Navigating the SWIFT Application Process: Water Conservation Projects

November 2016

The Texas Living Waters Project has designed Navigating the SWIFT Application Process: Water Conservation Projects to assist small-to-mid-sized utilities in evaluating the funding strategies available to them for implementing their water conservation projects. This document focuses primarily on the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and includes a detailed description of the application process established by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

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Texas Water Conservation Scorecard

May 2016

The Texas Water Conservation Scorecard is the first-of-its-kind in-depth analysis and ranking of the water conservation efforts of more than 300 water utilities in Texas. Based on publicly available information, the Scorecard reveals a wide disparity of effort and information on what is being done to conserve the Lone Star state’s most precious resource: water.

The Scorecard is an evaluation of utilities based largely on their level of effort to advance water conservation, and to a lesser extent on their achievements. Scoring criteria included a utility’s compliance with water conservation planning and reporting requirements, its record on water loss and meeting targets for water use reduction, outdoor watering limits, and rate-based incentives for efficient use of water. Large and medium-size utilities (serving 25,000 customers or more) were evaluated on ten criteria while smaller utilities (serving less than 25,000) were rated on six criteria.

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PDF of Scorecard

Facts About Texas Water (English & Spanish)

May 2016

The 2nd edition of Facts About Texas Water is available in English and Spanish.  Facts About Texas Water is intended to give all Texans—young and old, urban and rural— basic information about water that will help us understand this important resource and how to use and protect it.  Facts About Texas Water was prepared for the 7th/8th grade student, but is useful to all Texans that want to learn basic information about your water supply and how to appreciate, conserve, and protect this valuable resource.

Download PDF – English

Download PDF – Spanish

We have a limited amount of printed copies available free of charge for educational activities.  Please contact us to inquire about availability.


Water conservation by the yard-estimated savings from outdoor watering restrictions

March 2015

Outdoor water use, particularly lawn watering, accounts for almost one third of annual residential water use in Texas, and can represent a much higher percentage during our hot, dry summers. Studies show that homeowners have a tendency to overwater landscapes by as much as two to three times the amount needed.

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Desalination: Is it Worth its Salt?

November 2013

Desalination is often viewed as a solution to many water supply problems and is often hailed as a ‘drought resistant’ supply. This report explores the environmental, energy, and economic issues surrounding desalination and provides an overview of desalination activities in Texas.

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2017 Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium

United Way Community Resource Center
50 Waugh Drive
Houston, TX
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
8 AM - 3 PM

The Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium provides water utilities with the information they need to implement successful water conservation programs. Learn from local and national experts about the latest approaches and best practices for maximum water conservation savings. Keynote Speaker: George Hawkins – General Manager, DC Water Mr. Hawkins “is a game-changing general manager,” and is known […]

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UT students should take steps to reduce water consumption

The Daily Texan, February 21, 2017

You are probably well acquainted with the cartoon raccoons in the Kinsolving and J2 Dining halls that lightly shame you for wasting food. But their judging stares neglect one of the biggest sources of waste on campus: water.

A study from Arizona State University revealed that college students use approximately twice as much water as the typical American to cover the same necessities. Although the study did not delve into the cause of the excess water usage, our demographic obviously has room for improvement. Awareness alone could cut down on much of the waste. Since most college students do not pay their own water bills — and do not have parents to scold them into conservation — they do not have to face their own indulgence. Merry Klonower, Director of Communications at the Texas Water Development Board, emphasized that small actions by individuals can “accrue into more impactful changes.”

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Conference Materials: 2017 Central Texas Water Conservation Symposium

Canyon View Event Center
4800 Spicewood Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78759
Thursday, February 2, 2017
8 AM - 3 PM

CONSERVATION WORKS: Building Programs from Simple to Sophisticated Topics presented: National trends in water efficiency; Creating the Texas Water Conservation Scorecard; Conservation approaches that work during non-drought and drought conditions; Landscape water conservation by design, plant selection and efficient irrigation; Software-as-a-service opportunities for water conservation; Developing effective rainwater harvesting programs.   Agenda

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Protecting the drops we drink: Who owns Texas water?

The Eagle, January 17, 2017

As Texas population continues to increase, so will demands for water. The answer to the question of who owns Texas water will continue as a point of argument.

Water availability has become such a critical issue that many statewide meetings, legislation and court cases revolve around the subject. A recent state-wide conference, devoted to water, was the Texas Section Society of Range Management annual meeting held in Uvalde. The opening remarks presented by Charles Porter addressed the question of water ownership.

Porter suggested looking at three geological water containers – natural surface, diffused surface and groundwater – to determine ownership. Each container has different ownership and regulations.

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Environmentalists skeptical of Ike Dike

Houston Chronicle, January 5, 2017

GALVESTON – Plans for building a massive storm-surge protection system for the Houston area are rushing ahead before officials determine whether the project could harm Galveston Bay, environmental groups say.

The Sierra Club and the Galveston Bay Foundation, the environmental groups most closely watching the planning process, worry that there’s been too much focus on how to build the so-called Ike Dike and not enough on its impact on the bay.

“The Ike Dike has gained traction and local government support,” said Scott Jones, spokesman for the Galveston Bay Foundation. “We understand that, but we don’t think the environmental questions have been answered.”

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North Texas cities unite against swelling water costs, ask for review

Dallas Business Journal, December 16, 2016

The mayors of four North Texas cities — Garland, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson — have banded together to ask the Public Utility Commission to conduct a review of their water rates with the North Texas Municipal Water District.

The cities decided to band together to ask for a review of the rates set under a six-decade old water supply contract, which the mayors say is discriminatory.

In all, Garland, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson officials say their cities have paid a total of $178 million for water the municipalities did not use.

“We are losing tens of millions of dollars at the expense of our taxpayers because the North Texas Municipal Water District’s current rate methodology is outdated and does not incentivize water conservation,” said Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock, in a statement.

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