water http://kut.org en How Climate Change Could Lead to More Massive Fish Kills in Texas http://kut.org/post/how-climate-change-could-lead-more-massive-fish-kills-texas <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">From the Asian Carp to the</span><a data-mce-="" href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/11/08/the-battle-against-zebra-mussels-grows-in-northeast-texas/" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Zebra Mussel</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, Texas has its fair share of invasive species. Some of them get a lot of attention (I'm looking at you,&nbsp;</span><a data-mce-="" href="http://today.agrilife.org/2012/02/13/new-pub-feral-hogs-native-plants/" style="line-height: 1.5;">voracious feral hog</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">). Others tend to sneak under the radar even when they damage ecosystems.</span></p><p>Take&nbsp;<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.fish.state.pa.us/ais/ais-action-golden-alga.pdf">Golden Algae</a>. Originally from Europe,&nbsp;the microscopic plant was discovered on the Pecos River in 1985 when an algae bloom killed hundreds of thousands of fish. Since then, it has colonized other Texas river basins and killed <a data-mce-="" href="http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/environconcerns/hab/ga/blooms.phtml">millions more fish</a>.&nbsp;Unlike deadly <a data-mce-="" href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/08/15/why-dead-fish-are-washing-up-on-the-beaches-of-galveston/">algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico</a> that kill fish by taking all the oxygen, golden algae is, itself, toxic. Under the right circumstances, it produces a poison that kills fish and bivalves in the affected waters.</p><p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 19:36:12 +0000 Mose Buchele 9593 at http://kut.org How Climate Change Could Lead to More Massive Fish Kills in Texas Environmentalists Cheer Water Rate Hike, Mayors Not So Much http://kut.org/post/environmentalists-cheer-water-rate-hike-mayors-not-so-much <p>Environmentalists are giving cautious approval to a plan by the Lower Colorado River Authority to <a href="http://www.lcra.org/water/supply/Waterrates.html">raise municipal water rates by 19.5 percent</a> next year.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The increase would not affect </span><a href="http://austintexas.gov/department/water" style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin Water</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> customers, because the city-owned utility has </span><a href="http://www.lcra.org/library/media/public/docs/water/supply/lcra_austin_water_agreement07.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">a separate deal</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> with the </span>LCRA<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But it would affect people in other Central Texas cities such as Dripping Springs, Cedar Park and Leander.&nbsp;</span></p><p>“Water in Texas is very cheap and by and large," says&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ken Kramer with the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club, "p</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">rice increases will, in the long term, at least have a positive impact in making us more efficient in the use of that valuable resource.”</span></p><p>But some Central Texas mayors are not enthusiastic about their constituents paying more for water, especially in some of the faster-growing Austin suburbs like Leander. That city partnered with Round Rock and Cedar Park to develop <a href="http://www.bcrua.org/">a $350 million regional water system</a> that could accommodate their growing populations.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 01:11:02 +0000 Nathan Bernier 9564 at http://kut.org Environmentalists Cheer Water Rate Hike, Mayors Not So Much For Rain Barrel Users, Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Water? http://kut.org/post/rain-barrel-users-there-such-thing-too-much-water <p>Austin&#39;s recent rains have caused <a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-dries-after-storm-flooding-more-rain-way-update">a fair amount of trouble</a>. But some folks made out like bandits during the recent deluge.</p><p>Many urban rain collectors watched recent downpours overwhelm their <a href="http://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/">rain barrels and cisterns</a>. It raises a question: Can too much rain be a bad thing, even for rainwater harvesters?<br /><br />Most rain harvesters say: Nope.<br /><br />Karen Collins, who collects rain at her home in Austin and on farmland north of Liberty Hill, is optimistic about the surge in rain. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s wonderful,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;My tanks are completely full. I am in great shape. There are times in the summer when I don&rsquo;t have any rainwater.&rdquo;</p><p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 15:23:48 +0000 Carrie Powell 8932 at http://kut.org For Rain Barrel Users, Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Water? How Hundreds of 'Significant Hazard' Dams Escape State Inspection http://kut.org/post/how-hundreds-significant-hazard-dams-escape-state-inspection <p><em>This is part two of a series devoted to looking at the infrastructure of dams in Texas, and what can be done to improve it. You can&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/10/14/many-texas-dams-in-bad-condition/">find part one here</a>.</em></p><p>In 2008, the Texas State Auditor’s office released the kind of report that keeps public officials awake at night.&nbsp; It found that state regulators were not ensuring the proper maintenance of thousands of dams in Texas.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sao.state.tx.us/reports/report.aspx?reportnumber=08-032">The audit</a>&nbsp;found that state inspectors had never visited hundreds of dams that could cause loss of life if they failed.</p><p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 16:56:34 +0000 Mose Buchele & Mose Buchele 8939 at http://kut.org How Hundreds of 'Significant Hazard' Dams Escape State Inspection A Tiny Bit of Vegetable Oil Could Save Texas Billions of Gallons of Water http://kut.org/post/tiny-bit-vegetable-oil-could-save-texas-billions-gallons-water <p>Parts of Central Texas saw as much as 12 inches of rain over the weekend. Water levels in the Highland Lakes &nbsp;rose slightly, but the storm was far from a drought-buster.</p><p>Lakes Travis and Buchanan remain only about one-third full.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Oct 2013 10:30:00 +0000 Matt Largey 8918 at http://kut.org A Tiny Bit of Vegetable Oil Could Save Texas Billions of Gallons of Water Agenda Texas: Can Water Pass? http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-can-water-pass <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F94542542" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Lawmakers across the Texas Capitol are tearing rotator cuffs patting themselves on the back for finding a way to pay for desperately needed water infrastructure projects.</p> Wed, 29 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7926 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Can Water Pass? 83rd Lege's Regular Session: What Happened, What Didn't http://kut.org/post/83rd-leges-regular-session-what-happened-what-didnt <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box; ">It's been a whirlwind of an end to the 83rd Legislature's regular session, and with Monday's announcement of a special session, lawmakers aren't done.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box; ">Here's a look at the deals reached and the measures that fell short during the 140 days of the regular session</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-famil Tue, 28 May 2013 15:54:37 +0000 Texas Tribune Staff 7904 at http://kut.org 83rd Lege's Regular Session: What Happened, What Didn't Agenda Texas: Water Funding Gets New Life http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-water-funding-gets-new-life <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F92213939" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>It looks like lawmakers have finally come to an agreement on how to fund future water infrastructure projects in Texas. Step one of the agreement was the House finally sending <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=SJR1">Senate Joint Resolution 1</a> to the House Appropriations committee for a vote.</p> Tue, 14 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7731 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Water Funding Gets New Life Agenda Texas: Final Fortnight for 2013 Legislature http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-final-fortnight-2013-legislature <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F92048636" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Two weeks to go in the <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/">Texas Legislative session</a> folks. And there’s even less time than that for lawmakers to pass bills before constitutional deadlines make it nearly impossible to get things done.</p> Mon, 13 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7715 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Final Fortnight for 2013 Legislature Agenda Texas: What's Left To Do? http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-whats-left-do <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F91168000" width="100%"></iframe></p><p></p><p>When the Texas legislative session started in January, lawmakers came to Austin with money to spend and a specific set of priorities.&nbsp;House Speaker Joe Straus laid out those goals during an opening press conference with Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David&nbsp;Dewhurst.</p><p> Tue, 07 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7651 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: What's Left To Do? Texas Water Shortages Could Put Limit on Fracking http://kut.org/post/texas-water-shortages-could-put-limit-fracking <p>Shortages of water could limit the growth of fracking in Texas, according to a report from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ceres.org/">Ceres</a>, a nonprofit group that advises investors about corporations’ sustainability practices.</p><p>Monika Freyman, who wrote the report for Ceres, says that fracking accounts for more than 20 percent of the water used in some Texas counties.</p><p> Thu, 02 May 2013 22:59:00 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7596 at http://kut.org Texas Water Shortages Could Put Limit on Fracking Agenda Texas: What's a Point of Order? http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-whats-point-order <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F90349263" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Alright class: get out your pencils, it’s quiz time.&nbsp; </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">True or False: If a bill is brought up for debate in the Texas House, and a majority of lawmakers support the bill, nothing can defeat it.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Time’s up. </span></p> Wed, 01 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7581 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: What's a Point of Order? Agenda Texas: Tanking the Water Bill http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-tanking-water-bill <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F90200483" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>You might have heard a major effort to pay for water projects went down in flames last night in the Texas House. <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB11">House Bill 11</a> would have spent $2 billion out of the state’s rainy day account to finally fund the state’s 50-year water plan.</p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7565 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Tanking the Water Bill Austin - Soon You’ll Be Able to Irrigate the Yard With Your Washing Machine Wastewater http://kut.org/post/austin-soon-you-ll-be-able-irrigate-yard-your-washing-machine-wastewater <p></p><p>In an eco-friendly city like Austin, you’d think reclaimed water systems for the home would be a no-brainer. Instead, the entire city has only one fully licensed greywater system. But that could soon change.</p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greywater">Greywater</a> systems (or graywater, or grey water – there’s no universally accepted spelling) take used water from sinks, showers and washing machines and funnel it to uses like landscaping instead of sending it down the drain. (Greywater doesn’t include toilet water.)</p><p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:53:46 +0000 Wells Dunbar 7525 at http://kut.org Austin - Soon You’ll Be Able to Irrigate the Yard With Your Washing Machine Wastewater Amendment Would Provide Money for Roads and Water http://kut.org/post/amendment-would-provide-money-roads-and-water <p>A plan approved today by the Texas Senate Finance Committee would spend a lot of money on water and road projects if Texas voters give the go-ahead.</p><p>A <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=SJR00001">constitutional amendment</a> proposed by committee chair&nbsp;<a href="http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist4/dist4.htm">Tommy Williams</a>, R-The Woodlands, would tap into the Rainy Day Fund, which is money mostly from the state’s gas and oil tax revenues, for transportation and water projects.</p><p> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 21:05:55 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 7325 at http://kut.org Amendment Would Provide Money for Roads and Water