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Author: Texas Living Waters

New report: PACE financing can help scale water reuse projects in Texas

Water reuse projects are a proven solution to the state’s water availability challenges, but many more could be built if developers took greater advantage of a statewide financing program for water and energy conservation improvements known as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). So concludes a new report by the National Wildlife Federation and Texas Water Trade highlighting the vast potential – as well as the challenges – of using PACE to finance the upfront capital costs of water reuse, including development of onsite infrastructure for capturing and reusing non-potable water such as rainwater and air conditioner condensate as well as connecting and reusing a utilities’ recycled wastewater (known as purple pipe infrastructure). “Increasing the development...

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New film captures Houstonians’ memories of water outages during winter storm Uri

Uri precipitated by far the largest and longest interruption in public water supply in modern Texas history. Six months later we asked Houstonians about their time without water. The result is a short film that captures a few glimpses of a difficult time that reminded all of us of the under-appreciated daily value of water: https://vimeo.com/595637106 Want to hear more stories from Uri? Check out the extended version of the film: https://vimeo.com/595634078 What can Texas lawmakers do in response to our water infrastructure failures during Uri? Check out our list of recommendations. ...

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What the ‘Code-Red’ Climate Report Means for Texas

The 2021 IPCC report released this week has a clear message: just as smoking causes cancer, greenhouse gas emissions are creating a ‘code red for humanity.’ Most discussions of the report so far have rightly focused on its clarification of the global picture. But what exactly does the report mean for Texas? Synthesizing IPCC data for the Central North America region, Dr. Arsum Pathak, Adaptation and Coastal Resilience Specialist for the National Wildlife Federation, has identified the following preliminary key takeaways for the Lone Star state: Texas Will Get Hotter Under all future scenarios laid out by the report, there will be an increase in both the intensity and frequency of extreme heat events for the region....

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4 Ways Climate Change is Impacting Key Species in Texas Estuaries—and 4 Ways to Combat It

You haven’t truly seen a whooping crane until you’ve wandered onto the wetlands where they winter. The horizon is just a bit bigger there. Salt-marshes and ribbons of water unfurl endlessly in front of you, breathing easy behind the comfort of a seemingly impregnable line of barrier islands in the distance. This—the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Mid-Coast of Texas—is the only winter home of the only wild flock of whooping cranes on the continent. Perhaps it’s no accident the flock chose Texas. Everything about the crane is larger-than-life and stubbornly unique. Its elongated legs and neck make it the tallest bird in North America; it tops its bright white torso with a...

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The Top 7 Water Utilities in Texas: What They’re Doing Right

The recently-released 2020 Texas Water Conservation Scorecard provides an extraordinarily detailed analysis of water conservation efforts at over 350 Texas water utilities. The only effort of its kind in Texas, the Scorecard evaluates each utility on a range of criteria including compliance with 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. Medium to large utilities were evaluated on 10 criteria and could earn up to 100 points on the scorecard. Smaller utilities were evaluated on 6 criteria and could earn up to 55 points. While a comparison with the 2016 Scorecard shows mixed progress...

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