Brush control no help for water supplies, lake sedimentation

Texas A&M Agrilife, July 13, 2016

COLLEGE STATION – Brush control has many benefits, including restoration of wildlife habitat and potentially improved livestock grazing, but water supply enhancement should not necessarily be considered one of them.

That’s the conclusion of a new Texas A&M AgriLife Research study published in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, which looked at 85 years of data and investigated impacts of dramatic landscape change on rangeland water resources in Central Texas.

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Lawyers Say Ruling Bad For Landowners

Texas Tribune, June 4, 2016

Last week, agriculture and landowner groups heralded a Texas Supreme Court ruling favoring a South Plains ranch as a major win for private property rights, but some lawyers and conservationists are painting the decision as more of a win for developers and water marketers.

The unanimous ruling, issued last Friday, expanded a 45-year-old tenet of oil and gas law that enables “surface” landowners who don’t own the minerals beneath their property to force drillers to accommodate their existing use of the land. The 18-page ruling said the so-called “accommodation doctrine” — established by a 1971 state Supreme Court ruling — also should apply in cases in which landowners don’t own the groundwater under their property.

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Texas Water Conservation Scorecard

May 2016

The Texas Water Conservation Scorecard is the first-of-its-kind in-depth analysis and ranking of the water conservation efforts of more than 300 water utilities in Texas. Based on publicly available information, the Scorecard reveals a wide disparity of effort and information on what is being done to conserve the Lone Star state’s most precious resource: water.

The Scorecard is an evaluation of utilities based largely on their level of effort to advance water conservation, and to a lesser extent on their achievements. Scoring criteria included a utility’s compliance with water conservation planning and reporting requirements, its record on water loss and meeting targets for water use reduction, outdoor watering limits, and rate-based incentives for efficient use of water. Large and medium-size utilities (serving 25,000 customers or more) were evaluated on ten criteria while smaller utilities (serving less than 25,000) were rated on six criteria.

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PDF of Scorecard

Facts About Texas Water (English & Spanish)

May 2016

The 2nd edition of Facts About Texas Water is available in English and Spanish.  Facts About Texas Water is intended to give all Texans—young and old, urban and rural— basic information about water that will help us understand this important resource and how to use and protect it.  Facts About Texas Water was prepared for the 7th/8th grade student, but is useful to all Texans that want to learn basic information about your water supply and how to appreciate, conserve, and protect this valuable resource.

Download PDF – English

Download PDF – Spanish

We have a limited amount of printed copies available free of charge for educational activities.  Please contact us to inquire about availability.

 

Texas Environmental Flows Initiative innovates sustainable water usage, honored by White House Water Summit

The University Star, April 4, 2016

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State and initiative partners were honored by the the White House Water Summit for their innovation in securing sustainable water resources.

The Meadows Center was recognized for committing to the development of the foundational science and market analysis to initiate a water-transaction market in Texas for the benefit of bays and estuaries.

Sharlene Leurig, Texas Environmental Flows program director, makes sure the scientists, legal experts and all other people looking to help get the work they need to reach their goal of finding and purchasing water for the environment in Texas.

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Stressed Texas Rivers Could Mean Too Little Water For Galveston Bay: The future health of Galveston Bay may be threatened by a lack of fresh-water. It’s an issue at the center of “water use” rules under revision in Austin.

Houston Public Media, March 22, 2016

Galveston Bay took a hit back in 2011 during the big drought. So little freshwater was coming into the bay from the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers that it became saltier than what sea creatures consider ideal.

“One of the key species that suffer the most are oysters,” said Paula Paciorek, Water Resources Coordinator with the Galveston Bay Foundation. She told News 88.7: “Oysters don’t do well in high salinity levels.”

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Habitat changes force waterfowl to flee the coast by large amount

Houston Chronicle, March 2, 2016

So, where were all the ducks?

Waterfowlers who hunted on Texas coastal prairies, marshes and bays frequently asked that question during the recently ended 2015-16 waterfowl seasons. After all, North America’s duck population is at a 60-year high, the wetlands along the Texas coast have for millennia been the winter home of the bulk of the millions of ducks that migrate down the continent’s Central Flyway, and the region long has been the center of the state’s waterfowl and waterfowling universe. But this year, coastal waterfowlers grumbled, there just didn’t seem to be nearly as many birds in the region as in past years.

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River authority and whooper fans unite

Caller-Times, February 23, 2016

The Aransas Project and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority have come to an agreement over environmental flows for whooping crane habitat in the San Antonio Bay estuary.

A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Meadows Center in San Marcos to explain how the two organizations are joining forces, according to a news release from the river authority.

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