Ensuring One Water Delivers for Healthy Waterways

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...

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SWIFT Success Stories: Texas Cities Accelerate Water Conservation Projects with State Funding

By Sapna Mulki, Water Savvy Solutions & Meghan Bock, AIQUEOUS The State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) was passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature and approved by voters via a constitutional amendment in 2013. At the time, Texas was coming off the heels of one of the state’s worst droughts on record. Recognizing the vital role Texas water utilities play in protecting and strengthening Texas water supplies for decades to come, the Texas Legislature moved forward with the adoption of SWIFT to provide enhanced funding for the implementation of projects identified in the Regional and State Water Plans. A core component of the SWIFT legislation was its commitment to allocating at least 20% of...

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It Was Worth It : How A Small Water Utility Successfully Acquired a Loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

By Sapna Mulki, Water Savvy Solutions Background: A small public water system located south of Austin, Texas, Creedmoor Maha Water Supply Corporation (CMWSC) serves an estimated population of 7,500 customers or 2,500 connections in Creedmoor-Maha. Like most Texas water utilities, CMWSC faces increasing pressure from ongoing costs associated with maintaining an aging system. The majority of CMWSC's 170 miles of water lines date back to the 1960's and are therefore reaching the end of their service life. As a result, the system is constantly being fixed for major leaks and pipe bursts, which has become costly and unsustainable - "It was like a whack-a-mole effect," said CMWSC Board President Bennie Bock, "when one [pipe] broke, another...

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Unpave The Parking Lot and Create Paradise: A Story of Headwaters at the Comal River

By Nancy Pappas, Managing Director of New Braunfels Utilities’ Headwaters at the Comal The Beginning Remember the Joni Mitchell song “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”?  Well, imagine you are on the Governing Board of the New Braunfels Utility and the staff proposes a plan to parcel off sections of a valuable 16 acres tract of land - once the fleet, facility and operations center for the growing utility - for development.  The mostly asphalt-paved property could bring in a significant amount of short-term funding redeveloped for commercial purposes, however, it also happens to have the neglected and long-forgotten original water source for the New Braunfels community.  What would you recommend? Keep...

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One Water in Action: Wimberley ISD Makes History as First One Water School in Texas

By Anna Huff and Nick Dornak, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University The small Texas towns of Wimberley and Woodcreek are making big waves in the One Water world after the Wimberley Independent School District (WISD) announced their plans to build the first One Water school in Texas. When it opens in fall 2020, the primary school campus will utilize a variety of One Water strategies to reduce groundwater usage from the Trinity Aquifer by 90 percent when compared to traditional construction standards. One Water is a water planning and management approach that rethinks how water moves through and is used in a community; it brings stakeholders like developers,...

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What’s in your water conservation scorecard?

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...

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One Water in action: Austin Central Library uses rainwater to flush toilets

The Austin Central Library in Austin, Texas has gotten its fair share of hype – so much hype, in fact, that it was included on the Time’s 2018 list of the World’s 100 Greatest Places. And while its rooftop garden, Tetris-like stairways, elevated walkways and collection of 500,000 books are certainly awe-worthy, it’s something else entirely that has our attention.                                                                                                          ...

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