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Water Utilities

Testifying at the Texas Legislature: We Need to Save Our Fragile Water Infrastructure

COVID-19's economic fallout is straining communities’ ability to protect their water. It's exacerbating historic, systemic inequities in Texas related to access to clean water, flood protection, and sewage service. Communities of color and under-resourced rural areas are particularly at risk. The American Rescue Plan Act provides funds specifically to help communities recover from problems like this, in fact, it explicitly authorizes water infrastructure projects. Despite this, the allocations proposed so far in the Texas Legislature do not include a single cent towards water. On Thursday, Oct 7, the National Wildlife Federation's Amanda Fuller spoke to senators about the need to rescue our fragile water infrastructure....

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Water Utilities Are Helping Each Other Prepare for Climate Change

As part of our effort to help water utilities build resilience in the face of increasing climate and population pressures, the Texas Living Waters Project is featuring the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA) this September. WUCA is comprised of the nation’s largest water utilities working together to provide leadership and collaboration on climate change issues affecting the country's water agencies. These utilities have hands on experience planning for and managing water supplies in the face of a changing climate. Heather Dalrymple, climate consultant for WUCA-member Austin Water, discusses below the alliance's new guide for utilities to integrate climate adaptation into planning efforts.   Record droughts, floods, heatwaves, and fires have grabbed headlines across the country...

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As Record Demand and Heat-Waves Loom, Texans Must Stop Over-Irrigating

Two times per week is more than enough for North Texas lawns As Texas emerges from a winter of deep-frozen quarantine and our western neighbors descend into a cauldron of drought and heat, the prospect of a green lawn outside our window feels unusually comforting. Before you greet the July sun with a full blast of irrigation, however, it’s worth remembering healthy lawns don’t need nearly as much water as you think. In a year and era of truly wicked problems, watering wisely is a remarkably simple way for North Texas to address our deepening water crisis. Irrigating no more than twice per week is not only more than enough to keep lawns...

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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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