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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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.

Visit Scorecard Webpage

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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Conference Materials: 2017 Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium

Feb. 22, 2017

The annual Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium provides water utilities with the information they need to implement successful water conservation programs. Topics covered include: Communicating about conservation in order to turn your customers into water savers and water utility advocates. Examining water conservation benefits and pitfalls from the water utility perspective Tools to reduce outdoor water use […]

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opinion

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.”

Read the full article online            Download PDF

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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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.

Read the full article online        Download article PDF

Effort to fight Arundo ramps up along Hill Country rivers

The Examiner, December 9, 2016

A coalition of government and nonprofit conservation groups is expanding the war on Arundo (Arundo donax), an invasive plant that threatens to take over scenic Hill Country rivers. It’s one aspect of a broader statewide effort made possible by a record $6.3 million to control invasive aquatic species approved by the Texas Legislature for the 2016-17 biennium, an increase from $1.1 million in the previous two-year cycle.

Like fire ants and feral hogs, Arundo does not belong in Texas, but it’s threatening to take over, alter the shape and flow of streams and rivers, worsen erosion and flooding problems, and increase wildfire risk. Sometimes known as giant reed or Carrizo cane, this highly invasive plant is native to the Mediterranean area, but was introduced to the American Southwest in the 1800s as an ornamental plant. Growing in dense thickets up to 30 feet tall (or taller), Arundo chokes out deep-rooted native vegetation that naturally anchors the riparian area, absorbing water, dissipating stormwater energy, and reducing erosion. Instead, Arundo-infested areas are prone to bank undercutting and erosion, leading to reduced water quality. Arundo is also a “big drinker,” using up much more water than the diverse, native plant community it displaces—some estimates suggest that tall, dense thickets of Arundo can use 48 acre-feet of water per acre per year.

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Is your water utility taking steps to conserve our most precious resource?

By
December 08, 2016

While there are numerous ways to manage water in Texas, conservation is one of the cheapest and most environmentally beneficial strategies that can be used. More and more utilities are understanding these benefits and are implementing water conservation strategies in their communities. A new way to finance water conservation projects is the State Water Implementation […]

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opinion

Walker and Redmond: Water utilities can help Texas conservation efforts

Houston Chronicle, December 6, 2016

Ensuring Texas will have abundant water to meet the needs of both humans and wildlife is a huge challenge for the Lone Star State. Fortunately, all of us can play a role in reaching that goal because conserving water is one of the cheapest and most effective tools we have to protect our water supplies.

Many Texas water utilities are now taking this message to heart and are investing in conservation in a big way thanks to low-interest loans made available through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) – a program that was created by the Texas Legislature and subsequently approved by voters in 2013.

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RICHMOND, TX :: SWIFT Funding Workshop: Focus on Water Conservation

December 15, 2016
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

SWIFT Funding Workshop: Focus on Water Conservation Projects Is your utility considering whether SWIFT funding from the Texas Water Development Board is an appropriate funding source for managing your water supplies and implementing water saving programs that will benefit your utility and customers in the long term?  The application period for the third round of […]

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Conference Materials: Central Texas SWIFT Funding Workshop: Focus on Water Conservation Projects

Topics Presented: Is your utility considering whether SWIFT funding from the Texas Water Development Board is an appropriate funding source to support water conservation programs? The time to start evaluating your options and planning to take advantage of SWIFT funding for water conservation is now. Join fellow colleagues to learn the ins and outs of SWIFT […]

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opinion

Walker and Spencer: Include needs of wildlife in Texas’ water plans

Trib Talk, November 2, 2016

No one needs to tell Texans that water is a big deal — we know it in our bones. After enduring the drought that stretched from 2011 to 2015, we also know that planning for our future water needs is an urgent matter.

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is in the process of revising the rules governing water planning. This is a big deal too. If we don’t manage our most precious resource carefully Texas faces a future of constricted growth, economic decline and a diminished natural heritage.

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