leading groundwater scientists about the long-term health of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, and its ability to sustainably serve the needs of a thirsty region. The symposium will take place from 7 pm to 8:30 pm on Thursday, February 11 in the LBJ Room of the Texas State University Student Center, San Marcos, TX. The…

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Q&A With Meredith Miller

Q&A with Meredith Miller

The Texas Tribune has published an excellent Q and A piece with Meredith Miller on the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment’s citizen science Texas Stream Team. In addition to her other numerous duties at the Meadows Center, Meredith oversees the many citizen volunteers that monitor and protect our state’s watersheds. The Q&A: Meredith Miller by Madlin Mekelburg Dec. 1, 2015 Trib+Water Meredith Miller is a senior program coordinator at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at…

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