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


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

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.

News Recap

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


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

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


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

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


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


Let's solve Texas' imminent water shortage

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


CGMF Blog Initiative | Texas water issues

All Droughts Are Not Created Equal


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


Being FAIR During a Pandemic


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.


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