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.

 

Taking the long view on water conservation in Texas

Trib Talk, October 20, 2016

Utility customers in drought-afflicted areas in Texas have lately been faced with what appears, on the surface, to be a paradox: watching their water bills go up even as they use less.

The immediate math is simple. When utilities encourage conservation, customers use less water, which means less revenue for those utilities. But what few utilities and officials — not to mention increasingly frustrated headlines in Texas and across the country — point out is that in actuality, customers who conserve water are using less to pay less over time.

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What San Antonio should learn from Melbourne

San Antonio Express News, May 29, 2016

San Antonio just made it through one of the worst droughts in Texas history. Climate change means we’ll have more — unpredictably longer and more intense. Is San Antonio prepared? Nope. And the San Antonio Water System is leading us the wrong direction.

Express-News staff writer Brendan Gibbons’ recent front-page article about summer water consumption between 2011 and 2015 gives clues about why. Drought preparedness requires real conservation — ongoing commitment to keeping all the water we have, and guarding our aquifers and their recharge zones.

How well did San Antonians do?

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Climate-Driven Water Scarcity Could Hit Economic Growth by Up to 6 Percent in Some Regions, Says World Bank

World Bank, May 3, 2016

WASHINGTON, May, 3 2016 – Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6 percent of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict, according to a new World Bank report released today.* 

High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy, says the combined effects of growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will see demand for water rising exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.

Unless action is taken soon, the report says, water will become scarce in regions where it is currently abundant – such as Central Africa and East Asia – and scarcity will greatly worsen in regions where water is already in short supply – such as the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa.

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The Southwest is Swallowing Texas: As grass gives way to desert across the Lone Star State, the nation’s fastest growing cities may be left high and dry.

U.S. News & World Report, February 3, 2016

The High Plains begin around the 100th meridian. It’s where the verdant green of the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern U.S. gives way to arid scrub, shortgrass and prickly pear cactus – where riders on horseback in the 1800s, nearly a century and a half before satellite mapping, were able to trace the border between these two regions as they split Oklahoma from the Texas Panhandle.

These days, the meridian’s more or less paralleled to the east by Interstate 35, a steel-and-concrete vine that connects the Texas cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, San Marcos, Austin and San Antonio. Each ranks among the fastest-growing cities in America, their reservoirs reliably refreshed by rainwater.

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In 2015, Water, EPA Dominated Environment News

Texas Tribune, December 22, 2015

Even though the yearslong drought broke this year amid torrential rains and deadly flooding, water remained a huge issue and point of contention for Texas in 2015. Several controversial water supply projects in Central Texas grabbed headlines. And many people along the Texas-Mexico border don’t have access to water, period. Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spent much time suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a slew of new regulations.

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Water Efficiency Networks: Regional Cooperation and Success on Water Conservation

By
December 18, 2015

Effective water conservation measures shouldn’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries such as city or county lines and knowledge shouldn’t either. This is the foundation of the Water Efficiency Networks in Central Texas and the Gulf Coast region. What is a Water Efficiency Network? A Water Efficiency Network (WEN) is a group of water providers and water […]

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New desalination plans carry promise, risks

The Daily Texan, November 20, 2015

After the floods in May and recent rains, it’s easy to forget that Texas was, not so long ago, in a serious drought.  In fact, the drought hasn’t ended, and even when it does end, our state will still need to find freshwater resources to meet the needs of a growing population and booming economy.  And we will have to do this while protecting the rivers, springs and lakes that make Texas a beautiful and healthy place to live.  We must remember that developing new water resources can be costly in many ways, and regulators must take steps to minimize those costs.

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Vista Ridge Deal Dominates UTSA Water Symposium

Rivard Report, October 22, 2015

San Antonio Water System President and CEO Robert Puente offered a vigorous defense of the Vista Ridge project meeting the city’s long-term water needs at the same time he reaffirmed SAWS continuing commitment to conservation, which has won the water utility national acclaim.

Puente made his remarks Wednesday during the Texas Water Symposium at University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) sponsored by the Hill Country Alliance, the first of two major water policy panels scheduled for late October.

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In 2014, Austin-area utilities lost 7 billion gallons of water

Austin American Statesman, October 9, 2015

One early Wednesday morning in Northwest Austin last year, RM 2222 just west of MoPac Boulevard collapsed, the consequence of a sudden flood of water pouring forth from a cracked 20-inch underground pipe, one that dated back to the 1950s.

Traffic would not return to normal till that Friday, and officials estimated that 1.5 million gallons of water were lost over two hours in the water main break, or roughly the amount used by 15 average Austin homes over an entire year.

In 2014, as Central Texas made its way through a debilitating drought, Central Texas communities lost more than 7 billion gallons of treated water, some from sudden spills like the MoPac mishap, or because water found its way out of leaky pipes or, due to faulty meters, was never properly accounted for.

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