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Posts Tagged ‘water’

News flash: Greg Abbott wants to sue the EPA again

Nobody could have foreseen this! Foretelling a new environmental battle between state and federal regulators, Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday demanded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency back down from a proposal to expand the definition of federal waters to include seasonal and rain-dependent waterways. The proposal “is without adequate scientific and economic justification and, […]

On “potty water”

I have three things to say about this. Wastewater reuse in Wichita Falls has been in the works for years and would have happened with or without the drought. It was fast-tracked as the city deals with reservoirs that are only 25 percent full today. In addition, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — not […]

The other reason why Huy Fong won’t move to Texas

In a word, water. Huy Fong Foods, which is staying put for now, is different from Toyota and other companies that have recently been wooed or moved to Texas. It is an agribusiness, relying on thousands of tons of local fresh chiles to operate. And in rapidly growing Texas, where the population is approaching 90 […]

Give up the green

Note: From time to time, I solicit guest posts from various individuals on different topics. While I like to think I know a little something about a lot of things, I’m fortunate to be acquainted with a number of people who know a whole lot about certain topics, and who are willing to share some […]

Maybe we don’t need that much more water

More conservation would mean less demand and less need going forward. Drought-prone Texas could make better use of its existing water supplies and avoid spending billions of dollars on new reservoirs, pipelines and other big-ticket projects with more realistic forecasts for demand, according to an analysis released Friday. The report by the Texas Center for […]

It’s like the drought never really went away

If it ever did go away it didn’t go far, because here it is again. Even as light rain moved through the region Thursday, Houston officially slipped back into a moderate drought. Although most areas only recorded a few hundredths of an inch of rain, it nevertheless was the first measurable precipitation much of the […]

Brazoria looks at desalinization

Booming population growth plus greater upstream demands on their main water source equals thoughts of alternate water supplies. By the time the Brazos bisects Brazoria County on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, it’s all but tapped out, unable to keep pace with new urban demands. To firm up its water supply, a Brazoria […]

Chron overview of Ag Commissioner race

It’s mostly about Kinky and pot, because what else is there to talk about? Democrat Kinky Friedman is attempting to add a little spice to the crowded agriculture commissioner race by being the lone candidate to advocate legalizing marijuana and tapping it as a new state cash crop. Of the eight candidates jostling to replace […]

The D-word is back

It’s never really gone away since 2009. Locked in a seemingly endless cycle of droughts and brief reprieves, the Houston region has quietly slipped back into yet another drought. Since December Houston has received less than half its normal rainfall. That’s a pattern present since 2009, a period when the city racked up a deficit […]

We need to take better care of our water

We lose way too much of it because our infrastructure is old and in need of replacement. At a time when the Lone Star State is facing a grave water shortage and its population is expected to double by 2060, billions of gallons are hemorrhaging from Texas’ leaky old pipes. The exact loss is unknown […]

Less drought

Good news. After near-normal rainfall during the spring and summer, this fall a number of drought-ending storm systems began to sweep across Texas, particularly the eastern half of the state. “Drought conditions have ended in most of East and Southeast Texas,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist and a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas […]

Theories abound about why the Dome referendum failed

I have three things to say about this. University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus said the outcome of both county bond propositions, as well as the Katy stadium, is indicative of resistance among conservative voters to big-ticket spending items they believe are not necessary, or, in the case of the Dome, that could be […]

What’s on the agenda for Mayor Parker in her third term

Now that Mayor Parker has been safely re-elected, with a better-than-expected margin, what does she plan to do from here? A triumphant Parker on Tuesday lauded her “decisive” victory but quickly shifted her focus to the coming two years, listing her third-term priorities as jobs, economic development, rebuilding streets and drainage, and financial accountability. “There […]

Election results: Texas

Short and sweet: All nine constitutional amendments passed, all by substantial margins. Here’s The Observer on Prop 6. The Texas Water Development Board will now oversee a $2 billion water bank, seeded with capital from the Rainy Day Fund, to help pay for water supply projects and water conservation across the state. The large margin […]

There are no new ideas, but there are plenty of bad ideas

There’s so much wrong with what Greg Abbott wants for Texas that it’s hard to know where to begin. In his first major policy address as a gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Greg Abbott proposed tighter constitutional limits on state spending and increased constraints on the multibillion-dollar Rainy Day Fund. Abbott laid out his “Working Texans” […]

Mostly looking good for Prop 6

A good poll result for the water infrastructure Constitutional amendment. Texans support $2 billion in water infrastructure financing by a better than 2-to-1 margin, but nearly a quarter haven’t decided how they will vote on the issue this November, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. The respondents favored the measure, known as […]

The water campaign begins

The most high profile constitutional amendment now has a campaign behind it. Supporters are laying the groundwork for an aggressive effort to educate voters and drown out opposition with roughly one month before early voting starts. A coalition of political action committees and business groups are leading the push. The strategy will be bankrolled by […]

Meet your Constitutional amendments

The Trib runs down the nine proposed constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot this November. First on the ballot will be HJR 62, by state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, which would authorize the Legislature to provide a property tax exemption for the spouses of veterans. This amendment specifically authorizes a tax exemption for all or part of […]

The drought is still a big deal

In case you were wondering. The Brazos River has nearly dried up, prompting cities in Galveston County to issue drought alerts and preventing Brazoria County rice farmers from planting a second crop this year. Water for rice farmers and 12 of Galveston County’s 14 municipalities comes from the Gulf Coast Water Authority, which gets all […]

Drinking water from the Gulf

Well, there is a lot of water there. The wicked drought gripping Texas has made one thing clear to Bill West: There is not enough water to meet new urban demands and competing environmental needs. So in his search for new sources of water, the general manager the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is looking in another […]

Opposition gearing up for the water fund amendment

The legislation to create a state water infrastructure fund, and the joint resolution that authorized tapping the Rainy Day Fund for up to $2 billion to seed it, had a rocky road in the legislature and wasn’t completed until the last weekend of the regular session. Now the task is to pass the constitutional amendment […]

We appear to have a budget

Took them long enough. After days of jockeying and one-upsmanship, the Texas House and Senate each approved measures Wednesday evening critical to passing their next two-year budget. “The results of these two bills together is a good conservative budget, and it’s something we can all be proud of,” said Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The […]

Where things stand with two weeks to go in the legislative session

With the Thursday midnight deadline for bills to pass on second reading in the House, I figured this would be a good time to take a look at the status of some major legislation and legislative priorities. There are two weeks left in the regular session, and the specter of overtime is hazy but present. […]

Water, water, not so fast

So much for that. A major bill on the top of Gov. Rick Perry’s priority list that would authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the Texas House on Monday night after a contentious debate over where to pull the money from. “My understanding is it’s doorknob dead,” the bill’s sponsor, […]

Senate to tap that Rainy Day Fund

It is just sitting there, not doing any good if it’s unused. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, laid out an ambitious plan to spend $6 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund on Thursday morning while also setting the stage for a serious debate in the remaining weeks of the session on […]

Clean Water Forum

If you’re not at the Battleground Texas meeting today, Environment Texas has a fine thing to do instead: Houston Clean Water Forum on Saturday, April 6th at 3:00 PM As part of a Clean Water Forum sponsored by Environment Texas, three conservation experts will engage with members of the public about the potential for water […]

Our drought is severe again

Not good, y’all. The situation continues to worsen across the state, with now more than 87 percent of Texas in a moderate or worse drought. It’s not clear when relief might be coming. After the very cold start to this week southerly winds have now returned to the Houston metro area, which will bring more […]

Water infrastructure bill passes

This is good. The Texas House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to create a revolving, low-interest loan program to help finance a new round of reservoirs, pipelines and other water-supply projects for the drought-stricken state. Lawmakers approved House Bill 4 on a 146-2 vote, but left the question of how much seed money to provide the […]

The drought is back

And we’re gonna be in trouble if it doesn’t rain soon. Since the middle of August, the city has gotten just a foot of rain over a time period when it should get twice that. We also have recorded six straight months of below-normal rainfall. And despite last Sunday’s splash of rain, March is likely […]

Adventures in water marketing

The headline on this story is about Texans’ increasing interest in recycling water. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? But there’s another way of describing it that maybe isn’t so appealing. Experts say recycled wastewater will play a key role in satisfying the thirst of a rapidly growing population. While reuse now provides 2 percent of […]

Meet SWIFT

SWIFT is the State Water Infrastructure Fund for Texas, which would be created by the big water bills of the session, HB4 and SB4. Basically, this is a plan to create a water infrastructure bank, to finance various water projects that the state needs at low interest, with some seed money from the Rainy Day […]

That drought we’re having? It’s still bad

So says our state climatologist in testimony before the Lege. John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist, said that during the past two years Texas received only 68 percent of its typical rainfall, making it the third driest period on record. If the extreme conditions extend through the summer, only the 1950s drought would be drier, he […]

Who gets the water?

This will be worth watching. A simple idea has guided appropriations of Texas water for decades: First come, first served. Now, with drought conditions returning to almost the entire state, the principle is being put to the test by a fight over water in the Brazos River. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is withholding […]

We’re still looking at a drought here

I know we just got a lot of rain this week, but that doesn’t mean that drought conditions are over. The latest seasonal drought outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that for much of Texas and the rest of the Southwest, the drought is likely to “persist or intensify” over the […]