has covered energy and environment for the Tribune since 2010. Previously she reported on clean energy for The New York Times from 2008 to 2009, serving as the lead writer for the Times' Green blog. She began her career at The Economist in 2000 and spent 2005 to 2007 in Austin as the magazine's Southwest correspondent. A Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University from 2007 to 2008, she has an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She is co-author of The Great Texas Wind Rush, a book about how the oil and gas state won the race to wind power.
As one of the worst droughts in Texas history intensifies, a notable if lesser worry is the condition of athletic fields. Some fields are getting patchy already, and a summer of 90 or 100 degree temperatures still lies ahead.
The small Central Texas town of Llano, entirely dependent on a river that's now only a trickle, is facing potentially draconian water restrictions. And it's not alone. If rain doesn't come soon, more cities could too.
Plans to build a coal plant called the White Stallion Energy Center near Bay City have stirred considerable controversy, as residents near and far worry about air pollution and the huge amounts of water needed to operate the plant.
Despite the drought, rice fields in Southeast Texas are emerald green this time of year, thanks to water released from two reservoirs hundreds of miles up the Colorado River. But the rice growers fear for their future, as water restrictions tighten.
The Texas Tribune and KUT 90.5 FM are running a five-part series this week on water supplies in Central Texas, looking specifically at the long-term future of two key lakes that supply water to Austin and other growing cities, as well as to rice farmers a few hundred miles down the Colorado River.
As Austin prepares to tighten its watering restrictions to once a week later this summer, trees and lawns — not to mention the water utility's revenues — are suffering. Long-term, Austin and nearby cities want to ensure the continued health of the Highland Lakes.
As Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis drop lower each day, worried locals are seeing their swimming coves dry up, and it's not just because of lack of rain. Rice farmers and Central Texas cities are taking a good share of the water.
The state's record dry spell has rice farmers, growing cities and a proposed coal plant competing for water from drought-stricken lakes. This is the first in a five-part print and radio series, "Water Fight," with KUT News.
The current drought, drier than any other October-through-May stretch in Texas history, has heightened the stakes in an already contentious long-term planning battle over water from the Highland Lakes.
The general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority announced his resignation Tuesday, setting off a potential battle over the future of the enormous Central Texas wholesale electricity and water supplier.
Renewable energy companies are looking to this big, sunny state as the next frontier for solar power. But solar is expensive, and once again the Legislature did not pass a statewide solar incentive. Some companies and communities are forging ahead nonetheless.