Water, Texas | A 5-part digital series | August 3-31, 2020

Summary

Circle of Blue's Water, Texas reveals how the pandemic and an unlikely energy crisis are dramatically upending the Texas economy—and how water flows through every piece of the puzzle.

A compelling story of vulnerability and consequence is the common thread that weaves together the digital print series, revealing how Texas’ booming population and economic growth face an evolving paradigm as the state grapples with realities of water supply and demand.

The series is produced and written by Circle of Blue, the independent news and science agency that reports on global freshwater issues. It features long-form stories that span the geographically and socio-economically diverse landscape of the Lone Star State—reaching across the former Republic’s almost 400 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, the gushing springs of the Texas Hill Country, and the tapestry of irrigation systems that comprise 2,000 miles of canals and underground pipelines beneath the harvests of the Rio Grande Valley. 

Water, Texas takes an in-depth look at the issues, individuals, organizations, and policies that influence water in Texas—from surface water and groundwater to wastewater and stormwater—and how they affect the drying state's landscape, residents, and supply of clean fresh water. 

The series examines how climate-driven water disruptions affect the state's residents and the economy and explores how Texans are responding to these vulnerabilities. Stories—written in the context of the pandemic and energy crisis that has significantly impacted Texas—span the geographically and socio-economically diverse circumstances of the Lone Star State. 

The project also includes Circle of Blue's Water, Texas podcast series, which airs on SpotifySoundCloud, and iTunes

Circle of Blue also collaborated with Dr. Michael Young of the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology and the Texas Water Development Board to develop a data-based interactive dashboard, providing more context to specific regions' access to water, based on current and projected demand, supply, and population.

Circle of Blue is at the center of frontline reporting, research, and analysis on water resource issues and their relationship to food and energy in a changing climate. Keith Schnieder, a long-time New York Times national correspondent and winner of two George Polk Awards for environmental reporting, authored the series. Brian Lehmann, regular contributor to National Geographic and The New York Times, photographed the series.

A grant from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation funded the Water, Texas series.


CGMF's Emily Warren introduces "Water, Texas"


Circle of Blue's "Water, Texas" print stories

Story No. 1 | August 3, 2020

When It Rains, Texans Forget Drought and Worsening Water Scarcity

After the Pandemic, Soaring Population Growth, Industrial Development Will Again Overwhelm Planning and Water Supply

Story No. 2 | August 10, 2020

A Pause for Energy Developers Threatening Texas Big Bend Region

Opportunity to Protect a Way of Life Confronted by Oil and Clean Energy

Story No. 3 | August 17, 2020

Three Thirsty Texas Cities Are Global Leaders In Water Innovation

Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio Are Prepared for Growth and Drought

Story No. 4 | August 24, 2020

Border Wall Concerns in Lower Rio Grande Valley Diminished by Virus and Growth

Trump Administration Overrides Long-Standing Conservation Mission

Click here for Circle of Blue's Water, Texas story summaries


Circle of Blue's "Water, Texas" podcast series

You can listen to Circle of Blue's Water, Texas podcast series on Spotify, SoundCloud, and iTunes.

Episode No. 1: "Water, Texas" reveals how the pandemic and an unlikely energy crisis are dramatically upending the Texas economy—and how water flows through every piece of the puzzle.  

Episode No. 2: "Opportunity to Protect A Way of Life Confronted by Oil and Clean Energy." An opportunity to protect a way of life confronted by Big Energy"—a look at the greater Big Bend region of West Texas. 

Episode No. 3: "Three Thirsty Texas Cities Are Global Leaders in Water Innovation" Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio are prepared for both growth and drought. 

Episode No. 4: "Border Wall Concerns in Lower Rio Grande Valley Diminished by Virus and Growth" Trump Administration Overrides Long-Standing Conservation Mission

If you Tweet, please use the hashtag #WaterTexas.


News Recap

"Water, Texas" dives into what threatens the states vital liquid resource

David Brown | NPR's The Texas Standard | August 7, 2020

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Circle of Blue publishes "Water, Texas, a 5-part series on Texas water issues

News Release | The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation | August 3, 2020

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Texans Must Treat Every Drop of Water as Precious [Opinion]

Emily Warren and Radhika Fox | The Dallas Morning News | September 30, 2019

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As World Eyes Cape Town Water Crisis, Texas Study Explores New Options

Joseph P. Williams | U.S. News & World Report | February 16, 2018

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Dreamed up in the '80s, new Texas water source will take shape over next three summers

Jeff Mosier | The Dallas Morning News | March 4, 2018

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Let's solve Texas' imminent water shortage

Liam Verses | The Daily Texan (The University of Texas at Austin) | March 7, 2018

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CGMF Blog Initiative | Texas water issues

Austin in 100 Years

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All Droughts Are Not Created Equal

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Conservation is Essential to Texas' Future, and It's Time to Get Series

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Being FAIR During a Pandemic

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Come Hell or High Water: Understanding Texas' Water Problem  


Does Texas Really Have a Water Problem?


Texas Saddles Up for the "Water Utility of the Future"


The Need for One Water

For media inquiries, contact Brett Holmes at brett@graysuit.org or (713) 244-4178.

 

© 2012-2020 Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.