December 29, 2011

The Texas Water Crisis

Texas water authorities at every level are on alert. Last summer’s extremely hot, dry weather was a wake-up call. Now more than a dozen Texas towns are in danger of running out of water. Texas is in a water crisis. To make it official, the Texas Water Development Board December report says the state reservoirs are extremely low even after some autumn rain. Read more from

December 28, 2011

Dangers of fracking still becoming clear

The word “fracking” may sound funny, but it describes a drilling practice that has created a serious boom in natural gas production in Texas and elsewhere, and with the boom has come serious worries about fracking’s effects on the environment. More from

December 21, 2011

Water planners urged to base needs on centuries, not decades, of drought data

Over the past 500 years, Central Texas has seen droughts far worse than the 1950s drought of record, according to a report commissioned by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and published Wednesday in the December issue of the Texas Water Journal. Researchers warn that makers of water policy should broaden their planning to factor in the possibility of droughts far worse than the spell that set the bar more than a half-century ago. Read more from

Texas Tree Ring Study Warns of Long Droughts

A new study of tree rings adds to evidence that Texas has experienced at least one 10-year drought every 100 years, as well as several “mega-droughts” lasting 15 to 30 years over the centuries. Read full Texas Tribune article.

December 20, 2011

Growth of large private water companies brings higher water rates, little recourse for consumers

Across the state, a growing number of suburban Texans are getting their water from large, private corporations owned by investors seeking to profit off the sale of an essential resource. State figures show private companies are seeking more price increases every year, and many are substantial. Read full article.

Water a hot topic in Hill Country despite recent rains

“Statistics provided by the Texas Water Development Board show that groundwater withdrawal from the Hill Country’s Edwards and Trinity aquifers increased dramatically between 1975 and 2010. In 1975, less than 10,000 acre-feet were withdrawn annually; that shot up to 41,000 acre-feet in 2010. Mix in recent drought years, and a picture of a thirsty Hill Country natural world comes into sharper focus.” Read more from SA Express-News.

December 14, 2011

New rules for fracking approved

The Texas Railroad Commission approved a rule Tuesday requiring oil and natural gas drillers to disclose most of the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. Read full SA Express-News article.

Rainwater harvesting system should make this year’s wish list

Dear Santa, I’ve been reasonably good and would like pearl earrings, an electric lap blanket, a digital reading device and, oh yes, a rain water harvesting system. With water being a top concern, you may want to add this to your Christmas wish list. Capturing rain water is a great way to improve your water resources. Read more from

December 5, 2011

Hill Country Landowners take action to protect springs and property rights

So, what happens when local residents and landowners don’t agree with the groundwater management plan handed down by a regional governing body that affects the future of a precious, local groundwater resource? The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has a process for such situations, and it’s now playing out with precision in the Wimberley Valley of Hays County. Read More

Submit Your Nominations for the Texas Rain Catcher Award

Time is running out to submit your entry for the 4th Annual Texas Rain Catcher Award. The Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) Texas Rain Catcher Award is a “rainwater harvesting” competition and recognition program designed to promote rainwater technology, educate the public, and recognize excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 31. More information on eligibility, benefits, judging, entries and past winners is available on the TWDB’s Innovative Water Technologies website.

December 2, 2011

Drought leaving rivers, lakes with more bacteria

Increased bacteria levels in rivers and streams due to decreased flow that typically dilutes runoff pollution is an expected yet overlooked toll of the drought, said Andrew Sansom, executive director of the River Systems Institute at Texas State University. Read full article.