Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Groundwater District

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New Study Shows Rate of Groundwater Decline Slowing in Texas

Scientists at Texas A&M AgriLife Research have published the first long-term statewide survey of Texas groundwater. According to the study, statewide median groundwater levels fell by about 70 feet, or 22 meters, between 1930 and 2000, although the changes vary greatly between areas of the state. The rate of decline in groundwater levels has slowed […]

What Will Hundreds of Water Tests Reveal About Drilling in Texas?

“In Texas, I don’t think there’s anybody else doing quite what we’re doing,” says research scientist Kevin Schug. What Schug is doing can be found in a two big kitchen refrigerators in a lab on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington. The fridges are crammed with hundreds of plastic bottles containing samples […]

Silencing Those Who Would Scrutinize Disposal of Drilling Wastewater

Hugh Fitzimons is a rancher from Dimmit County who also serves on the Wintergarden Groundwater Conservation District. Last week, he stood before the three members of the Railroad Commission of Texas and gave a stark warning as to why he was concerned about the proliferation of disposal wells. With oil and gas drilling booming, so […]

Mapped: Groundwater Contamination in Texas

Though the rise of fracking (and the chemicals used in the fracking process) has raised concerns about groundwater contamination, the source of a majority of Texas’ cases is far more mundane. Gasoline is the most prevalent source of groundwater contaminant in Texas, according to a Joint Groundwater Monitoring and Contamination Report put out last year […]

Now You Can Track Groundwater Levels in Texas

Texans don’t need statistics to tell them what the drought is like – they can feel it in their bones. Residents, manufacturers and farmers all depend on both reservoirs and groundwater in Texas, but up until recently only surface reservoir levels were public in Texas. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) updates those reservoir levels on their […]

Retiring Lawmaker Says Work Remains For Texas Water

State Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Houston), more than many lawmakers, knows water. An engineer, he holds “Class A” certifications in water and wastewater management. During his time in the Texas legislature, much of it spent serving on the House Natural Resources Committee, he authored several major bills on water management and water utilities. His office biography […]

This Week in Drought: The Two Sides of Texas

The rain in South Texas has been fickle this spring. “Oh, we’ve had some rain,” says Ed Walker, Manager of the Wintergarden Groundwater Conservation District. “But it’s been an inch here, a half-inch there. It’s really dry.” Walker’s work involves managing the underground water in the counties of Dimmit, La Salle and Zavala, a part of the state […]

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 […]

What to Watch For at the Texas Legislature This Week

It’s crunch time at the Capitol, and legislators have precious little sand left in the hourglass to push bills out of committee. So you’ll see the pace pick up quite a bit in the coming weeks. We at StateImpact Texas have compiled a not-so-short list of important bills on energy and the environment to help […]

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