Water, energy, conservation, sustainability, WTP4, pollution, oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), recycling, and other environmental issues related to Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson
As COVID-19 spread across the globe in the spring, people noticed a strange side-effect of the pandemic: The air was getting cleaner. Stay-at-home orders, along with the economic crash caused by the outbreak, meant less industrial and transportation-related pollution.
The last couple weeks you might have noticed a large number of small butterflies drifting through Central Texas. The view from a park or garden can be magical, as hundreds meander through the air flashing specks of brown, black and yellow. The view from a highway is less so, as the bugs reel between vehicles before getting squished by an oncoming windshield.
A flash flood warning is in effect for parts of southern Travis County and eastern Hays County until 11:30 a.m., the National Weather Service said. Between 2 and 3 inches of rain has already fallen, the agency says, and flash flooding is ongoing or expected to start soon.
Austin gets all of its water from the Highland Lakes, but that might not always be the case. The city recently took a first step towards storing massive amounts of water underground. If the plan works, it could help Austin survive as climate change threatens traditional water supplies.
Volunteers have fanned out in Austin and 12 other U.S. cities this summer to take the temperature of their neighborhoods – literally. The data collection is part of a project to help protect people as the world warms. And, in many places, it is highlighting how already-vulnerable communities suffer the most from climate change and urban heat.
The National Hurricane Center has updated the projected path of Tropical Storm Marco to show the storm hitting the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane Monday evening before heading into Texas by Wednesday.
By the end of this weekend, Austinites can expect to have sweated through more than two weeks in a row of triple-digit heat. Texas summers are supposed to be hot. But there’s nothing normal about heat waves like this one.
The amount of methane that fossil fuel companies burn off in Texas as a waste product could power every home in the state, according to some estimates. The industry practice known as “flaring” has been decried as wasteful and polluting by public health groups, environmentalists and even some in the industry.
The heat of summer is here and that means toxic blue green algae may return to Austin lakes and creeks. Last year, at least five dogs died after swimming in parts of Lady Bird Lake containing the algae. So, this year, the city is developing an early-warning system to let people know when conditions are ripe for a deadly bloom.
Texas is no stranger to droughts. From the bone-dry stretch of the 1950s, the state’s longest drought, to the fiery months of 2011, the state’s single driest year, droughts have shaped Texas' culture and economy.
But, according to the state climatologist of Texas, we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Dust that has traveled across the ocean from the Sahara desert arrived in Austin this week. It’s an annual phenomenon that makes for hazy skies and beautiful sunsets. But this year it could also increase the spread and the deadliness of COVID-19.
The pipeline company Kinder Morgan violated the Safe Drinking Water Act when it spilled tens of thousands of gallons of drilling fluid into Blanco County groundwater, according to a new lawsuit from local landowners and groundwater conservation groups.
This year, as the hottest days of summer clutch Texas in a fiery embrace, a team of volunteers will fan out through Austin neighborhoods to take the temperature of the city.
The endeavor is part of an urban heat mapping project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that aims to present a clearer picture of what parts of town get the hottest and who is most affected.
The coronavirus arrived in Central Texas with the spring. That meant no South by Southwest and an early end to the school year. It also meant people stuck at home, at least, enjoyed some pretty good weather.
Severe weather is expected overnight in Central Texas. Storms moving in from the west could bring up to 3 inches of rain to the Austin area over a short period of time, which could cause flash flooding in some spots. The National Weather Service says pockets of up to 5 inches of rain are possible.
A severe thunderstorm watch has been posted for most of the Austin area until 4 a.m. The NWS warned of dangerous lightning, heavy rain and strong winds.
The group that operates the Texas electric grid expects the state to break records for peak electricity use this summer, despite the fact that people are using less electricity because of the COVID-19 pandemic.