State Supreme Court Punts on Major Water Case

Texas Tribune, May 1, 2015

The Texas Supreme Court made news Friday for what it didn’t do. To the surprise of a bevy of water rights experts, the court turned away a high-profile case seeking clarity on murky groundwater laws.

As the state’s lakes and rivers dwindle under drought and the demands of swelling population, competition for groundwater sources continues to intensify. How much water landowners can pump, and who has the authority to limit them, are proving crucial questions.

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Mighty Rio Grande Now a Trickle Under Siege

New York Times, April 12, 2015

FABENS, Tex. — On maps, the mighty Rio Grande meanders 1,900 miles, from southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. But on the ground, farms and cities drink all but a trickle before it reaches the canal that irrigates Bobby Skov’s farm outside El Paso, hundreds of miles from the gulf.

Now, shriveled by the historic drought that has consumed California and most of the Southwest, that trickle has become a moist breath.

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Water bottling company might open site in San Antonio

San Antonio Express News, March 31, 2015

A large, out-of-state water bottling company with plants across the county is considering San Antonio, and possibly Brooks City Base, for a new location, a source with knowledge of the discussions told the Express-News.

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Pro-con: Should Victoria store water below ground?

Victoria Advocate, March 15, 2015

Texas’ near-record drought has forced public officials to take action to secure water for their communities.

The city of Victoria has looked at several options, including limiting water use and using groundwater exchange. An underground reservoir could help position the city to better handle another dry spell.

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Central Texas Drought Is Worst on Record

Circle of Blue, February 25, 2015

On February 18, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) in Texas, a water supplier to power plants and farms, and to Austin, the fast-growing capital, announced that the deep drought that has gripped the state’s Colorado River watershed since 2008 is the worst on record.

Along with California, which is grappling with its own water crisis, the two largest states in the country face historic dry periods that are testing in new ways the ability of managers to provide adequate supplies to swelling populations in an era of scarce precipitation.

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Buda locks down controversial water source

Community Impact, February 18, 2015

The ongoing endeavor to secure future water supplies is coming to a boil in Hays County.

A Houston-based water development company wants to pump more than 5 million gallons of water per day from the Trinity Aquifer to supply its local customers—the city of Buda, the Goforth Special Utility District and a proposed high-end subdivision in Mountain City’s outskirts. Its contracts become effective once the company’s test wells prove the site can produce sufficient groundwater.

Electro Purification would not need permits to draw water from the aquifer and may, by law, extract as much water as desired because no agency regulates pumping from the production site.

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Decker Lake Golf proposes tapping Trinity Aquifer to solve water issue

Austin American Statesman, February 17, 2015

Warren Hayes, who wants to build two PGA-caliber golf courses in Austin’s Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park, says he has a solution to the water-supply concerns that have handicapped the proposal: Instead of sticking a straw into Austin’s water supply, he wants to stick one in the ground.

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Hays Water Fight Portends Battles to Come

Texas Tribune, February 11, 2015

WIMBERLEY — Hundreds of people packed a community center Tuesday night to demand that state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, stop a commercial groundwater-pumping project in Hays County. Not that there is much he can do to stop it.

But their wrath underscored an issue likely to flare up repeatedly across the state as water supplies dwindle and the population keeps growing: Texas’ approach to managing groundwater is increasingly incompatible with the demographics and growth patterns of the state. And possible solutions are hard to find amid bruising local politics, deep-pocketed business interests and small-government-minded legislators.

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Water Rights Fight at the Texas Supreme Court

KAMR Amarillo, February 11, 2015

BAILEY COUNTY — A fight over water rights is brewing at the Texas Supreme Court.

This comes after a ranch owner in Bailey county sued the city of Lubbock over severed groundwater rights.

The Coyote Lake Ranch acknowledges Lubbock has the right to the groundwater on their property but, it’s how they’re planning to get it that pushed the owner to sue.

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Groundwater wars brewing in Austin’s suburbs

Texas Tribune, January 23, 2015

WIMBERLEY — In a classic example of the gaps in Texas’ patchwork approach to regulating groundwater, an unprecedented amount of water may soon be pumped from underneath already-parched Hays County with virtually no oversight.

Houston-based Electro Purification hopes to eventually pump 5 million gallons of water daily from the Trinity Aquifer, and sell it to some of Austin’s fastest-growing Hill Country suburbs, including the town of Buda and a new subdivision planned near Kyle.

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