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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...

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South Texas rancher profile: Native American Seed Company — Taking Texas back to her roots

Bill Neiman has performed as keynote speaker at over 100 events for like-minded naturalist people around the state of Texas. His topic is his passion — sustainable native grass prairies, clean rivers, rainwater harvesting, and harnessing the energy of the sun for the...

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Opinion: It’s time for a water session at the Legislature

There are now over 30 million Texans. The state crossed that landmark in mid-2022, gaining the most new residents of any state in the nation, with projections of an additional 25 million people living in Texas by 2050. All that growth is taking its toll on the state’s...

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Preservation vs. development: Opinions differ on the future of Hill Country

Only about 5% of the area is currently protected from development. Hill Country Alliance Executive Director Katherine Romans believes projects like this are scary propositions. The organization noted that the region has grown 50% in the past 20 years. “Currently we...

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Texas’ first House Water Caucus positions water as a top priority this legislative session and beyond

Texas Water Foundation (TWF) today announced the establishment of the Texas House Water Caucus, a new, bi-partisan collaborative focused on water issues with a starting roster of thirty-eight legislators committed to the cause. As one of the fastest growing states in...

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Residents in far north Bexar County fighting to protect endangered bird

A tiny bird is at the center of a growing battle over land development in far north Bexar County. Cibolo Canyons is home to the endangered golden-cheeked warbler, a bird native to Central Texas. A proposed land swap in is raising questions for neighbors. Read more...

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Hays County partners with Hill Country Conservancy and La Cima to acquire Purgatory Creek Nature preserve as conservation land

Hays County has acquired Purgatory Creek Nature Preserve, a 1,068-acre conservation easement that will permanently protect and preserve the land from future development. This easement was proposed and sponsored by the Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) to be funded...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Weather, climate, and measuring chili pepper heat

I know someone in public relations; she avoids topics such as religion, politics, and the weather. Religion and politics can be very personal and areas of possible dissent. Talking about the weather, she tells me, might seem safe, but might in its safety bore the very...

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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...

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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...

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outlook+water: Drought continues to improve, La Niña’s days are numbered, reservoirs levels rising

Summary: 75% of the state is abnormally dry or worse, and 52% of the state is in drought Equal chances for La Niña or neutral conditions for the January-March season and a 71% chance of neutral conditions for the February-April season Reservoir storage is still 10%...

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Failing infrastructure, drought and floods: Texas’ top 10 water stories of 2022

For Texas’ water sector, 2022 was a rough year. Stories about failing infrastructure, drought and even floods captured state headlines. Many of these stories were grim and endured by millions across the state. Texans had to live without or boil their water, flee...

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SAWS board approves legislative initiatives for 88th session

The San Antonio Water System’s board of trustees unanimously approved the utility’s legislative agenda for the upcoming session on Tuesday and said goodbye to a longtime SAWS MVP. SAWS hopes to use the session to support the continued development of “stable, equitable...

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Shudde Fath, titan of Austin environmental causes, dies at age 106

Shudde Bess Bryson Fath, a prolific activist who battled to protect Austin's environment and its energy consumers, died early Friday at age 106. Born in 1916 in Bastrop, Fath graduated from the University of Texas in 1937 and worked for the state government for most...

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Texas 2036’s Strategic Framework shows how Texas stacks up across key performance areas and against other states

As Texas looks toward its bicentennial, Texas 2036 releases a new data-driven roadmap for the state to be the best place to live and work. Reflecting more than six years of research and analysis, “Shaping Our Future: A Strategic Framework for Texas” was created by...

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Experts tout Texas as water-planning leader, but still stress potential shortages

Beneath the U.S. High Plains, a substantial underground reservoir stretches from the Texas Panhandle to South Dakota, providing drinking water for more than 2 million people and supplying the irrigation for dozens of valued crops across eight states, which account for...

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Texas approves $52M for water, wastewater, stormwater projects

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has recently approved $52,913,408 in financial assistance for water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. The funds were distributed to seven projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), the Drinking Water...

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Drought forces cuts in Texas aquifer usage

The Ogallala Aquifer is not the only major groundwater source which has had notable declines because of drought in the southern United States. In south central Texas, the Edwards Aquifer has also had a big decline in its volume to the point that withdrawals from the...

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