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Texas legislature

American Rescue Plan Act Presents Historic Opportunity for Texas to Invest in Its Fragile Water Infrastructure

Texas lawmakers have a unique opportunity to address the state’s fragile water infrastructure with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) explicitly authorizing the use of federal funds to make needed investments in water and sewer infrastructure. A broad coalition of rural, conservation, and equity-focused organizations today released a set of proposed guidelines to help Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature take full advantage of ARPA funding for water infrastructure purposes. “Texas’ water infrastructure needs significant investment,” said Amanda Fuller, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program. “A single winter storm knocked out water service for more than half of all Texans. ARPA funds should be welcome news in this regard....

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10 Texas Climate Bills to Watch on Earth Day

Texas, as the saying goes, has four seasons: drought, flood, blizzard, and twister. This old quip has hit a bit too close to home for Texans this year. We are less than two months removed from a devastating polar vortex that could yet prove to be the costliest disaster in state history. Weeks after enduring some of the coldest temperatures on record, Texans were greeted by an unusually early spring with temperatures creeping close to 100 degrees Farenheit across the state. Meanwhile, despite recent heavy rain almost all of Texas remains in a state of abnormal dryness or drought. And lest we forget, the weather whiplash of early 2021 comes straight on the...

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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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Winter Storm Lays Bare Texas’ Climate Challenge: Invest Urgently in Resilient Water Infrastructure, Conservation, Equity

(Image: REUTERS/Adrees Latif) The National Wildlife Federation, a founding member of the Texas Living Waters Project, released the following statement on Winter Storm Uri: With millions of Texans emerging from a week of water and power outages and boil-water notices, the National Wildlife Federation urged state decision-makers to use the current legislative session to address the long-running water infrastructure challenges laid bare by Winter Storm Uri. With its record-breaking polar vortex crippling life for millions of households, the storm highlights Texas’ paired concerns of intensifying climate extremes and booming urban populations. The organization emphasized the urgent need to upgrade urban water infrastructure, improve conservation measures, support resilience, and address equity issues such as water affordability...

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National Wildlife Federation Urges Texas Legislature to Prioritize Climate Resilience, Sustainability, Water Solutions

The National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program urged the Texas Legislature, in policy priorities unveiled today, to promote water supply innovation, enable sustainable management of groundwater, invest in state parks, advance natural solutions to flooding, and protect river flows. The program also emphasized the pressing need to address social disparities, such as access to broadband internet, in order to improve public participation in ongoing planning processes related to disaster mitigation and natural resources. “With our booming population and intensifying swings between drought and flood, Texas needs vision and leadership to ensure our rivers and streams continue to flow and our natural landscapes continue to protect us against flooding,” said Amanda Fuller, Texas...

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