Neena Satija Reporter

Neena Satija covers the environment for the Tribune. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, she graduated from Yale University in 2011, and then worked for a number of area news outlets, including the New Haven Independent, the Connecticut Mirror, and WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio. She has also been a regular contributor to National Public Radio. She previously worked for the Toledo Blade, the Dallas Morning News, and the Boston Globe. In her spare time, she enjoys singing (especially in group settings), running, and playing the addictive board game Settlers of Catan. As an East Coast transplant she is particularly thrilled with Austin tacos and warm weather.

Recent Contributions

Four Guys and a Boat Tackle a Texas-Sized Water Problem

Workers cut open bags of WaterSavr, an evaporation suppressant, to apply the powder to Lake Arrowhead. WaterSavr's manufacturers claim it will save 30 percent of water that would have otherwise evaporated from the reservoir.
Workers cut open bags of WaterSavr, an evaporation suppressant, to apply the powder to Lake Arrowhead. WaterSavr's manufacturers claim it will save 30 percent of water that would have otherwise evaporated from the reservoir.

Drought-stricken Wichita Falls is trying a bold experiment to address one of Texas' most vexing water problems. It consists of four guys, a motorboat and thousands of pounds of a white powder that suppresses evaporation.

Think It's Hot In Austin? Get Used To 110

The Onion Creek substation was badly flooded with heavy storms last fall. It is one of the many "critical infrastructure assets" whose vulnerability to climate change will be studied by Austin.
The Onion Creek substation was badly flooded with heavy storms last fall. It is one of the many "critical infrastructure assets" whose vulnerability to climate change will be studied by Austin.

While an aversion to climate science persists in much of conservative, Republican-led Texas, Austin is looking to prepare for what scientists say are the inevitable consequences of climate change.

Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns

Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.
Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.

Several public drinking water systems in Texas have quality issues that have not been adequately addressed, the Environmental Protection Agency told the state in recent correspondence obtained by the Tribune. 

Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One

Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.
Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.

As state water planners prepare to spend $2 billion in public funds to address Texas’ water needs in the coming decades, scientists say state leaders' skepticism on climate change will only impair such planning.

Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity

Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.
Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.

Texas-based climate scientists say that Texas could be a global leader in protecting against climate change. But if state agencies continue to fail to take climate change into account when planning for the state’s future, the scientists argue, Texans will suffer a direct impact.

 

 

State to San Antonio: No, You Can't Own Your Wastewater

San Antonio Bay is home to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where endangered whooping cranes live. The water that flows into the bay from the San Antonio River is vital to the species' survival.
San Antonio Bay is home to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where endangered whooping cranes live. The water that flows into the bay from the San Antonio River is vital to the species' survival.

Several months after San Antonio Water System's bold move to secure ownership of its treated sewer water even after it gets released back into a public waterway, state regulators are saying they doubt that's possible. 

 

Dow Chemical's Water Woes Signal Trouble

Construction at the DOW chemical plant along the Brazos River in Freeport on July 9, 2012.
Construction at the DOW chemical plant along the Brazos River in Freeport on July 9, 2012.

Dow Chemical's struggles to secure enough water supplies for its growing operations in Texas have sparked concerns about whether the state's diminishing natural resources can accommodate its exploding population and economy.

Another Loss for Texas in Its Challenge of EPA Regulations

Gov. Rick Perry has said that a new federal proposal to cut carbon emissions is "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans."
Gov. Rick Perry has said that a new federal proposal to cut carbon emissions is "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans."

The U.S. Supreme Court largely rejected Attorney General Greg Abbott’s challenge of federal climate rules Monday, deciding that the EPA is allowed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from most large industrial facilities.

Methane Inquiry Closes, but Questions Linger

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.

Last month, the Railroad Commission of Texas rejected an argument that drilling activity was to blame for methane migrating into a North Texas neighborhood's water supply. But independent geoscientists remain divided on the issue.

What Texas Could Do to Follow Climate Change Rules

Gov. Rick Perry has said that a new federal proposal to cut carbon emissions is "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans."
Gov. Rick Perry has said that a new federal proposal to cut carbon emissions is "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans."

Gov. Rick Perry and other Texas leaders say a federal proposal to combat climate change is a direct assault on energy providers. This Tribune analysis examines what Texas would have to do to reach the goals set forth in the proposal — if that proposal stays as is.