Planning for Our State’s Water Future in the Midst of a Pandemic – You Have a Unique Opportunity for Your Voice to Be Heard!

By Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair, Sierra Club - Lone Star Chapter Planning for the future is always a challenge – even more so in the midst of a pandemic. Texans currently are coping with the uncertainties of the Covid-19 crisis – financial hardships, continuing hospitalizations and deaths, the impacts of “reopening” the economy while the virus spreads – focused on the next several months, not looking 50 years ahead. However, the Covid-19 crisis may be a relatively short-term period in history, albeit one with profound impacts for years to come. On the other hand, Texas faces numerous ongoing and recurring challenges. For example, our state has had devastating droughts in the past and inevitably...

Read More

Big Opportunities Lie Ahead for Green Infrastructure in Texas

By Danielle Goshen, Water Policy and Outreach Specialist, Galveston Bay Foundation Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are essential to creating flood resilient communities in Texas. Traditional gray infrastructure techniques such as dams, levees, and channels, capture water and push it downstream. On the other hand, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are effective flood mitigation tools that capture water at the source, and allow the water to infiltrate into the ground. This reduces runoff and strain on traditional flood infrastructure during flooding events. Examples of green and nature-based flood mitigation solutions include: open space preservation, bank stabilization and natural erosion control, wetland restoration, permeable pavement, and bioswales, and others. Importantly, when not serving flooding mitigation purposes, green...

Read More
Big Thicket_Photo by Charles Kruvand

State and Regional Flood Planning: The Future of Flood Resilience in Texas

By Teal Harrison, Outreach Manager, National Wildlife Federation  Starting in 2020, Texas stakeholders will have the opportunity to determine the best flood mitigation strategies for their region through a process called “flood planning.” Regional Flood Planning Groups (RFPG) will lead this effort, as prescribed by Senate Bill 8 which was passed by Texas Legislature in 2019. Flood planning regions will correspond with 15 major Texas rivers and coastal basins delineated by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Based on the current draft rules, each RFPG will be composed of 11 voting-member interests and 7 state agency non-voting members. RFPG membership will be voluntary, and TWDB will designate the initial members of each region’s planning group...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More