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Survey Reveals Texans’ Concerns About Water Issues

A recent survey of Texas citizens revealed that, contrary to some earlier predictions, Texans are very interested in, and concerned about, the quality and quantity of water in the Lone Star State. Respondents report being concerned about the increasing number and severity of droughts in Texas and about the availability of enough water to serve all the State’s water needs.

The survey was led by Dr. Arnold Vedlitz, director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP) in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. The project and survey instrument were designed by him and other researchers at ISTPP.  The research effort was supported by the Texas Sea Grant Program, the Texas A&M vice president for research, and ISTPP in the Bush School.  The survey was conducted by the respected online polling company, GfK in February and March of this year, so the results are scientifically sound and up to date.

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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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