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Water Conservation Tag

Cutting off Matagorda Bay’s Water is Unwise and Inconsistent with Texas Law

Previously, we posted about LCRA’s decision to seek emergency authorization from TCEQ to allow them to diverge from their Water Management Plan and suspend river flows to Matagorda Bay LCRA submitted their request to TCEQ on Thursday, September 26th.  We will lay out the process at TCEQ in another post.  Our current guess is that TCEQ may not take action on the request until mid-late October. This request is unprecedented and should be approached with an abundance of caution.  It is important to know the water in question here is to provide “critical flows” to Matagorda Bay.  This minimal level of freshwater inflows is designed to provide a sanctuary area near the mouth of the...

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LCRA to Take Matagorda Bay Off Life Support?

UPDATE 9/19: The LCRA Board voted 9-6 yesterday to seek emergency authorization from TCEQ to temporarily suspend freshwater inflows to Matagorda Bay. ORIGINAL POST 9/12: Matagorda Bay is the second largest estuary on the Texas Gulf Coast.  The Bay stretches over approximately 350 square miles and, in a normal year, receives an average of 1.8 million acre-feet of inflows from the Colorado River. So far this year, bay inflows have been about 150,000 acre-feet.   Tuesday, the LCRA Board met to discuss the fate of Matagorda Bay.  More about that in a moment – but first let’s explain how we got there. The Colorado and Matagorda Bay As the stewards of the Lower Colorado River, the LCRA is...

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SAWS is Challenged on Project Transparency

A recent article in the San Antonio Express News caught my eye and echoed some of my own thoughts so I decided to bring it here in case you missed it.  Last year in their new Water Management Plan (WMP), San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) laid out several new or expanding water supply projects to ensure San Antonio’s water future.  One of these projects was the Request for Competitive Sealed Proposals or RFCSP, or as I call it: the pipeline project.  This project sought bids from water marketers to bring 20,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year from other parts of the state to San Antonio in an effort to diversify the city’s water...

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Money for Water, but we Need to be Careful

As we explained in an earlier post, voters will soon have the opportunity to pass a constitutional amendment to partially fund the State Water Plan.  Even with these additional funds, it’s easy to see that there won’t be enough money to pay for every desired project across the state.  The Texas Tribune recently examined the 2012 State Water Plan and the $53 billion of water supply and infrastructure projects contained therein.   A staggering 77% of the proposed expenditures for water projects are proposed by just 3 of the State’s 16 regions. First, let’s review a few of the numbers. Region C, home of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, contains a whopping $21 billion dollars in...

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An Honest Conversation About Fracing Requires Honest Facts

Perhaps the most discussed environmental challenge these days is hydraulic fracturing or “fracing”.  You don’t have to look far to find documentaries, debates, websites and articles on both sides of the issue.  Fracing raises a wide-range of environmental issues, spanning from air quality to wildlife disruption.  In water challenged regions, such as parts of the South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale area, a particularly important concern is the demand fracing places on water supplies. Fracing is the process of enhancing gas or oil production in tight rock formations by injecting fluids at high pressure to crack the rock and to free the product.   Once the fractures have been opened and extended, a propping agent, proppant,...

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