In the News

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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With water issues on tap, House committee looks at statewide solutions

Austin American Statesman, February 2, 2016

Anticipating a continuing tug of war over water — increasingly scarce in mostly dry, fast-growing Texas — a state House committee is examining the prospect of a statewide water grid.

A proposal to at least study the issue was killed in the last legislative session, the victim of a struggle that generally pits rural lawmakers against their urban counterparts. For years the state has been riven by dispute between the water haves and have-nots, with an alphabet soup of river authorities, groundwater districts and state agencies grappling with how to meet the needs of growing cities.

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With water issues on tap, House committee looks at statewide solutions

Austin American Statesman, February 2, 2016

Anticipating a continuing tug of war over water — increasingly scarce in mostly dry, fast-growing Texas — a state House committee is examining the prospect of a statewide water grid.

A proposal to at least study the issue was killed in the last legislative session, the victim of a struggle that generally pits rural lawmakers against their urban counterparts. For years the state has been riven by dispute between the water haves and have-nots, with an alphabet soup of river authorities, groundwater districts and state agencies grappling with how to meet the needs of growing cities.

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editorial

Swift action: Water utilities statewide need to develop plans for saving water.

Houston Chronicle, January 26, 2016

The state’s 2012 water plan forecasts that by 2060, water demand will increase by 22 percent, while water supply will decrease by about 10 percent. Yet billions of gallons are lost through leakage in our water utility systems every year. As Texas gets drier and adds population, every drop of water counts.

The state cannot meet the challenge of water supply simply through developing new sources. Utilities need to become more efficient and eliminate waste in their systems. Texas has secured a means to finance enhanced efficiency efforts. Voters approved a state constitutional amendment in 2013 to provide financial assistance for water utilities to pursue projects recommended in state and regional water plans. The state water implementation fund, or SWIFT, won the endorsement of environment groups, such as the Sierra Club, in part because the legislation accompanying SWIFT contained a conservation component, according to Ken Kramer, water resources chairman for the Texas Sierra Club.

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Despite recent rains that filled local lakes, water still a hot commodity

Killeen Daily Herald, January 23, 2016

Recent problems in Marlin, Texas, and Flint, Mich., brought drinking water disasters to the forefront, but we don’t have to look back far to find our own water problems.

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opinion

Antcliff: Conservation is key to water affordability

El Paso Times, January 9, 2016

In November, the Public Service Board held public hearings regarding El Paso Water Utilities’ proposed FY 2016-17 budgets. The PSB will be asked to consider the budgets at our Jan. 13 meeting. If approved and adopted, rates become effective on March 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

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opinion

Once a week watering should be enough for Austin

My Statesman, January 8, 2016

As the American-Statesman’s Andra Lim recently reported, city officials are exploring whether Austin should make its once-a-week watering restrictions permanent, but before they submit a formal proposal to the City Council, they want the public to weigh in on the issue. You can do so online or by attending one of four public meetings scheduled this month.

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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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WaterSMART Grant Funding Available for Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency Projects

Imperial Valley News, December 14, 2015

Washington, DC – Last month, the Bureau of Reclamation invited states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to participate in its latest WaterSMART grant opportunity. A total of $21 million in cost-shared funding is available for water conservation and energy efficiency projects that help move the West towards resilience in the face of drought and ongoing imbalances between water supply and demand.

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