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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TCEQ – Seafood market owner’s sales don’t count

Victoria Advocate, March 20, 2015

AUSTIN – In a move that goes against its own rules, the state environmental agency again declined to give a seafood wholesaler a say in a water project that could affect San Antonio Bay.

Wesley Blevins, the owner of Chunky Monkey Seafood in Seadrift, testified at a hearing in Austin on Wednesday to establish that his business would be affected if a reservoir was built on the Guadalupe River.

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Rising acidity of Texas bays concerns scientists

Houston Chronicle, March 17, 2015

Many Texas bays are souring as fresh water grows scarcer because of drought and increasing urban demands, a change that could harm oysters and other shellfish and in time reverberate through the food chain, scientists reported Tuesday.

Researchers from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi found a steady rise in acidity from Galveston Bay to near where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico since the late 1960s. The problem becomes more severe as the coastline curves to the south.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, is the first glimpse at the changing chemistry of the bays and estuaries along the Texas coast. The full brunt of acidification will not hit for decades, but the state’s multimillion-dollar shellfish industry could be in harm’s way if the trend continues, said Xinping Hu, an oceanographer who was the study’s lead author.

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Excess rain in floodplains sets food-chain phenomenon in motion

Houston Chronicle, March 14, 2015

The crawfish never saw it coming.

All the big, red swamp crawfish knew – if, indeed, crustaceans operate on anything higher than simple instinct – was that one moment it was swimming/crawling in a newly created aquatic wonderland rich with the soft vegetation on which it and hundreds of others of its kind were gorging. The next, it was being jerked from the water, clasped firmly by the twin yellow spikes that are the bill of a great blue heron.

The intersection of the heron and the crawfish’s lives, which occurred this past week along the San Jacinto River, is just a part of the wide and complex natural drama triggered by an event playing out along scores of waterways, large and small, across eastern Texas.

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Legislation could limit public’s voice on environmental decisions

Victoria Advocate, March 7, 2015

SEADRIFT – Since he was 13 years old, Wesley Blevins has sold shrimp caught in San Antonio Bay.

The 68-year-old sold his license to operate a shrimp boat back to the state years ago, when health problems made the grueling 12-hour workdays more difficult.

“I’m proud I grew up a commercial fisherman,” Blevins said. “My daddy was, and my brothers still are.”

Blevins and his wife operate a seafood market a block from the bay, where they work as middlemen between fishermen and women and people who love seafood.

Despite owning a business that depends on the health of the bay, the state’s environmental agency staff recommended Blevins’ voice not be heard by officials considering an upstream project that could affect the bay’s salinity. The agency’s reasoning was the storefront where Blevins sells bay-caught seafood is a block from the water.

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Conference Materials: 2015 Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium

United Way Community Resource Center
50 Waugh Drive, Houston, Texas 77007
March 4, 2015
8 AM - 3:30 PM

The Annual Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium theme was “Reduce and Reuse: Making Water Conservation Work for the Gulf Coast Region.” Attendees learned about: -Results of a statewide poll focused on public attitudes and perceptions on water supply, water conservation and what utilities can do to promote water conservation -Proven methods from around the state to reduce outdoor […]

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