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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The Rio Grande is the ending place of many high-speed pursuits. People escape consequences by driving their vehicles into the water and swimming to Mexico.
The Rio Grande is the ending place of many high-speed pursuits. People escape consequences by driving their vehicles into the water and swimming to Mexico.

House to Feds: Pressure Mexico to Release Water

The Texas House on Thursday voted to formally ask the U.S. State Department to apply pressure on the Mexican government to release water owed to Texas under the terms of a treaty signed in 1944.

Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.
Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.

Senate Sets Up Debate on Rainy Day Fund Spending

The full Texas Senate will consider a plan to spend about half of the projected $11.8 billion balance in the state's Rainy Day Fund for transportation and water projects, though Democrats plan to push for money for schools as well.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/1/13

Batheja on a House budget without vouchers or Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on obstacles to a new power plant in El Paso, Permenter on deer breeder regulations, E. Smith’s interview with San Antonio’s Castro twins, Galbraith on proposals for new underground water reservoirs, Root finds holes in a UT regent's appointment files, M. Smith on a planned school rating system that defied recommendations, Murphy maps oil and gas disposal wells in Texas, Dehn on objections to a bigger Medicaid program and Hamilton on efforts to lure gun makers to Texas: The best of our best for the week of April 1-5, 2013.

Field distribution water tank used in the fracking process of natural gas well drilling in DeWitt County, Texas, complete with life buoy and "No Swimming" sign.
Field distribution water tank used in the fracking process of natural gas well drilling in DeWitt County, Texas, complete with life buoy and "No Swimming" sign.

Texas Senators Discuss Fracking Groundwater Rules

Should groundwater districts be allowed to require permits for drilling companies wanting to withdraw water for hydraulic fracturing? Oil companies oppose the idea, and on Tuesday, the Senate Natural Resources Committee debated the issue.

Bill sponsor State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, is surrounded by members at the front mike while debate continues on HB 5 on March 26, 2013.
Bill sponsor State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, is surrounded by members at the front mike while debate continues on HB 5 on March 26, 2013.

A Head Start on the Big Stuff

Texas Weekly

With eight weeks to go in the legislative session, lawmakers got a running start at their big issues: water, education and the budget.

Dirty truck tire tracks in front of the hookups at a Gulf Coast run fracking fluid disposal well site near Gonzales, TX, Friday, March 22, 2013.
Dirty truck tire tracks in front of the hookups at a Gulf Coast run fracking fluid disposal well site near Gonzales, TX, Friday, March 22, 2013.

As Fracking Proliferates in Texas, So Do Disposal Wells

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As the water-intensive practice of fracking continues to spread, the amount of wastewater being buried in disposal wells around Texas has skyrocketed. But the wells bring concerns about truck traffic and the possibility of groundwater contamination. 

Brian Schoonover with Water Rescue Services holding a jar of produced water.
Brian Schoonover with Water Rescue Services holding a jar of produced water.

Brackish Water for Fracking Rising Amid Challenges

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In drilling regions like the Permian Basin, where the water needs of fracking have run up against a historic drought, drillers are increasingly turning to brackish groundwater previously thought too expensive to use.

The Texas Railroad Commission, comprised of Chairman Barry T. Smitherman (center), and commissioners David Porter (left) and Christi Craddick (right) hold an open meeting in Austin, Texas on Jan. 15, 2013.
The Texas Railroad Commission, comprised of Chairman Barry T. Smitherman (center), and commissioners David Porter (left) and Christi Craddick (right) hold an open meeting in Austin, Texas on Jan. 15, 2013.

Bickering Erupts Among Texas Oil Regulators

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A day before a major legislative hearing about the future of the Railroad Commission, interpersonal tensions between the three commissioners boiled over at an open meeting. The commissioners also voted to approve new rules to make recycling oilfield wastewater easier.

A plant employee, Charles Cupp, takes water samples at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013.  This plant is responsible for the membrane reverse osmosis process being used on the city's water supply.  The city estimates that it's total water reserves are hovering around the 40 percent mark as of this year forcing it to begin implementing it's stage 3 emergency water restrictions and furthering steps toward increasing its water reclamation initiative.
A plant employee, Charles Cupp, takes water samples at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013. This plant is responsible for the membrane reverse osmosis process being used on the city's water supply. The city estimates that it's total water reserves are hovering around the 40 percent mark as of this year forcing it to begin implementing it's stage 3 emergency water restrictions and furthering steps toward increasing its water reclamation initiative.

Wichita Falls, Texas, Could Go Dry by Year's End

Wichita Falls is the largest city in Texas in danger of running out of water. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the city of more than 100,000 could run out of water in less than six months.

Employees at Omni Water Solutions working on the "HIPPO," a mobile frackwater recycling unit.
Employees at Omni Water Solutions working on the "HIPPO," a mobile frackwater recycling unit.

In Texas, Recycling Oilfield Water Has Far to Go

In Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, natural gas companies recycle water as a matter of course. But recycling is only getting started in the Texas oilfields because using freshwater for hydraulic fracturing is cheap.

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.

Blue Mound Residents Boiling Over Water Rate

In the North Texas town of Blue Mound, the water system is owned by a private corporation. Residents say this results in painful rate hikes. Private water companies say their rates reflect the high costs of providing water to far-flung areas.

Water Not Floating to Top With Texas Voters

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Despite water’s saturation of the political priority list, the public still appears ambivalent about Texas’ water needs and out of step with state legislators on how to pay for it, according to the latest UT/Texas Tribune Poll.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/4/13

The results of the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll on everything from the top race of 2014 to the gun debate, Aaronson on Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on a financial thaw in the Mexican oil patch, Batheja on cents and sensibility, M. Smith on school choice, Rocha and Dehn on TWIA reform, Galbraith on water and fracking, Murphy’s interactive map of poverty in the state, E. Smith's TribLive interview with House Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock and Root on a lobby couple living large and reporting small: The best of our best content from March 4-8, 2013.

A water truck parked near a West Texas drilling rig. Oil and gas companies' use of water for hydraulic fracturing has sparked growing concerns.
A water truck parked near a West Texas drilling rig. Oil and gas companies' use of water for hydraulic fracturing has sparked growing concerns.

In Texas, Water Use for Fracking Stirs Concerns

The amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing has stirred concerns around Texas, especially as the drought wears on. Aware that they are under the spotlight, drillers are testing out recycling and other water-saving techniques.