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Water conservation by the yard-estimated savings from outdoor watering restrictions

March 2015

Outdoor water use, particularly lawn watering, accounts for almost one third of annual residential water use in Texas, and can represent a much higher percentage during our hot, dry summers. Studies show that homeowners have a tendency to overwater landscapes by as much as two to three times the amount needed.

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Desalination: Is it Worth its Salt?

November 2013

Desalination is often viewed as a solution to many water supply problems and is often hailed as a ‘drought resistant’ supply. This report explores the environmental, energy, and economic issues surrounding desalination and provides an overview of desalination activities in Texas.

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Despite Rains, Lake Release Limits Upheld

Texas Tribune, July 2, 2015

Despite recent wet weather, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality affirmed an emergency order Wednesday that extends limits on downstream releases from Lakes Travis and Buchanan.

The move comes in response to a request from the Lower Colorado River Authority and essentially cuts off water from the lakes to rice farmers and interests in the Gulf Coast, Lakeside and Pierce Ranch irrigation operations through Oct. 15 and as many as 60 days after. The affirmed order includes limited exceptions for the Garwood Irrigation Division.

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Supreme Court denies bid to reopen case of dead whooping cranes

Caller-Times, June 22, 2015

CORPUS CHRISTI – The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it has denied a petition to reopen a case involving the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes, according to Houston environmental attorney Jim Blackburn, who filed the petition as lead counsel in a lawsuit against the state over the deaths.

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Flooding brings destruction, rejuvenation

Houston Chronicle, June 20, 2015

Water and fire share the ability to almost simultaneously destroy and resurrect, a seemingly incongruous characteristic of these two opposing natural forces so rife with symbolism that the Bible makes good use of it. See: Genesis and Revelation. Or, in the case of water, look out the window of Stuart Marcus‘ office.

“Most of the time when I look out my window, I see grassland sloping down to the river-bottom forest,” Marcus, manager of the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, said of the view from refuge headquarters near Liberty. “Now, all I see is water.”

The Trinity River is flooding and has been for weeks. Swelled by a wetter-than-normal spring that over the past three weeks has included record-setting rainfall and the resulting trillions of gallons of runoff, the Trinity, from its headwaters near the Oklahoma border to its terminus in Trinity Bay, has distended to many times its normal size, spilling over its banks and swallowing hundreds of thousands of acres of adjacent land.

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Texas planners look to aquifers to prepare for next drought

Austin American Statesman, June 14, 2015

The torrential storms of last month essentially ended one of Texas’ worst droughts, but much of the excess water has already flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or will evaporate by year’s end.

With a wary eye toward the next prolonged dry-streak that inevitably will come, some think expanding the use of underground aquifers may help slake the thirst of Texas’ rapidly growing population.

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