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 ...

Agenda Texas: Deadline Week in the Texas House

Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.
Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.

On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: Only about 20 percent of bills filed during a legislative session make it to the governor's desk — and the deadlines that kill off many of those bills are coming this week.

If the Legislature is in Town, Bills Aren't Dead

The legislative session is in its last month and most bills will die. But setbacks for the big stuff — water, transportation and the like — are usually temporary. Lawmakers love to take things to the brink of legislative death and then revive them. Then they go home to their districts to recount their fantastic and ingenious rescues of vital bills. 

State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, during a state budget debate on March 20, 2013.
State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, during a state budget debate on March 20, 2013.

Guest Column: Let Voters Decide on Rainy Day Spending

The best way to finance Texas' pressing water and transportation needs — and to supplement spending on public education — is to let voters decide whether to use the state's Rainy Day Fund. The Senate has approved a proposal that would accomplish that; now it's up to the House.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, says his 83rd session priorities will be education and water while speaking at TribLive on Feb. 6, 2013.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, says his 83rd session priorities will be education and water while speaking at TribLive on Feb. 6, 2013.

Straus: House Will Find Way to Fund Water Projects

UPDATED: The morning after a major bill to authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the House, Speaker Joe Straus' office released a statement saying he wouldn't "let a technicality seal the debate on water."

House Debate Over Water Bill Could Spur Bigger Fight

A bill that would draw $2 billion for water projects from the Rainy Day Fund is set to hit the House floor Monday afternoon. The debate could turn to focus on what it means to be a fiscal conservative in the Tea Party era. As some conservative activists are urging supporters to express opposition to the bill, Gov. Rick Perry has voiced his support for the measure.

In his Jan. 29, 2013, 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, 2013, 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.

Rick Perry Willing to Call Special Session if Needed

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.