'Water, Texas' dives into what threatens the state's vital liquid resource

“Texas is going to have a significant confrontation between rising demand … and diminishing supplies.”

Listen to the 5-minute interview between Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue's "Water, Texas" series' author, and The Texas Standard's host, David Brown, that aired on The Texas Standard and its 33 NPR station network throughout the state. 

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The nonprofit Circle of Blue recently launched its reporting project “Water, Texas,” a series about the challenges Texas faces in managing its most vital natural resource.

The New York Times' journalist and the organization’s senior editor and chief correspondent, Keith Schneider, told Texas Standard that his reporting in “Water, Texas,” focused on the tension between Texas’ economic and environmental interests.

“Texas is going to have a significant confrontation between rising demand – because of population and economic growth – and diminishing supplies,” Schneider said.

The first story of the 5-part series focused, in part, on Jacob’s Well near Wimberley – a natural spring in the Texas Hill Country that had run for centuries but ran dry several years ago. (The spring has since started flowing again.) Schneider said it’s one example of what drought and water shortages could look like across the state.

“These are major changes that are happening this century, that nature is just going to insist occur or Texas’ quality of life will diminish,” he said.

Evocative images and graphics are also an important element to the reporting in “Water, Texas,” Schneider said.

“Our work is designed to illustrate a major confrontation, and then to pick out – choose, and show, and display and report on – the places and the people that are making change,” he said.

Schneider urged Texas to combat water shortages now, by reducing how much water Texans consume and by supporting industries that use less water.

This series is funded by a grant from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.

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