Texas awards $191 million towards water conservation projects

On July 21, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) awarded $191 million in loans toward water conservation projects . The latest round of funding from the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas (SWIFT) set aside 25% of the total funds for conservation and reuse, including $167,175,000 to the City of Austin for reclaimed water system improvements and an advanced metering infrastructure project. State law directs TWDB to "undertake to apply" no less than 20 percent of funding for conservation projects over a five year period. However, insufficient funding requests to TWDB meant the state...Read more >>

Would we get desalination right?

Look before leaping into the desalination pool By Tom Spencer - Special to the American-Statesman Despite recent floods, the intense drought that had Texas in its grip from 2010 to 2015 still haunts our imaginations. All across the state, reservoirs shrank to alarming levels, homeowners struggled to keep their landscapes alive, wildfires raged and agricultural losses ran into the billions of dollars. State leaders worried about the long-term implications for the Texas economy — how could we grow and produce jobs if we run out of water? Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry even proclaimed three “days...Read more >>

Texas Water Conservation Scorecard released

Recent droughts have seared the memories of Texans deepening their appreciation for our most precious resource: water. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people across the Lone Star state are trying to conserve water. Homeowners are installing more efficient appliances and converting thirsty lawns into drought-tolerant native plantings even though the drought seems to have abated. Individuals and families are conserving water – but what about their water utilities? Are Texas water providers leading the way when it comes to protecting our vital water resources? Texans now have answers to...Read more >>

Water News: Water Explorer website released, dryness and fire risk in West Texas, water project updates

Texans have a new online resource for learning about their water resources: an interactive site called the Texas Water Explorer. The site, designed by the Nature Conservancy with the help of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, contains interactive maps to help visitors learn about the water quantity and quality, ecosystem health, water conservation strategies, and water regulations across the state. The Texas Water Explorer is designed to be a resource for policymakers, planners, scientists, and the public, and can be found here . Regions A & O - While a strong El Nino has...Read more >>

Statewide Water News for May

Water-boil notice in Corpus Chisti, permanent once-weekly lawn watering restrictions in Austin, Lake Columbia Reservoir and Vista Ridge Projects delayed. Additionally, the 2017 State Water Plan passed and Water Conservation Scorecards have been released. On May 19th, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved the 2017 State Water Plan. The Plan is the newest version of a document that is researched, developed, and revised every five years to plan for the future of Texas water. Forecasts in the plan include reduced agricultural demand; increased reliance on water storage (in the form of...Read more >>

Conservation incentives and ASR need more attention in future State Water Plans

Plans for new surface water reservoirs in the State Water Plan came under fire from state legislators last week. Combined with the need to rethink how finance utilities conservation projects are financed, this drew attention to a greater need for long-term, realistic water conservation planning in Texas. On June 1st, the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources held a public hearing to examine regional and state water planning processes. Representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Central Texas Water Coalition, Texas Water Development Board, Sierra...Read more >>

First sales tax holiday for water-efficient products

Conserve water and save money this Memorial Day weekend! Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30, certain water-conserving products will join the annual Energy Star sales tax holiday. Even though the drought is over (for now), it’s important to reduce our water consumption, especially when it comes to landscaping. Landscape watering accounts for nearly one third of residential water use in Texas, and increasing the use of drought-tolerant plants in landscaping instead of traditional lawns could reduce withdrawals by 14 billion gallons by 2020 . That’s a lot of water—as much as 260,000 Texans...Read more >>

2017 State Water Plan an improvement, but more needed to protect our rivers

The Texas Water Development Board will vote today on the 2017 Texas State Water Plan, which outlines the state’s water management and demands over the next 50 years and is updated every 5 years. The 2017 Plan, which aggregates the plans from the 16 water planning regions of Texas, has a total estimated cost of $62.6 billion, much of which will be financed through SWIFT (State Water Implementation Fund for Texas) low-interest loans. Much of these projects are to meet the increased demand for water Texas will be facing over the next half century; Texas’s population is projected to increase more...Read more >>

TWDB requests full SWIFT applications from 28 water projects, including 10 conservation projects

(UPDATE 6/22) On April 11, 2016, the Texas Water Development Board approved the Executive Administrator’s (EA) prioritization list, requesting full applications on 28 water projects totaling $1.3 billion, including 10 conservation projects totaling nearly $218 million through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), which provides ongoing financial assistance for qualifying projects in the State Water Plan. As the population of Texas continues to grow rapidly (our population is expected to increase more than 70 percent between 2020 and 2070, from 29.5 million to 51 million) and...Read more >>

Environment Texas Research and Policy Center Comments on the 2016 Region K Initially Prepared Plan (IPP)

As a part of the public comment period of the Region K Initially Prepared Regional Water Plan, Environoment Texas Research and Policy Center had the opportunity to submit comments to Region K water planners. We would like to thank Jennifer Walker, and the entire Texas Living Waters team, for their leadership and partnership in preparing their original Region K comments and sharing them with regional water conservation coalition partners. Below are the comments submitted to Region K water planners on behalf of Environment Texas Research and Policy Center: Thank you for the opportunity to...Read more >>