AUSTRALIA: Calif. could learn from nation’s ‘Big Dry’ response

Green Wire, September 28, 2015

Those enduring California’s ongoing drought can look to the world’s smallest continent for a vision of how they might end up because of it.

Through a 13-year drought called the “Big Dry,” Australians buckled down on water conservation and recycling, leaving their nation better prepared than ever for a future world where droughts could strike again.

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WaterSmart Pulls Water Savings from the Cloud

Circle of Blue, September 4, 2015

Ideas flow for Robin Gilthorpe, a self-described “outdoor cat”, when he leaves the air-conditioned boxes of modern life.

A few years ago the veteran of the information technology industry biked west out of Denver, retracing the route of an earlier ride, when he noticed the drought-scorched landscape around one of America’s fastest growing cities. Gilthorpe, with 25 years experience at data analysis firms, thought he could bring a new approach to the West’s longstanding water problems.

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City may tighten outdoor watering rules as droughts persist

San Antonio Express News, August 31, 2015

Once-a-week lawn watering may soon become a permanent way of life as San Antonio seeks to balance conservation with the benefits of having a steady income for its utility to pay for reliable water service.

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Conserving water is a smart strategy to employ before the next drought

Houston Chronicle, August 4, 2015

The last few weeks have been hot and dry in our area. Still depending on what indicators you use, most of Texas – including Harris County – is no longer experiencing drought.

That’s great news for our state, which has endured drought conditions since 2010.

The bad news: Harris County – along with the rest of Texas – will suffer through droughts again if history is any guide, and future droughts will likely be aggravated by climate change. A new bipartisan report states: “By the end of the century, the Southeast and Texas will likely experience dangerous levels of extreme heat.” Hotter temperatures will only increase the need for water for farms, fish and people.

Careful planning to take care of our state’s future water needs is crucial, especially given our area’s explosive growth.

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Crabbing a fun way to connect with bays

Houston Chronicle, August 1, 2015

It was just a 4-foot piece of cheap string with a skinned chicken’s neck insecurely secured to one end with clumsy overhand knots fashioned by the unpracticed fingers of a 5-year-old. But it proved the conduit through which a connection was made to the coastal marine world that has lasted a lifetime.

It is a story that has been and, happily, continues to be repeated hundreds of thousands of times along the Texas coast and focuses on one of the most universally fascinating – and delicious – residents of the state’s bays: blue crabs.

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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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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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Water woes still linger in Texas despite May’s downpour

Houston Chronicle, June 10, 2015

May’s showers eased the drought, but they did not solve Texas’ water challenges, leaving the future of many Texans’ water suppliers uncertain.

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