The historic Texas drought caused the Ogallala Aquifer to experience its largest decline in 25 years across a large swath of the Texas Panhandle, new numbers from a water district show.Full Story
Kate Galbraith has covered energy and environment for the Tribune since 2010. Previously she reported on clean energy for The New York Times from 2008 to 2009, serving as the lead writer for the Times' Green blog. She began her career at The Economist in 2000 and spent 2005 to 2007 in Austin as the magazine's Southwest correspondent. A Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University from 2007 to 2008, she has an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She is co-author of The Great Texas Wind Rush, a book about how the oil and gas state won the race to wind power.
The Public Utility Commission approved a 50 percent increase for the cap on wholesale electricity prices on the Texas electrical grid. That will mean higher prices for ordinary Texans, consumer advocates fear.Full Story
Texas’ efforts to stave off future blackouts could cost ordinary households hundreds of dollars per year, a filing by a Texas industrial group suggests. Texas regulators are due to vote on the proposal next week.Full Story
As summer begins, the spotlight will be on the dunes sagebrush lizard (will it get an endangered listing or not?), former EPA regional head Al Armendariz (who's testifying in Washington) — and, of course, the perpetual question of whether the electric grid has enough juice.Full Story
A federal decision not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard — whose habitat includes the West Texas oilfields — as threatened or endangered set off a round of cheering by state officials and oil groups. But some environmentalists fear for the lizard's future.Full Story
As Texas recovers from the severe drought of the last two years, water experts say that conservation is the easiest way to make sure the state has enough water for future growth. But conservation doesn't always come naturally.
Later this year, a plant in Big Spring will become the state's first facility to process wastewater and send it back into the drinking water system. This is the ultimate use of "reclaimed water" — a source crucial to Texas' future.Full Story
The ultimate use of sewage water is converting it into drinking water — and a plant in the West Texas town of Big Spring will do exactly that when it begins operations at the end of the year. This is a slideshow of the plant, currently under construction.Full Story
Desalination has become a buzzword in water discussions around the state, amid concerns over future supplies. But tapping salty aquifers, or even seawater from the Gulf of Mexico, carries costs.Full Story
The drought has pushed Texas cities to raise rates to pay for new water supplies and to encourage conservation. But raising rates often triggers public resistance in a state that is wary of too much government.Full Story
Texas cities have traditionally enjoyed lower water rates than most metro areas in the nation. Use this interactive to see how Texas cities compare in regard to water rates, single-family usage and weather.Full Story
At a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, congressional Republicans heaped criticism on the EPA and its former south-central region chief, Al Armendariz, who had been scheduled to testify but canceled at the last minute.Full Story
A 135-page report by a Massachusetts-based consulting group is the latest analysis suggesting that the Texas electric grid does not have adequate reserves for future years.Full Story
A site near Amarillo operated by the federal government produces about a third of the world's helium, which is needed for MRIs and semiconductors. Lawmakers are looking to keep vital sales of the gas from being interrupted.Full Story
The Rio Grande, which supplied 39 percent of El Paso's water last year, is dry near the city — a situation that has not occurred for nearly 10 years. El Paso is pumping more groundwater and cranking up its desalination plant.Full Story