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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Rick Perry Willing to Call Special Session if Needed

In his Jan. 29, 2103, State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Perry avoided hot-topic issues like abortion, immigration and gun control and focused instead on infrastructure, budget reform and education.
In his Jan. 29, 2103, State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Perry avoided hot-topic issues like abortion, immigration and gun control and focused instead on infrastructure, budget reform and education.

Gov. Rick Perry is warning state legislators that it could be a long, hot summer in Austin if they don’t pass his top priorities: funding water and transportation projects and cutting business taxes.

A Hearing for Water, and Growth for Wind

Texas Weekly

A landmark water case pitting North Texas against Oklahoma goes to the United States Supreme Court next week. The Tarrant Regional Water District, which serves Fort Worth and the surrounding area, has sought more water from Oklahoma, but the Sooner state isn’t selling.

 

The Brazos River runs dry in Knox County, Texas, during the summer drought of 2011. At the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival, the chairman of the Texas Water Development Board said that water availability models in the state will have to change, though he didn't say whether the state would look directly at possible effects of climate change in the planning.
The Brazos River runs dry in Knox County, Texas, during the summer drought of 2011. At the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival, the chairman of the Texas Water Development Board said that water availability models in the state will have to change, though he didn't say whether the state would look directly at possible effects of climate change in the planning.

House Panel Hears Testimony on Climate Change

At a House panel hearing Monday, witnesses largely agreed on the causes and magnitude of climate change, and they told legislators to speed up consideration of how to deal with the results of a warming climate.

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.

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

Perry to Obama: Press Mexico for Water

In a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Perry urged the federal government to press Mexico to release more water to Texas under the terms of a 1944 treaty. Mexico released some water last week, but Texas officials say it's a miniscule amount — not nearly enough for drought-stricken communities in the Rio Grande Valley.

Getting Serious About a Texas-Size Drought

In a state fabled for its everything-is-bigger mentality, the idea of conserving resources is taking hold. Texas and business leaders, who like to boast about the economic appeal of Texas’ low taxes and relaxed regulatory environment, have realized that no water equals no business.

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.

In Texas, Underground Reservoirs Take Hold

Amid continued worries about reservoir levels statewide, several Texas communities are exploring the concept of underground storage reservoirs, which do not lose water to evaporation and do not flood agricultural land. Proponents say it may be the smartest water technology you've never heard of.

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, which are often controversial in local communities, have stirred concerns about truck traffic, spills 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 an important legislative hearing about the future of the Texas Railroad Commission, inter-personal tensions boiled over at an open meeting of the three commissioners who head the agency. In a less contentious moment, the commissioners also voted to approve new rules to make it easier to recycle oilfield wastewater.

Drought Response Sparks the Battle of St. Augustine

The state's drought and the resulting need for conservation is starting to affect voters who are not usually aware of water shortages — people in the suburbs, with lush, thirsty lawns. Lawns aren’t the only problem with water, or even the biggest one. They are politically interesting, though, and hazardous for the average legislator or policy maker.

 

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. Two dozen other communities are also on the list, which is likely to grow as the drought worsens.

Updated Data App: Track Texas Reservoir Levels

Texas endured the most intense drought in recorded state history in 2011, and it has yet to bounce back. Water levels at a number of reservoirs remain significantly low, particularly in West Texas. Using data collected from the Texas Water Development Board's reservoir status tracker, we are relaunching our auto-updating map that visualizes the current state of Texas reservoirs.

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. Policy changes are poised to come from the Railroad Commission and the Legislature to encourage recycling.

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. The Legislature is considering ways to make it easier for communities to challenge rate increases.