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Outdoor water use, particularly lawn watering, accounts for almost one third of annual residential water use in Texas, and can represent a much higher percentage during our hot, dry summers. Studies show that homeowners have a tendency to overwater landscapes by as much as two to three times the amount needed.

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Water pricing can be one of the most effective methods to driving conservation and it is also the primary mechanism for recovering the revenue that a water utility needs to protect public health and the environment.  The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina and the Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter have written a report to help Texas water utilities use their water rates and financial policies to encourage customers to reduce their water use while maintaining the financial viability of the utility.

Webinar Information:  UNC and the Sierra Club hosted a webinar on March 19 that focused on the findings and recommendations of our new report that explores the relationship between water pricing, water use, and revenue stability in the State of Texas.  The webinar addresses how utilities can strike a balance between conservation and revenue stability and introduce rate structures, billing options, and financial practices that will help utilities advance water conservation objectives without undercutting needed revenue stability.
View Webinar Recording  |  Download  Webinar Slides  |  Webinar Q&A Transcript

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Desalination is often viewed as a solution to many water supply problems and is often hailed as a ‘drought resistant’ supply. This report explores the environmental, energy, and economic issues surrounding desalination and provides an overview of desalination activities in Texas.

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By Dr. Norman Johns, National Wildlife Federation, Austin, Texas

The brackish water clam Atlantic Rangia cuneata (Rangia cuneata), is an important native species in the upper portion of most Texas estuaries. Rangia cuneata clams are of ecological significance because of their role as a filter feeder, converting detritus and phytoplankton into biomass and serving as an important food source for fish, crustaceans, and water fowl.

The study utilizes a novel approach to characterize salinity patterns, focusing on those which may limit Rangia cuneata distribution in Texas estuaries.  This new approach to describe salinity patterns integrates salinity magnitude (e.g. 2-10 parts per thousand), duration of occurence (e.g. 30 days or longer), and periodicity of re-occurrence (e.g. re-occurring at least once per five years).

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