Texas legislature

Amidst record growth, Texas needs to conserve its open land & water resources

Read more about the proposed new fund We're used to bad water news in Texas. This #WorldWaterDay there's something genuinely worth celebrating: Texas lawmakers are coming together behind two bills (HJR138/HB3165) that would grant $2 billion to help conserve Texas' open land and waterways under pressure from growth and climate change. To celebrate this positive momentum and encourage Texans to voice their support for these bills, National Wildlife Federation's Amanda Fuller spoke to a range of TV news channels from across Texas. Here's a quick roundup of some of the interviews and stories: CBS 12 - Sherman/North Texas Full story on NBC News 4 - San Antonio Full story on Fox 44 - Waco Full story on ABC 7 -...

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It’s time for a water session at the Legislature

by Jennifer Walker, National Wildlife Federation and Suzanne Scott, The Nature Conservancy There are now over 30 million Texans. The state crossed that landmark in mid-2022, gaining the most new residents of any state in the nation, with projections of an additional 25 million people living in Texas by 2050. All that growth is taking its toll on the state’s finite and fragile water resources. Groundwater, which supplies most of our state’s drinking water, is now being extracted at twice the sustainable rate and less than 2% of Texas streams remain free of significant chemicals from wastewater discharge. Increased climate variability is compounding things. After a decade of unprecedented flooding from Houston to the Hill Country, the last few years have...

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Thinking Beyond and Before the Ike Dike: Why Texas Needs Holistic Solutions to Coastal Protection

The National Wildlife Federation was recently invited to give testimony to the Texas Legislature on the proposed Texas Coastal Barrier — a sprawling project that includes the so-called 'Ike Dike' concrete gate system. Danielle Goshen, policy specialist at the Texas Coast and Water Program of the National Wildlife Federation, spoke to the Texas House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on Aug 23, 2022. Goshen noted the many concerns around the project's increasing costs, decades-long construction timeline, and limited efficacy. She encouraged the state to think beyond the single storm surge project proposed by the Army Corps, and take a more holistic approach to protecting the Texas Coast for our communities, our economy, our way...

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Be Heard on Environmental Issues Shaping Texas’ Water Future

We’ve written before about the state’s Sunset Review process, a top-to-bottom look at the work of — and the need for — various state agencies. This year, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, is one of the agencies under review. The next Sunset Review of the TCEQ will probably be sometime around 2034, so this is an especially important opportunity for anyone who cares about Texas’ environment to make their voice heard. The Texas Water Development Board is also going through Sunset Review — read more about that here. As the Sunset Commission staff notes in the executive summary of its report, the TCEQ is specifically tasked with promoting public health and safety, protecting...

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Texas Needs Your Help Shaping Its Water Future

State government decisions can have a big impact on our lives, our communities, and the natural resources we cherish. It can be hard to know how real people can similarly shape those decisions. Luckily, in Texas, we have a process called Sunset. 97 percent of Texas is currently experiencing drought. Every 12 years or so, the Legislature takes a hard look at the need for each and every state agency — why it exists, and what value it delivers to Texans. This is called the Sunset Review process, and it includes a deep dive into each agency’s mission, performance and operations. It generally culminates with a bill in the state legislature that keeps the state agency...

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