Texas Reservoirs Reach Dangerous Lows

In some parts of the state, water officials have cut off releases that maintain estuaries and other key coastal habitats.

1 minute read

February 5, 2024, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of blue Canyon Lake reservoir beach in Texas on sunny day.

Canyon Lake, a reservoir on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country. | jfortner2015 / Adobe Stock

Texas reservoirs are at critically low levels, according to an article by Dylan Baddour in Wired, and conditions are projected to worsen with another hot, dry summer likely coming up.

Regions around the state are declaring states of drought. “ In Corpus Christi, on the south Texas coast, authorities last month stopped releasing water aimed at maintaining minimum viable ecology in the coastal wetlands, even as oil refineries and chemical plants remain exempt from water use restrictions during drought.” Corpus Christi’s reservoirs plunged from 53.7 percent full in 2022 to 30.5 percent full this month.

On the lower Texas coast, the Rio Grande has not been flowing consistently, and Colorado River water releases have been minimal as that river faces shortages farther upstream. Yet industrial water consumers like oil refineries often get a pass, authorized to use millions of gallons of water per day.

The crisis reaches across international borders. “Northern Mexico has experienced its own water crises lately, including a deadly riot at a reservoir dam in 2020 and months of water rationing in 2022 in one of the country’s largest cities. So, it’s been reluctant to release water for Texas farmers, contributing to low levels in the downstream reservoirs.”

Saturday, January 27, 2024 in Wired

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Pumping Gas

10 States Where the Gas Tax Is Highest

As the gap between gas tax revenue and transportation funding needs widen across the country, the funding mechanism is drawing increased scrutiny from both public officials and consumers.

June 9, 2024 - The Ascent

Brick high-rise apartment buildings in New York City

Study: Housing Crisis is About Affordability, not Supply

New research shows that there is no overall shortage of housing units, but all U.S. metropolitan areas face a severe lack of affordable units for low-income renters.

6 hours ago - University of Kansas

Couple on one side of desk with banker on other side looking at paperwork.

Are Race-Based Lawsuits Affecting Community Lenders?

Shelterforce spoke with community lending leaders and experts about the current mood across the sector. What, if anything, are organizations doing to avoid becoming the next target of conservative activists?

7 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of Glory Park in Lewisville, Texas.

New Park Promotes Community and Connectivity in Lewisville, Texas

The city of Lewisville just celebrated the opening of Glory Park/Parque la Gloria, helping to improve park access and the quality of life for residents.

June 18 - Lewisville Leader

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.