The National Wildlife Federation was recently invited to give testimony to the Texas Legislature on the condition of Texas' water and flood infrastructure and cost-effective ways to improve it. Jennifer Walker, deputy director of NWF's Texas Coast and Water Program, spoke to the Texas House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on Aug 24, 2022. Both a recording of Walker's testimony and her full written remarks are included below:
Jennifer Walker, National Wildlife Federation, Testifying on Interim Charge 3: Examine the condition of Texas’ water and flood mitigation infrastructure capabilities and consider future infrastructure needs. Evaluate sustainable funding sources to provide for water project development and infrastructure repair and replacement. Examine and make recommendations for... Read More
Six short years ago, Austin confronted a grim water future. The long dry tail of the 2011 drought combined with record population growth and increasingly concerning climate projections to paint an anxious picture of the city’s water supply. The Highland Lakes, the sole source of water for the city, were very low and facing an uncertain future.
Yet, thanks to an all-hands-on-deck lets-do-this effort, the city rallied from those bleak months, drawing on extensive community and expert feedback to put in place the pieces that would result in an ambitious water supply plan known as Water Forward which was adopted by City Council December 2018.
Lake Travis during the 2011 drought, 46.52 feet below normal.... Read More
By Jennifer Walker, National Wildlife Federation & Bill Moriarty
This summer, Travis County broke ground on the new Civil and Family Court Building. The 435,000 square foot facility is located at 1700 Guadalupe Street and sits on 1.46-acres. It is located in the northern part of downtown which is rapidly being re-developed.
Travis County leadership realized early that construction of this new facility was a unique opportunity to deploy One Water strategies for the good of the community. Commissioner Brigid Shea worked closely with the City of Austin’s Water Forward Task Force, Austin Water, and the County’s engineering team to develop a facility that will capture much of its water supply onsite thereby substantially reducing... Read More
By Jennifer Walker, National Wildlife Federation & Myron Hess, Tributary Consulting
Texas Living Waters is an active advocate for the One Water approach because it offers tremendous opportunities for improving how water is managed. Even so, we are concerned that the available One Water implementation frameworks are not providing adequate guidance or methodologies for ensuring that implementation of One Water principles will result in actual on-the-ground benefits in achieving “healthy waterways,” which is a key component of the One Water approach.
There often seems to be an assumption that implementing a One Water approach will automatically produce environmental benefits. However, One Water’s emphasis on local water capture, efficiency and reuse, if not carefully considered, may actually pose... Read More
Like most Texans, you likely depend on a water provider to deliver water to your home and business. You may not be aware of it, but water utilities also play a vital role in conserving the water supplies of the communities they serve. So how does your water provider compare to others across the state when it comes to making sure our most precious resource lasts well into the future?
You can find out your utility’s water conservation score and see whether they’ve made strides in recent years by checking out the Texas Water Conservation Scorecard. Originally released in 2016 and updated annually since, the Scorecard offers a snapshot of water conservation efforts in... Read More