Author: Jonathan Seefeldt

Texas injunction a threat to clean water nationwide

The decision by a federal judge in Texas to freeze implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean water restoration rule in Texas and Idaho delays critical protections for drinking water, flood mitigation, and wildlife habitat for communities across both states. It also sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the urgent restoration of federal clean water protections nationwide. “Recent rollbacks of clean water protections left communities, businesses, and ecosystems in danger,” said Jim Murphy, director of legal advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation. “The EPA’s new rule is a common sense, science-based return to longstanding protections — firmly rooted in the structure and purpose of the Clean Water Act — that will begin to restore...

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Report Finds Onsite Water Reuse Can Boost Affordable Housing, Spread Climate Resilience

Download the report Strategic integration of onsite water reuse can bring financial and quality-of-life benefits to affordable housing residents, according to an extensive new study by the National Wildlife Federation. The report finds onsite collection, treatment, and non-potable use of local water sources such as air conditioning condensate, rainwater, and graywater can pass on long-term savings to both residents and owners of multi-family affordable housing developments.  The authors also found that onsite systems in affordable housing help spread climate-resilient technologies to urban populations often passed-over in commercial water reuse and green infrastructure initiatives. “Onsite reuse can significantly contribute to the broader mission of affordable housing,” said Jorge Losoya, lead author of the report and a water...

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Texas Lawmakers Must Seize Historic Opportunity to Transform the State’s Fragile Water Infrastructure

Governor Abbott and Texas legislators should capitalize on the latest guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency and secure over $2 billion in allocated federal funds in order to transform the state’s fragile water infrastructure. The National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program urges legislators to work with the Texas Water Development Board and draw on the EPA guidance to ensure all Texas communities have reliable access to clean drinking water. The EPA released a fact sheet to accompany its more in-depth memo detailing guidance on the State Revolving Fund implementation “Texas’ water infrastructure needs extensive investment,” said Amanda Fuller, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program. “A single winter storm...

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As Record Demand and Heat-Waves Loom, Texans Must Stop Over-Irrigating

As Texas emerges from a winter of deep-frozen quarantine and our western neighbors descend into a cauldron of drought and heat, the prospect of a green lawn outside our window feels unusually comforting. Before you greet the July sun with a full blast of irrigation, however, it’s worth remembering healthy lawns don’t need nearly as much water as you think. In a year and era of truly wicked problems, watering wisely is a remarkably simple way for North Texas to address our deepening water crisis. Irrigating no more than twice per week is not only more than enough to keep lawns healthy, it will go a long way towards ensuring a resilient future...

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Lingering Aftermath of Winter Storm Uri Exposes Vulnerability of Texas’ Aging Water Infrastructure

With ​38 public water systems in 31 Texas counties​ still issuing boil water notices three weeks after the onset of Winter Storm Uri, Texas Living Waters and partner organizations released a series of ​policy recommendations for addressing the state’s water infrastructure crisis. “The Texas freeze didn’t just expose an electricity problem in our state, it also showed why we need to better protect Texans’ access to clean drinking water,” said Amanda Fuller, Texas Coast and Water Program director at the National Wildlife Federation. “Many of the issues still afflicting Texans after the storm are a direct result of aging water infrastructure. Texas lawmakers should heed these recommendations and take the steps necessary to ensure...

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