Tribpedia: Water Supply

Population growth and several droughts in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to more concern over Texas's water supply. Debate over the issue typically finds landowners on one side, environmentalists on the other. Environmental groups support restrictions on water pumping and water use, because droughts proved the risk of a low water supply, and because of the risk ...

Docks on the edge of Lake Kickapoo, which is less than one-third full, no longer reach the water in Holiday, Feb 3, 2014.
Docks on the edge of Lake Kickapoo, which is less than one-third full, no longer reach the water in Holiday, Feb 3, 2014.

Texans' Water Conservation Reward: Higher Rates

Drought-stricken Texas cities have succeeded in encouraging residents to slash their water consumption — but they've lost money in the process by selling less water. That means everyone must pay higher rates, regardless of how much water they use. 

Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.
Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.

Report: Water Availability a Risk for Oil, Gas Drillers

A new national report on water use for hydraulic fracturing suggests that oil and gas companies are at risk of running short on the precious resource — especially in South Texas.

 

Mike Skinner on Dec. 26, 2013 outside the farmhouse on the land five miles east of Spearman that he sold last spring. Three generations of his family had farmed the land.
Mike Skinner on Dec. 26, 2013 outside the farmhouse on the land five miles east of Spearman that he sold last spring. Three generations of his family had farmed the land.

Farms Aren’t Going Away, but a Lot of Little Ones Are

A growing number of Texans are leaving farming and ranching because of opportunities in urban areas, a spike in land prices and concerns about risky weather patterns fueled by a blockbuster drought that continues to plague much of the state. And the agricultural workforce is not getting any younger.

 

TXDOT chief Phil Wilson at an Aug. 29, 2013 board meeting in Austin. Wilson has been tapped to lead the Lower Colorado River Authority.
TXDOT chief Phil Wilson at an Aug. 29, 2013 board meeting in Austin. Wilson has been tapped to lead the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Phil Wilson Named New LCRA General Manager

The Lower Colorado River Authority's board tapped Phil Wilson, the Texas Department of Transportation's executive director, to be the agency's new general manager. The announcement came as a surprise, and TxDOT said it has no transition plan in place for Wilson's departure at the end of the year. 

Troubled Waters: The State of Texas Rivers

Every Texas river is threatened by nearly unprecedented drought and the looming effects of climate change. Take a look back at our series and interactive map exploring the history, health and future of some of Texas' most important and legendary rivers.

In a case before the Texas Supreme Court, representatives from a Liberty County rice farm say that water from an injection well has "trespassed" in the aquifer beneath its property.
In a case before the Texas Supreme Court, representatives from a Liberty County rice farm say that water from an injection well has "trespassed" in the aquifer beneath its property.

Texas Supreme Court to Mull Underground Trespassing

The Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a case that pits two interests that are dear to many Texans against each other: oil and gas resources versus private property rights. The justices will consider a broad question: Just how far below the earth’s surface do property lines extend?

Video: Lack of Freshwater Threatens Matagorda Bay

Fishing and tourism in Matagorda Bay depend in large part on freshwater supplied by the Colorado River. But the drought has all but cut off those flows. The Lower Colorado River Authority says that's not likely to change anytime soon unless Central Texas gets significant rains to shore up water supplies for Austin and nearby cities. In the meantime, wildlife and recreation on Texas' Gulf Coast have suffered. 

Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.
Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.

Water Recycling Minimal but Growing on Texas Oilfields

As the drought continues to take its toll across the state, more oil and gas companies are considering the long-term benefits of water recycling, and state officials are trying to make that transition easier. Despite that momentum, recycling is far from a mainstream practice.

 

Lorenzo, TX, on Mar. 8, 2012
Lorenzo, TX, on Mar. 8, 2012

Texans Look Beneath the Surface for Water

As the drought continues and farmers struggle to keep their crops irrigated, many are probing beneath their land for water. But when water is such a precious commodity, procuring it is not ever simple. As landowners fight for rights to water under their land, water district managers worry about a dwindling resource.

 

Where the Prop. 6 Votes Came From

Texas Weekly

Check out our interactive, county-by-county map of voter turnout and results on the creation of a new water fund from the state's Rainy Day Fund. You can also find voting shares and other stats from the 50 counties where the most votes were cast.

Facing Drought, Wichita Falls Bans Outdoor Watering

On Saturday, Wichita Falls will enter an unprecedented stage 4 of emergency drought response, which includes a total ban on outdoor watering and an internal audit of water consumption by local businesses. As local reservoirs dip to about 30 percent of their capacity, water quality has degraded to the point where residents say they can taste it. 

The Colorado River is shown east of Longhorn Dam in Austin. The capital city is almost entirely reliant on the Colorado River and its system of dammed reservoirs for water,
The Colorado River is shown east of Longhorn Dam in Austin. The capital city is almost entirely reliant on the Colorado River and its system of dammed reservoirs for water,

Expensive State Troubles and Thrifty Voters

Texas voters said yes to a big-ticket proposition for water projects and no to some other spending items, leaving a question for policymakers with a to-do list full of expensive problems: Is the public willing to go along? With no consistent message from voters, money is always politicians' biggest problem.

House Speaker Joe Straus at the Rattle Inn in Austin celebrating the passage of Proposition 6 on Nov. 5, 2013.
House Speaker Joe Straus at the Rattle Inn in Austin celebrating the passage of Proposition 6 on Nov. 5, 2013.

Texas Voters Approve Nine Constitutional Amendments

Texas voters addressed the state's fast growth and lingering drought Tuesday by approving a $2 billion water fund and eight other constitutional amendments in a low-turnout election. House Speaker Joe Straus was among the politicians who led the charge in support of Proposition 6.

State Rep Alan Ritter,l, Sen. Troy Fraser, Speaker Joe Straus and State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock celebrate the passage of Proposition 6 the water bill on November 5, 2013.
State Rep Alan Ritter,l, Sen. Troy Fraser, Speaker Joe Straus and State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock celebrate the passage of Proposition 6 the water bill on November 5, 2013.

Liveblog: Statewide Ballot Propositions Pass

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Nine amendments to the Texas Constitution passed easily on Tuesday, including measures that would fund water projects to address the drought and give military veterans and their spouses tax breaks in the event of death or injury. Find county-by-county results on our election map

Lilly pads in Stamford Lake, near Paint Creek, which was dug as a reservoir in the 1950s.
Lilly pads in Stamford Lake, near Paint Creek, which was dug as a reservoir in the 1950s.

With or Without $2 Billion, Water Woes Here to Stay

Hundreds of thousands of Texans have already cast ballots on Proposition 6 ahead of Election Day. But whether or not voters approve taking $2 billion from the state's savings account to use for water financing, Texas has a long way to go in dealing with its water deficit.