Imagine a Texan Day Without Water

Today we join the US Water Alliance to #imagineadaywithoutwater. What would the Lone Star State be like without water? Let’s just say it would most definitely MESS with Texas. Water has, in many ways, made Texas what it is today. Not convinced? Let’s take a Texas-sized step back in time, oh say 65 million years ago. West Texas and the Panhandle are under water. Guadalupe Peak and El Capitan are flourishes in a 400-mile coral reef and El Paso is a dark ocean trough. Yes, at this point most of Texas IS water. Then, in a tectonic shift with a name worthy of an Elmer Kelton character, the Laramide Orogeny begins to push what...

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Harris County Passes Bylaws for Community Task Force to Create a More Resilient Future

Listen below as Texas Living Waters' Danielle Goshen discusses the reconstituted Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force with two of the architects of the Harris Thrives Resolution: Iris Gonzalez, Director of CEER, the Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience, and Jordan Macha, Executive Director of Bayou City Waterkeeper. Iris Gonzalez, Director of CEER, the Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience Jordan Macha, Executive Director of Bayou City Waterkeeper Danielle Goshen, Water Policy & Outreach Specialist, Galveston Bay Foundation On August 11, 2020, Harris County Commissioners approved bylaws to reconstitute the Harris County Flood Control District Task Force as the Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force (CFRTF). The previous task force, in place since 1972, was criticized for...

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Citizens Advisory Committees: A Rare Opportunity for Texans to Help Shape Pre-Disaster Flood Mitigation

In a rush? Listen to a 90-second audio summary of this article read by the author herself. Texans have a tangible opportunity to shape how their communities prepare for future heavy rain and flooding. It’s buried in a maze of bureaucratic language and comes with some unknowns, but it’s there and worth your time—especially if you live in a vulnerable area. This opportunity is called Citizen Advisory Committees, or CACs.  Texas has received an influx of nearly 4.3 billion dollars in the form of Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds set aside for flood mitigation projects in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, as well as 2015 and 2016 floods in Texas. These funds...

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Lockdown Relief and Reflections at Gorman Falls

As part of our ongoing effort to capture the many dimensions of Texan waterscapes, Ellen Larson, an Austin-area high school student and a Summer 2020 Texas Living Waters volunteer, reflects on the beauty and precarity of our favorite summer escapes: As we head into a late Texas summer, sweltering heat coupled with restlessness in our homes has made venturing into the outdoors necessary but somewhat miserable. During this time my family has turned to one thing: Texas parks and their water. The Spicewood Springs Trail in Colorado Bend State Park is filled with inviting swimming spots. Photo: Ellen Larson, 2020. It’s become a tradition every Friday over the past few months for my family and I...

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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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