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Drought hits hard in the Hill Country

The Frio River is flowing again — in places. “The water is clean, and the water is good right now,” said Brett Rimkus, who operates the concessions at Garner State Park in Concan, 90 miles west of San Antonio. “If you want to get in the water, it is great. The river...

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Black and Hispanic Texans say they don’t trust the quality of their water

Black and Hispanic people and those living in low-income Texas communities are highly concerned about the quality of their drinking water, a new survey shows. Commissioned by the nonprofit organization Texas Water Trade, the survey included responses from 650...

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The lost reservoir inside our water infrastructure

Water is shaping up to be a priority during the 88th Legislature. Texas weathered its fourth-most intense drought on record last year and entered 2023 with half the state still in drought. Spurred by this precarious situation, a group of House lawmakers recently...

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Guadalupe runs dry with rainfall scarce

Despite the recent rain across the region, the Guadalupe River and a popular watering hole are in a sorry state. January usually sees 2 inches of rainfall in the San Antonio area. But it hasn’t even been close this year. The region has received just 0.47 inches of...

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Environmental advocates push feds to investigate Texas’ enforcement of water quality

The Environmental Protection Agency says an informal investigation is underway after more than two dozen environmental advocacy groups submitted a petition against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The petition alleges that state regulators are not doing...

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Rural Central Texas’ plentiful trees make power outages a frustrating fact of life after storms

By the glow of a flashlight, Stacy McAlpine and her 10-year-old granddaughter played Go Fish and other card games as they snuggled up next to a propane fireplace. Thirty miles south in Robertson County, Elizabeth Smith and her husband cooked freeze-dried camp food...

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New bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers wants to highlight the state’s fragile water infrastructure

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers plans to spend part of its time in Austin this year highlighting the state’s increasingly fragile water infrastructure. Texas Water Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on creating a sustainable water system in Texas,...

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Flawed groundwater planning process puts Texans at risk

Texas’ process for protecting its groundwater resources is fundamentally flawed — lacking critical funding, science, and planning tools, failing to safeguard future groundwater supplies, and endangering both the water security of Texas communities and the property...

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Are you lonely? It’s not you, it’s the way we’ve built our nation

If you’re feeling lonely, you’re not alone. Loneliness is an increasingly common experience, and it can have severe consequences. People who feel lonely are at higher risk of serious health issues, including heart disease, immune deficiency and depression....

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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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