Troubled Waters

Six years ago, state leaders launched an effort to better manage the health of Texas' rivers. But environmental advocates fear that ecology still takes a back seat as legislators fret about having enough water to sate Texas' fast-growing cities. Now, every Texas river is threatened by nearly unprecedented drought and the looming effects of climate change. Our series explores the history, health and future of some of Texas' most important and legendary rivers.

 Bob Daemmrich

Isolated Pecos River Faces Ecological Changes

The Pecos River has avoided some of the challenges faced by the state’s other waterways. But it has not been spared from the ecological changes brought by the manmade lakes bookending its passage through Texas.

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 Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson

Devils River Could Feel Impact of Hunt for Water

Thanks to conservation efforts and its remote location, the Devils River is seen as one of the state's last pristine rivers. But change could be coming for the river, as some are eyeing its basin for new water supplies.

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 Laura Buckman

Communities Along Red River Seek Feds' Help

As drought-ridden communities near the Red River spend millions on major water projects, water managers say a decades-old federal project to clean up salt in the river water could also ease the strain.

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 Spencer Selvidge

Debate Builds Over How to Save San Saba River

About 140 miles long, the San Saba River in Central Texas is not considered one of the state’s major waterways, but it illustrates — in a state still dealing with a serious drought — the sensitivities surrounding the use of a limited resource.

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 Michael Stravato

Rivers Tested by Drought, Population Growth

As the drought continues to blanket most of the state, demands for water are increasing from a growing population and industrial base. These pressures are squeezing Texas waterways, whose average streamflow remains well below normal.

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