An ode to Texas’s disappearing swimming holes

I lived through the golden age of Texas swimming holes. Having spent my youth submerged in chlorinated pools in and around Fort Worth, I moved to Austin in 1973 and discovered Hippie Hollow before it was a county park and Barton Creek before a mining executive...

Waters keep on dropping: As Medina Lake dries up, nearby wells run low, too

When David Cahill’s three wells ran out of water last year, he wasn’t surprised. It had been a long time coming, and he knew eventually he would have to dig another, deeper well on his property. Still, the final price — just under $30,000 — he didn’t expect. Read more...

PEACE: The time to conserve land is now

The Edwards Aquifer, source of Comal Springs, is recognized as one of the most prolific karst aquifer systems in the world. Storm water enters and travels through the system with amazing speed, allowing for rapid recharge of this elegant water source. However, this...

2022 was Austin’s driest year since drought-stricken, heat-scorched 2011

While we were rightfully worried about the hard freeze that descended upon Texas just before Christmas, you might have missed the news that drought conditions across the state have eased to levels not seen in more than a year. Unfortunately, the improvement comes too...

How to prevent the next water crisis

Cities and farmers in Central Texas used to pump groundwater from the Edwards Aquifer much more freely—draining local springs and rivers and depriving several endangered species of a habitat. In the 1990s, the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on...

Smart meter monitoring can help conserve water — but not without a fight, researchers find

The use of smart meters to enforce water restrictions could encourage widespread conservation — but not without local backlash, a new study has found. Amid California’s ongoing drought, researchers partnered with the city of Fresno in summer 2018 to access and...