Central Texas River Named Among Country’s Most Endangered

WASHINGTON (April 17, 2013)—The San Saba River is among America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2013, the conservation group American Rivers announced Wednesday.

The San Saba River, which ranks third on the group’s list of most endangered rivers, is threatened by excessive water use by landowners and irrigators that has “all but dried up 50 miles of the river for months at a time,” hurting ranchers downstream and damaging the ecosystem, the group said in a press release.

"With the water crisis in Texas affecting farmers, lakes, and city water supplies, it is unconscionable that we continue with an antiquated water rights system that allows removal of water from our rivers to the point that they no longer flow," said Griff Thomas, a local rancher quoted by the group.

“It makes no sense to deny water to the rice farmers downstream who are paying for the water, and at the same time allow unmetered withdrawal by farmers upstream who do not pay.”

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