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 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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In 2015, Water, EPA Dominated Environment News

Texas Tribune, December 22, 2015

Even though the yearslong drought broke this year amid torrential rains and deadly flooding, water remained a huge issue and point of contention for Texas in 2015. Several controversial water supply projects in Central Texas grabbed headlines. And many people along the Texas-Mexico border don’t have access to water, period. Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spent much time suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a slew of new regulations.

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