Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas



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Is This Chip the Key to Desalination?

It would be easy to mistake the small, translucent, object in Kyle Knust’s hand as just another cheap piece of plastic. With dozens more scattered around his section of a buzzing graduate assistant’s lab at the University of Texas, the thumbnail-sized chips don’t appear to be worth much. And that’s because they’re not. At 50 […]

Smaller Water Bills Flow Through the House, But Big Funding Misses Out

The flow of water legislation continued this week as the House passed several bills that could affect one of Texas’ dearest natural resources. Thursday was the deadline for most bills originating in the House to come to floor for a vote. (The Senate has some more time, however.) StateImpact Texas compiled a short list of […]

Definition of ‘Brackish’ Stirs Debate at the Capitol

Several representatives of groundwater districts testified on a whole host of water bills Tuesday at the Capitol, where they argued largely over one thing: what exactly is brackish water? As Texas looks to build new water supplies, some lawmakers are advocating to look deeper underground than where our freshwater supplies lie. That’s where large deposits […]

Un-salting the Earth: Jerry Patterson’s Desalination Ambitions

Texas is sitting on a massive amount of “brackish” water. Too salty to drink, but far less salty than ocean water. A lot of it is just sitting there, below our freshwater aquifers. And there’s enough of it to satisfy the current Texas population for a hundred and fifty years. But how do we get […]

What to Expect at the TAMEST Water Summit Today

Water, water everywhere. Let’s keep some drops to drink. But how? That’s why scientists, politicians, and water utility leaders are meeting up today for the 2012 Texas Water Summit from the University of Texas at Austin’s Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science. It will feature prominent statewide leaders on water issues like state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon, San Antonio Water […]

More Than a Rain Dance: One Lawmaker’s Plan for a Thirsty State

Texas residents know from first-hand experience that you can’t control Mother Nature. Despite endless months of hopeful optimism, they’ve had little to no luck coaxing the skies to give us the extended rains we so desperately need. Even recent deluges have hardly put a dent in lake and river levels. With one town on the […]

Pass the Saltwater: Desalination and the Future of Water in Texas

Texas just capped a year drier than a week-old kolache, with record heat and rainfall totals a good foot or more below where they should have been. Some towns have actually come close to running out of water. And while above-average December rains helped much of the state, they didn’t do enough to restore water […]

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