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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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Report Finds Onsite Water Reuse Can Boost Affordable Housing, Spread Climate Resilience

Download the report Strategic integration of onsite water reuse can bring financial and quality-of-life benefits to affordable housing residents, according to an extensive new study by the National Wildlife Federation. The report finds onsite collection, treatment, and non-potable use of local water sources such as air conditioning condensate, rainwater, and graywater can pass on long-term savings to both residents and owners of multi-family affordable housing developments.  The authors also found that onsite systems in affordable housing help spread climate-resilient technologies to urban populations often passed-over in commercial water reuse and green infrastructure initiatives. “Onsite reuse can significantly contribute to the broader mission of affordable housing,” said Jorge Losoya, lead author of the report and a water...

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Texas Lawmakers Must Seize Historic Opportunity to Transform the State’s Fragile Water Infrastructure

Governor Abbott and Texas legislators should capitalize on the latest guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency and secure over $2 billion in allocated federal funds in order to transform the state’s fragile water infrastructure. The National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program urges legislators to work with the Texas Water Development Board and draw on the EPA guidance to ensure all Texas communities have reliable access to clean drinking water. The EPA released a fact sheet to accompany its more in-depth memo detailing guidance on the State Revolving Fund implementation “Texas’ water infrastructure needs extensive investment,” said Amanda Fuller, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program. “A single winter storm...

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The Window to Save the Hill Country is Closing

Download the report to learn more about the pressures facing the Hill Country Booming population growth and sprawling development, groundwater depletion, changing climate patterns, extreme droughts and floods, and a unique set of policy challenges threaten the natural resources that define the Hill County region—resources on which millions of people rely. A recently released report from the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network (THCCN) sets a baseline for eight key metrics to examine the current state of conservation and growth in the Hill Country. What it reveals is a region at a crossroads, facing tremendous threats to its future. “This report makes it perfectly clear—the Hill Country’s breathtaking vistas, natural spaces, clear waters, abundant wildlife, starry night...

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One Water in Action: Austin’s New Permit Center Proves the City is Serious About Water Reuse

You don’t normally expect to learn about the true potential of blackwater on your way to getting a tree permit. That’s now likely to happen to attentive visitors to Austin’s new Permitting and Development Center (PDC). And it’s exactly what the city wants—developers confronting, face-to-face, the remarkable, cost-effective potential of water reuse technology. Six years ago, the most likely reason to visit what’s now 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive, would be to find a parking spot on your way to good ol’ Highland Mall. That mall is now history and that parking spot has transformed into Austin’s newly-opened PDC—a one-stop shop for Austin residents and developers looking for permitting and development services AND a showcase...

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Texas Living Waters Releases 2021 Action Report

We are pleased to share with you our 2021 Year in Review, Investing in the Water Future of Texas. From more than a dozen published reports to podcasts to film festival awards, 2021 was a year we truly spread the word on Texas water. 2021 also signaled the 20-year anniversary of the Texas Living Waters Project. Our report includes a colorful timeline of TLW milestones illustrated by our very own One Water and Water Equity Fellow, Jorge Losoya. We invite you to dive into Investing to see where we’ve been this year and where we plan to go. Be sure to click on report covers and other images, there’s a wealth of interactivity and extra...

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One Water in Action: Credit Human’s Light, Beautiful Footprint on San Antonio’s Pearl District

From a distance, the new Credit Human building in San Antonio, looks fairly non-descript. You might notice the solar panels crowding the rooftop, but this is a credit union, after all, how interesting can it be? Step a bit closer though, and you’ll start to notice unusual details…very unusual details. A fountain built to mimic aquifer rock, glazed ceramic medallions of bats and frogs, Harry Potter-esque hanging lanterns, tiles full of painted scenes from San Antonio lives, purple pipes snaking in and out of towering cisterns. The remarkable aesthetic and engineering flourishes on the exterior are signs of a much deeper re-think in how a building inhabits a space. “When we decided to build our...

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Austin is forging a path to a reliable water future

Six short years ago, Austin confronted a grim water future. The long dry tail of the 2011 drought combined with record population growth and increasingly concerning climate projections to paint an anxious picture of the city’s water supply. The Highland Lakes, the sole source of water for the city, were very low and facing an uncertain future.  Yet, thanks to an all-hands-on-deck lets-do-this effort, the city rallied from those bleak months, drawing on extensive community and expert feedback to put in place the pieces that would result in an ambitious water supply plan known as Water Forward which was adopted by City Council December 2018. Lake Travis during the 2011 drought, 46.52 feet below normal....

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