Just a few days after the Weather Channel published a damning, in-depth report documenting how natural gas drilling is wreaking havoc on Texas' air quality, a group of wealthy property owners outside Dallas are dealing with another dark side of the energy boom: a really ugly water tower. Residents ... More >>
The people of Fort Worth have been doing a good job of using their water sparingly, and that has the Fort Worth Water Department very, very worried. Recent news reports claim that Fort Worth has been bleeding cash because of its noble water conservation efforts. The city lost $11 million "because o ... More >>
Few people on the Dallas City Council seemed to be aware that the city owns over 21,000 square feet of land in Kaufman County until Wednesday, the day the land was up for sale. "I do not even know why we own that property, frankly," councilman Philip Kingston tells Unfair Park. As it turns out, ... More >>
Few people are kidding themselves that the $2 billion voters set aside for water projects in November will be sufficient to quench Texas' growing thirst. The population is growing too fast and the prospect of drought looms too large. Coping with that will take some combination of new infrastructure, ... More >>
The California Crossing Dam doesn't look like much, just a few hunks of concrete anchored in the Trinity River in far Northwest Dallas, but it's important. The water that pools up behind is processed at the Bachman Water Treatment Plant, which is a key component of the city's water supply system. S ... More >>
First, the bad news. Next year, the city estimates that residential users will pay 5.7 percent more for water, according to City Manager Mary Suhm's latest budget briefing (page 35). Wilonsky told you it was coming, right after the city hiked rates last year, again more than five percent. The brief ... More >>
The University of Texas Energy Institute cast a skeptical eye on the likelihood that the actual act of fracking could result in groundwater contamination. Particularly in the Barnett Shale, where aquifers sit thousands of feet above the shale rock, head researcher Dr. Chip Groat reasoned that the da ... More >>
City Hall's touting the Urban Reserve as an ideal development given our weather and water needs.In one way, shape or form we've noted most of what the city council will discuss this afternoon during its briefing. But there's one briefing we've overlooked: Water Conservation and the Land Developme ... More >>
A Friend of Unfair Park dispatches this look at Addison's new water tower, which is presently making the rounds on Reddit. And, yes, those are wind turbines on top -- 10 total, each eight feet tall, the point of which is to operate the water tower and power the street lights on Arapaho. The city's ... More >>
When Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm first told the council it was time, at long last, to enact twice-a-week watering restrictions, Dallas's six water-supply reservoirs were about 25 percent depleted. But last week's record rainfall, in addition to other recent wet-weather events, have helped fill ... More >>
The back and forth between the city and Columbia Packing Pant on the January 19 river-of-pig-blood incident is fascinating on a bunch of levels. If nothing else, it would seem to raise urgent questions about the way industrial facilities all over Dallas pump waste into the city's sanitary sewer syst ... More >>
Photo by Brandon ThibodeauxAs we near the end of 2011, let us now look back on the year (without much fondness) and take stock. We racked up one of driest years in recorded history (more on that in a moment). The livestock and agricultural industries took a shuddering blow that, when the fina ... More >>
Um ... because someone at City Hall is smart. Dang.
Speaking of Dallas's water supply ...I was on US 380 yesterday, headed to Cattleman's Cafe in Blue Ridge for chicken-fried steak, when, driving toward Farmersville, I espied what's left of Lake Lavon, down some 13 feet due to the drought. "It's stunning," in the words of North Texas Municipal Wat ... More >>
Click to enlarge this chart from the drought update that will be discussed by the Dallas City Council on Wednesday.On November 2, City Manager Mary Suhm told Unfair Park that the city would initiate Stage 1 water restrictions sooner than later; but exactly when, she would not say, only that the c ... More >>
The University of Texas released the preliminary results today of that comprehensive study on the controversial natural gas producing process known as hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), drawing no link between it and claims of groundwater contamination. "While there have been casing/cement ... More >>
There are three very specific reasons why this poster designed by former DC9 contributor Lance Lester works so well. And they are? location, location, location.
Dew, the city's water-conservation mascot, is no Perry the Pipe.Last week, you may recall, I asked Frank Librio, Dallas City Hall spokesman, if Dallas had any plans to follow its neighbors' leads and clamp down on water use. To which he responded: "The lakes are currently 84% full and we continue ... More >>
Click to embiggen ... or just go to Page 29 in this budget briefing.I mention this in the comments below, but the 5.91 percent increase in our Dallas Water Utilities bill comin' this fall won't be the last one any time soon. Matter of fact, per this morning's council briefing, this is but the fir ... More >>
From an SEIU newletterReally. Who knew?Who knew that Ron Natinsky's early-morning jab at Mike Rawlings over his union endorsements would become The Issue of the Day? Surely not Tom Leppert, who wound up having his spokesman comment on the matter once Rawlings made it clear that, hey, he didn't do ... More >>
This is right about where the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System invested $27 million four years ago.Speaking of the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, which is investing $200 million in the looooong-in-the-works Museum Tower in the Arts District, I was reminded that way back in '06, t ... More >>
Steven Michael was hired in April 2007 as an Environmental Inspector III for the city of Dallas Water Utilities Department, at which point he told his immediate supervisor, Yilam Zerihun, that he had a disability that didn't allow him to lift anything heavier than 20 pounds. Michael, who employme ... More >>
As you no doubt recall, the rains of March '06 wreaked havoc upon the White Rock Lake Spillway -- retaining walls collapsed, and huge hunks of land were swallowed by the storms. Which is why, in August '08, the city council agreed to spend $16,748,070 to not only repair the damage, but upgrade th ... More >>
If you've never met the director of Dallas Water Utilities, here she is: Jody PuckettWalked into today's city council briefing a couple minutes late to catch Tennell Atkins talking about how Dallas needs "classy," and then they gave a long and lengthily introduced award to Wal-Mart wherein everyb ... More >>
District 13 council member Ann MargolinAt last, another council member with a blog: Ann Margolin, who's penned a little sumpin-sumpin about the budget by way of an invite to one her town hall meetings. Specifically, Margolin writes, she's opposed to the increase in water and stormwater fees as pr ... More >>
Ever wondered what's at the bottom of New York's Hudson River? Andrews, a small West Texas town 350 miles west of Dallas, is about to find out.Last month, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved an application to allow the disposal of low-level radioactive waste in a site just outside ... More >>
The loading dock at Petra Chemical's Dallas facility on Storey Lane Only yesterday, Politico.com suggested that the think tank Center for American Progress would become a major player within Barack Obama's White House. After all, it was founded and is headed by former Clinton chief of staff and c ... More >>
The city council fears mice in corners whispering truth
Understaffed and overworked, public works inspectors prowl the streets for potholes
Cryptosporidium kills AIDS victims in Dallas. Who will the pathogen claim next?
Chicken king Bo Pilgrim wants to bring a new plant and new jobs to East Texas. But East Texans say they want no more of his filthy business.