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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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What Future Do We Desire For The Trinity Aquifers?

What future do we desire for the Trinity Aquifers?

Across the Hill Country, residents and visitors depend on the groundwater stored in the Trinity Aquifers as water supply and to provide baseflow through springs that keep iconic creeks and rivers flowing. Residents have a voice through the regional planning process to discuss and set goals to guide the future we desire for the Trinity Aquifers.   Read more from Robin Gary with Wimberley Valley Watershed Association here.

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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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Austin Plans New Tactic Against Dog-killing Algae: Starve It Out

Austin plans new tactic against dog-killing algae: Starve it out

Up until a few years ago, Austinites didn’t much worry about poisonous blue-green algae sickening them and killing their dogs. Then in 2018, flooding upstream of Austin sent massive amounts of runoff down the Colorado River and into area lakes. That runoff contained agricultural and residential fertilizers, septic waste and other things that injected a supercharged dose of phosphorus into the water. Read more from Mose Buchele with Texas Public Radio here. 

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Solutions To Blanco Wastewater Discharge Seeing New Light

Solutions to Blanco wastewater discharge seeing new light

The impact of the election May 1 on Blanco citizens and their Wimberley Valley neighbors downstream along the Blanco River was immediately apparent at the city’s May 11 council meeting under new mayor Rachel Lumpee, joined by new council member Connie Barron. A council previously struggling to address its first municipal utility district (MUD) achieved a number of water and wastewater planning objectives for Blanco that will directly benefit Hays County. The Blanco City Council adopted a MUD policy that…

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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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Solar-powered Suds

Solar-powered suds

Craft breweries, having already surged in popularity in recent decades, are enjoying a second renaissance during the COVID-19 pandemic as social life has moved outside. "I think back in the day before Bud, Miller, and Coors, you know, took over the Amer­i­can beer industry, there used to be a brewpub in every town," says Ian Davis, co-owner of Texas Beer Company in Taylor. "And it's just getting back to the way it used to be." A large patio or grounds,…

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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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Lege+water: April 2021 Update

lege+water: April 2021 Update

Every month during the 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, Dr. Todd Votteler and Dr. Robert Mace provide an update on water-related legislation. The key water committees are Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs in the Senate, chaired by Senator Charles Perry (R) of Lubbock, and Natural Resources in the House of Representatives, chaired by Representative Tracy King (D) of Uvalde. The Senate Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs Committee is still meeting weekly on Monday mornings at 8 a.m., while…

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Rebecca Springs, Salamander Surveys, And WHY They Matter

Rebecca Springs, salamander surveys, and WHY they matter

Salamanders are sensitive critters. With external gills and limited habitats, they are good indicators of groundwater health. They rely on clean, clear, flowing springs to maintain healthy populations. Low water levels in aquifers lead to less spring flow and less dissolved oxygen in the water. Pollution and contaminants from surface water runoff can drastically alter water quality. Hill Country residents rely heavily on groundwater, and the status of salamander populations can tell us how well we’re balancing resource protection and development.…

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