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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014

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Texas fracking critics tour the Eagle Ford as complaints of contamination surface

Photo: Micahel Barajas, License: N/A

Micahel Barajas

Toby Frederick, who lives outside Cuero, stands next a well on his property pumping water that reeks of diesel fuel.

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

A natural gas compressor station outside Cuero, one piece of the Eagle Ford buzzing with oil and gas exploration.

Krueger said he notified Pecan Valley Groundwater Conservation District, suspecting increased water draws for nearby fracking may have caused a severe cone of depression that reversed water flow.

Pecan Valley last month commissioned a study hoping to determine how the rapid increase in groundwater pumping has impacted the local water table, said Charlotte Krause, the district’s general manager. In the past, the district would receive about two reports a year of wells running dry. “We’ve had 15 just within the last month,” Krause said.

The typical DeWitt County rancher may pull about 20 gallons a minute from the Gulf Coast aquifer, Krause said, adding, “Now you’ve got companies pulling up to 400 gallons a minute.” Krause has also been trying to gather concrete water-use figures from local companies, though not all have been forthcoming, she said.

A study set to be released later this summer by the Texas Water Development Board and the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology estimates that Texas water used in fracking was negligible in 2010, but that the demand for water to frack the Eagle Ford will likely spike ten-fold to over 6.5 billion gallons per year by 2020. Demand will then double again by 2030, the study estimates.

David Marquez, executive director of Bexar County’s economic development department, said, “The challenges here are obvious. You just have to drive through this part of the country and see there aren’t broad rivers or springs.” Industry groups, he said, have already begun to realize the same process used in other shale formations “can’t just be flopped down into the Eagle Ford,” and water-recycling programs will likely be required to keep the water flowing. •

See also:

Sinking feelings
Gas fracking may already be lowering water tables in South Texas

Warming trend
Regulators far from ready for challenges fracking brings to South Texas

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