Archive for posts tagged ‘drought’

Natural Disasters and State-Level Executive Powers

This summer, the Sunlight Foundation – a nonprofit that advocates for open government – released a comparative study of the accessibility of state-level executive orders. It found a great deal of variability from one state to the next, in terms of both accessibility and the legal substance of the orders. As the study noted, state-level… Full Story

Drought: Always a Disaster, Never a Presidentially Declared One

In May, the Senate passed the Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 (S. 2198), a bill directing various federal agencies to provide California with additional water supplies during its current drought. The version of the bill originally introduced included a title that would have amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act,… Full Story

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Considers Water Scarcity

This year, as state officeholders – and later voters – considered a new funding program for water infrastructure, supporters of the measure warned of the economic consequences that Texas would incur if it failed to act.  Several unsettling figures were plucked from the State Water Plan (SWP) and repeated far and wide. In a report… Full Story

The 180-Day Threshold: When Water Supplies Become Critically Low

We recently blogged about the factors that H.B. 4/Proposition 6 would require the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to consider when allocating financial support from the new $2 billion water infrastructure bank. One of these factors is “whether there is an emergency need for the project, taking into consideration: (A) whether the applicant is included… Full Story

Endangered Species and Texas Water: Will the Whooping Crane and the Sharpnose Shiner Change the Course of State Law?

Water is the lifeblood of municipal, agricultural, and industrial development in the United States.  Shortages of freshwater, exacerbated by drought and inadequate infrastructure, threaten to cause regional crises and, ultimately, to limit growth. Freshwater shortages also cause harm to aquatic organisms and other wildlife that rely on ecosystems that have evolved in response to historic… Full Story

Requiring and Enforcing Drought Conservation Plans

Here in Austin, many Cap Metro buses have been emblazoned with ads reminding locals that Stage 2 watering restrictions remain in effect.  The ads feature big shapes and bold colors that seem to draw from the same palette that the Disney Channel does.  But for all the aesthetic flourishes and visual fun, the phrase “Stage… Full Story

LCRA and the “Drought of Record”

The reservoirs Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis are the source of water on which most central Texans depend and which the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) manages. The reservoirs have experienced periods of drought in the past, with the drought of record in the 1950’s being the most severe and prolonged drought in recorded history… Full Story

Water Supply and System Loss in Texas

KVUE reported last week that the City of Austin lost 3 billion gallons of water to leaky or broken pipes in 2012 and another 4 billion in 2011 – at the very time Texas was contending with its worst single-year drought on record. The station quoted a city spokesperson as saying that Austin has hundreds of miles… Full Story

Texas’ Changing Relationship with Water

Austin journalist (and full disclosure: Energy Center friend) Ari Phillips recently published a fantastic investigative piece in Texas Climate News on groundwater depletion in Central Texas.  Among the highlights: Insulation from Drought:  Ari notes that during the 1950s drought – the worst on record, as many new stories about the current drought have reminded – “most Texans… Full Story