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 ...

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.

Water Treaty Concerns Trigger Calls for Changes

As a statewide drought persists, the Rio Grande Regional Water Authority has hired a PR firm to help urge the federal government to mandate that Mexico deliver water to the U.S. under a decades-old treaty. But legal experts say that no matter what happens with the current dispute, conflicts would continue if the treaty isn't amended. 

Fort Worth Floats Idea of Privatizing Water Services

The city of Fort Worth has appointed a task force to see whether the city might save money by putting some of its water services into public-private partnerships. City officials say nothing has been decided, but experts are already weighing in on the issues that cities and their residents could face if they privatize some of their water services.

 

Texas Water Plan Being Questioned by Court

Just as Gov. Rick Perry and lawmakers finalize plans to spend $2 billion on water-supply projects around the state, a court decision could force Texas to rethink its water-planning process. Some say the case could even lead to the 2012 state water plan — the underpinning of much legislative action this session — being declared invalid.

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Perry Hails Water Bill, is Evasive on His Future

Gov. Rick Perry signed a major water infrastructure bill into law on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters afterward, he remained coy about his political future and wouldn't say if he will add any items to the special session agenda.

Infrastructure Constraints Loom as Texas Grows

Texas’ drought and water-supply problems have captured headlines, and lawmakers appear poised to take action on funding water projects. But with the state’s rapid population growth projected to continue, other infrastructure problems also loom, including clogged roads and a strained power grid. 

The crowded House floor during debate on SB 1 April 4, 2013.
The crowded House floor during debate on SB 1 April 4, 2013.

Agenda Texas: What's Left to Do?

On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: Water, transportation and education were priorities at the beginning of this year's legislative session, but how much progress has been made on each?