Tribpedia: Water Supply

Tribpedia

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 ...

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Troubled Waters: The State of Texas Rivers

Six years ago, state leaders launched an effort to better manage the health of Texas rivers. But in the wake of nearly unprecedented drought, environmental advocates fear that they are prioritizing thirsty cities over ecology. Our Troubled Waters series — complete with an interactive map of Texas rivers — explores the history, health and future of some of the state's most important waterways.

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Christopher J. Churchill, a biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey, displays several zebra mussels found along the shoreline of Lake Ray Roberts, near Sanger, Texas, Jul. 18, 2013.
Christopher J. Churchill, a biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey, displays several zebra mussels found along the shoreline of Lake Ray Roberts, near Sanger, Texas, Jul. 18, 2013.

Boater Education Courses Target Invasive Species

One way that invasive aquatic species like the zebra mussel can spread across Texas waterways is via boats that aren't cleaned. New legislation will require boater education courses to address the importance of boaters cleaning the vehicles. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1. 

The Nexus of Water and Energy

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Texas needs more water and more power, and the two are highly dependent on each other. University of Texas energy professor Michael Webber talks with Terrence Henry of StateImpact Texas about that relationship. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas

Obscure Agency Could Gain Power With Water Measure

Before drought plagued the state and became a major issue on lawmakers' minds this year, the Texas Water Developent Board was an obscure agency that doled out loans for water projects. But new legislation has focused attention on the board by overhauling its leadership. And the new agency's power is set to grow, especially if voters approve $2 billion in new financing for water infrastructure this November. 

The Brazos River in Pickwick, Texas - June 30, 2012
The Brazos River in Pickwick, Texas - June 30, 2012

Galveston County Public Water Systems Face Restrictions

The Gulf Coast Water Authority, which serves most of Galveston County, could run out of water in less than 180 days, according to a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality list of Texas public water systems that have placed usage limits on municipal areas. 

A device that transmits information on soil moisture in a cornfield belonging to David Ford (standing) a farmer near the Texas Panhandle town of Dumas. He is participating in a water-saving demonstration project.
A device that transmits information on soil moisture in a cornfield belonging to David Ford (standing) a farmer near the Texas Panhandle town of Dumas. He is participating in a water-saving demonstration project.

In Texas, a Push to Show Farmers How to Save Water

Deep in the Panhandle, a groundwater district is running a closely watched demonstration project aimed at showing farmers how to use less irrigation water on their crops. The project reflects the harsh reality that has taken hold across the drought-stricken state: Farmers, who account for more than half of the water used in Texas, must learn to do more with less.

Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013.  The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.
Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013. The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.

Texas Town Upset With Governor's Water Veto

State Rep. Charlie Geren and leaders in the North Texas town of Blue Mound are upset that Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for the town to gain control of its water system, which is currently in private hands. A private company runs the system, and residents say that their water bills are much higher than those in nearby towns.

Interactive: Public Water System Shortages

Hotter days are back, and cities across Texas are again at risk of running out of water. Barnhart, a small community in West Texas, already ran out of water, and Spicewood Beach, a community near Austin that ran out of water early last year, is still feeling the squeeze. Use our redesigned interactive to track which water systems are at risk.

Texas Allocates $5 Million for New Mexico Water Lawsuit

A line deep in the Texas budget shows that the state has allocated $5 million toward its legal battle to extricate more river water from New Mexico. Texas has already hired a California lawyer to represent it against New Mexico in the case, which the U.S. Supreme Court could decide to hear.

Rio Grande as seen from Chapeno, Starr Co.
Rio Grande as seen from Chapeno, Starr Co.

Focus on Aquifers Urged During Push for Water

A water war between the U.S. and Mexico dominates headlines amid a drought farmers and ranchers have said is the worst in decades. But some experts caution that a larger issue is boiling beneath the surface: unregulated transnational aquifers that are being mined at a record pace.

Landowner Stuart Carter, in Central Texas near the town of Luling, has years of abandoned oil equipment on his property. Here, two oil wooden oil tanks that he says date to the 1920s.
Landowner Stuart Carter, in Central Texas near the town of Luling, has years of abandoned oil equipment on his property. Here, two oil wooden oil tanks that he says date to the 1920s.

In Texas, Abandoned Oil Equipment Spurs Pollution Fears

Abandoned oilfield equipment is a common problem in Texas, and the Railroad Commission and lawmakers are trying to plug wells as quickly as possible. But some fear that the recent surge in hydraulic fracturing will set off problematic new encounters with old wells, which can serve as a conduit for water or oil to rise to the surface.

Southern plains bison from the Goodnight heard are raised for meat on Hugh Fitzsimons's SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.
Southern plains bison from the Goodnight heard are raised for meat on Hugh Fitzsimons's SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.

West Texas Oilfield Town Runs Out of Water

Barnhart, a small community about 50 miles southwest of San Angelo in West Texas, has run out of water after the town's only municipal water well failed. Local officials say that the water demands of oil drilling are a factor, and they are working hard to fix the problem.