Issue Papers and Publications

Water in the 78th Legislative Regular Session: Texas Water Policy Update

August 2003

This newsletter provides periodic updates on water issues affecting rural Texas. Previously produced by the Texas Center for Policy Studies, its production is now overseen by Environmental Defense, and is made possible through the Texas Living Waters Project – a collaborative effort of National Wildlife Federation, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Environmental Defense. Topics addressed in this issue include water related bills passed out of the 78th regular Legislative Session; updates on the regional water planning process; and an overview of important upcoming events.

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Irrigation Demand In Texas: An Analysis of Methodologies to Predict Trends

May 2003

Use of surface water and groundwater for irrigation accounts for about two-thirds of current water use in Texas. Thus, irrigation demand projections can greatly affect regional and overall statewide supply/demand scenarios. This report analyzes projected irrigation demand in the 2002 Texas State Water Plan. It also examines the early irrigation water demand projections being made for the second round of regional water planning, which will lead to a revised State Water Plan in 2007.

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Brush Management: Myths and Facts

April 2003

The clearing of “brush” species—Ashe juniper, mesquite, and saltcedar—is a popular technique to increase spring flows and improve livestock grazing and wildlife habitat. Several of the regional water planning groups have identified brush management as a “water management strategy” in their regional water plans, thus indicating their hope that the activity will help meet future water demands.

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Spotlight on Groundwater Conservation Districts in Texas

April 2003

This report makes several recommendations regarding actions that could be taken by the Texas legislature to increase the ability and effectiveness of groundwater conservation districts.

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Economic Principles for Sound Water Planning: An Introduction for Regional Water Planning Groups

April 2003

This report provides Regional Water Planning Group members and other interested citizens with an introduction and guide to the use of sound economic principles in water planning. Economic principles can assist regional planners both in the process of accurately forecasting future water demand, and the evaluation and selection of projects to meet that demand. By following the principles outlined in this report, state and regional planners can meet Texas water needs while avoiding costly mistakes.

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Facts About Your Water Supply

January 2003

This publication is intended to provide Texans with an overview of these various water management and protection entities at the state, regional, and local level. We hope that this knowledge will empower you to follow the activities of these water entities and to make our voices heard by water decisionmakers.

Link to Publication on the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club Website (In English)

Link to Publication on the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club Website (In Spanish)

Marvin Nichols Reservoir and Region C Water Plan Fact Sheet

December 2002

The Water Plan for greater Dallas/Fort Worth/North Texas (known as “Region C”) recommends harmful and expensive development projects like the Marvin Nichols dam 170 miles away on the Sulphur River and ignores cost-effective solutions such as water conservation and better use of exisiting supplies of water. The plan calls for spending billions of dollars on unnecessary projects at the expense of commonsense conservation measures that would protect private property and Metroplex pocketbooks, and conserve natural resources. This fact sheet provides more information on this issue and what you can do.

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Efficient Water Use for Texas: Policies, Tools, and Management Strategies

September 2002

Texas faces a formidable challenge in meeting the water needs of its citizens as its population doubles over the next fifty years. To meet this challenge and to provide necessary flows of water for the environment, Texas will need to rely upon water conservation and alternative water management strategies. But first, policy makers and interested citizens need to be made aware of the available options to meet these challenges. This paper, prepared by the Texas Water Resources Institute for the former Texas Living Waters Project partner Environmental Defense, presents some alternative conservation and water management strategy options, the challenges of implementing them, and their overall costs and benefits.

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Saving Water, Rivers, and Money: An Analysis of the Potential for Municipal Water Conservation in Texas

September 2002

The Texas State Water Plan is the principal document guiding the state’s future water development.
Although the 2002 State Water Plan gave some attention to municipal water
conservation, the National Wildlife Federation contends that the potential of water
conservation, especially in municipalities, remains largely untapped. Thus the potential
for municipal water conservation to offset or partially eliminate the need for costly and
environmentally damaging water supply projects is largely overlooked.

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