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In Texas, Underground Reservoirs Take Hold

Texas summers are so hot that in many West Texas reservoirs, more water evaporates than gets used by people. In 2011, more water evaporated out of Lakes Travis and Buchanan in Central Texas than was used by their largest city customer, Austin.

So what about storing water underground — in manmade reservoirs?

More Texas communities are exploring the idea, which has found traction in states like Florida and California, and Texas lawmakers have introduced legislation to help it along. The basic concept of the technology — which is awkwardly named aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR — is to inject water into an aquifer for storage, hundreds of feet down, and pump it back up when it is needed. Proponents say that the technology reduces evaporation, is cheaper and faster to build than surface reservoirs, and avoids some of the issues associated with flooding land.

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Bill Gives Local Option on Permitting Water Wells for Fracking

One industry lobbyist wants words ‘hydraulic fracturing’ removed, fears ‘ballyhoo’ from fracking foes.

Groundwater conservation districts could chose to require conservation permits for water wells drawing large volumes of water for hydraulic fracturing operations under a bill that drew objections from the oil and gas industry Tuesday but gained support from several water districts and environmental groups.

A committee substitute for Senate Bill 873 by Sen. Glen Hegar, R-Katy, gives local water conservation districts the option, if they chose, to require permits and closely monitor production from water wells drilled for fracking. However, it also gives the water districts the option to exempt the wells from permitting if they chose.

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Cornyn Fights Premature Listing of Texas Species

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced an amendment today to reduce funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) listing activities for species in two recent settlements with environmental groups, including the Central Texas Salamanders and Lesser Prairie Chicken. His proposal, introduced as an amendment to the first Senate budget in nearly four years, would cut funding available for listing determinations for species that are based on arbitrary decision deadlines, reached in closed-door settlements of litigation under theEndangered Species Act:

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