Video : Lack of Freshwater Threatens Matagorda Bay

Texas Tribune, November 28, 2013

by Justin Dehn

Fishing and tourism in Matagorda Bay depend in large part on freshwater supplied by the Colorado River. But the drought has all but cut off those flows. The Lower Colorado River Authority says that’s not likely to change anytime soon unless Central Texas gets significant rains to shore up water supplies for Austin and nearby cities. In the meantime, wildlife and recreation on Texas’ Gulf Coast have suffered.

LCRA Votes to Cut Off Rice Farmers for a Third Year

Texas Observer, November 20, 2013

The mood was grim among folks from Bay City, Eagle Lake and other coastal communities today as the Lower Colorado River Authority board voted 8-7 in favor of an emergency proposal that will likely cut off water to rice farmers for the third year in a row.

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Additional Information:
National Wildlife Federation/Sierra Club Written Comments to LCRA Board.
National Wildlife Federation/Sierra Club Press Statement on LCRA Board Decision

Advocates: Saving Matagorda Bay Could Take Legal Action

Texas Tribune, November 14, 2013

BAY CITY — More than 100 environmental advocates and fishermen along the Gulf Coast met Wednesday to discuss the uncertain future of Matagorda Bay, a major destination for tourism, recreation and commercial fishing that has  suffered greatly in recent years due to a lack of freshwater inflows from the Colorado River.

Their conclusion: Saving the bay will require tremendous political pressure on the Lower Colorado River Authority and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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Facing Drought, Wichita Falls Bans Outdoor Watering

Texas Tribune, November 12, 2013

These days, residents of Wichita Falls aren’t just witnessing the effects of drought — some say they can actually taste it. As local reservoirs dip to about 30 percent of their capacity, water quality has degraded with a rising concentration of dissolved solids.

Now city officials are poised to tighten existing water use regulations even further as they await a water reuse system they say could reduce demand for lake water by about a third.

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With Colorado River in Trouble, Many Face Sacrifices

Texas Tribune, November 1, 2013

As with nearly every beloved Texas river, the 600-mile Colorado River — which flows from West Texas to the Gulf Coast — is under serious threat. Drought and surging population growth have taken their toll on the water’s flow and its wildlife and, by extension, the farmers and fishermen who rely on it.

But there is one thing about the Colorado — not to be confused with the river of the same name that flows through the Grand Canyon — that makes it unique.

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Cutting off Matagorda Bay’s Water is Unwise and Inconsistent with Texas Law

October 01, 2013

Previously, we posted about LCRA’s decision to seek emergency authorization from TCEQ to allow them to diverge from their Water Management Plan and suspend river flows to Matagorda Bay LCRA submitted their request to TCEQ on Thursday, September 26th.  We will lay out the process at TCEQ in another post.  Our current guess is that […]

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Drought : Texas Authority Votes to Cut Off Water to State’s Second-Largest Estuary

Energy and Environment Publishing: ClimateWire, September 30, 2013

Once again, it’s upstream users versus downstream users in southeast Texas as a record-breaking, five-year drought forces authorities to make tough decisions about who gets access to dwindling water supplies — and who doesn’t.

This time, it’s Texas’ second-largest estuary, Matagorda Bay, that is facing a cutoff of freshwater flows from the region’s two artificial reservoirs.

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State Officials Should Engage (Not Fight) Stakeholders on Endangered Species

September 19, 2013

When you decide to dedicate your career to environmental advocacy, you know the job will involve tackling some difficult issues and you know many people are going to disagree with you.  I think that’s great. The best ideas usually include a variety of opinions and viewpoints.  While I welcome a debate on complex environmental issues, […]

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LCRA to Take Matagorda Bay Off Life Support?

September 19, 2013

UPDATE 9/19: The LCRA Board voted 9-6 yesterday to seek emergency authorization from TCEQ to temporarily suspend freshwater inflows to Matagorda Bay.  Sierra Club / National Wildlife Federation statement and LCRA Board Resolution. ORIGINAL POST 9/12: Matagorda Bay is the second largest estuary on the Texas Gulf Coast.  The Bay stretches over approximately 350 square miles and, […]

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