Naveena Sadasivam

Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering the environment, energy and climate change at the Observer. Prior to joining the Observer, she wrote about the coal industry for InsideClimate News and fracking for ProPublica. At ProPublica, she was part of a team that reported on the water woes of the West, a project that was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. She has a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in environmental and science reporting from New York University and is currently an Ida B. Wells fellow at The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. You can contact her at [email protected] and follow her work on Twitter.

By Naveena Sadasivam:

plastic, bag, ban
Politics

In a Blow to Local Government, Texas Supreme Court Strikes Down Plastic Bag Ordinances

The plastic bag bans helped reduce litter, protected wildlife and cattle and made stormwater management easier, environmental advocates say.

Are you a Texan who hates having to take reusable shopping bags on your grocery run? Rejoice, for your time has come. After a new Texas Supreme Court ruling, your store could soon be stocked with all the plastic bags … Read More

flooding, rising tides
Environment

Sinking Land and Climate Change Are Worsening Tidal Floods on the Texas Coast

More than 10,000 homes along the Texas coast will flood at least 26 times a year by 2045, researchers say.

For many folks who call the Texas Gulf Coast home, the coming and going of the tides is just part of the rhythms of salt life. There are high tides and there are low tides, and occasionally “king tides” that … Read More

Environment

No Resolution in Sight For Ranchers and Farmers Fighting Over San Saba River

The prolonged battle has highlighted a major flaw in Texas water management: State policies mostly don’t recognize the connection between surface water and groundwater.

Why is a 40-mile stretch of the San Saba river running dry during the summers? That was the central question at a Texas House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Brady on Wednesday. As the Observer first reported last year, a … Read More

Politics

Five Months After Sexual Misconduct Allegations Surface, Still No Changes to Senate Policy

Senator Lois Kolkhorst, who has been tasked with developing the new policy, said it will be released in the “near future.”

In the weeks after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were made against two Texas senators last year, their colleagues called for “zero tolerance” and said changes “must happen now.” Five months later, lawmakers still haven’t updated the Senate’s 23-year-old, one-page … Read More

Environment

Unpublished Federal Report Projects Bleak Future for Central Texas Mussels and Rivers

Without any conservation measures, four species are “extremely vulnerable” to extinction, according to a draft Fish and Wildlife Service report.

If the state’s population continues to balloon and climate change worsens, four Central Texas mussels could face near-certain extinction, according to an internal analysis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) obtained by the Observer. While mussels aren’t exactly … Read More

Books

Troubled Waters: New Book Plunges into Texas’ Convoluted Water Law

Seamus McGraw's reporting tour de force goes beyond policy and history by trying to understand the perverse incentives that drive decision-making.

In 2009, the Williams family began an almost decade-long battle over whether the water beneath their land is theirs to do with as they please. Claytie and Jeff Williams, the father-son duo who led the fight, grow alfalfa, cotton, teff … Read More

Rio Grande
Environment

Despite Trump, Water Agency Fosters Cross-Border Cooperation Between U.S. and Mexico

A binational agency is working to transcend the immigration, trade and border wall battle between the two countries.

In early March, Ed Drusina and Roberto Fernando Salmón Castelo sat at the back of an almost empty auditorium with plates of food, talking amiably and struggling with plastic knives to cut chicken smothered in a red mystery sauce. The … Read More

immigrants, migrants, refugees
Border

Trump’s Border Wall Lands Rio Grande on List of Nation’s Most Endangered Rivers

The river has long suffered from pollution and overuse, but 33 new miles of border wall could be the “last nail in the coffin,” environmentalists say.

Last month, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion spending package to keep the government funded through September. Tucked in between increases in military spending and funding for highways, lawmakers set aside $641 million to build 33 miles of border wall along … Read More

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