Search

New ‘The Gulf Between’ Podcast Highlights Water Inequity in Texas

https://open.spotify.com/show/3wC3P3dwqw2T5E24ddndtR A new podcast released today highlights the increasingly visible issue of water inequity in Texas and the people leading the fight to overcome it. The state’s water woes have been in the spotlight this month with Winter Storm Uri leaving millions of Texans without water and millions more under a week-long boil-water notice. The new series, entitled The Gulf Between, is produced by the Texas Living Waters Project and explores the intersection of racial, social, and environmental issues within the world of Texas water. “Climate-fueled extreme weather events and the pandemic are magnifying long-running patterns of inequity in Texas,” said Amanda Fuller, who leads the Texas Living Waters Project as the director of the...

Read More

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...

Read More

National Wildlife Federation Urges Texas Legislature to Prioritize Climate Resilience, Sustainability, Water Solutions

The National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program urged the Texas Legislature, in policy priorities unveiled today, to promote water supply innovation, enable sustainable management of groundwater, invest in state parks, advance natural solutions to flooding, and protect river flows. The program also emphasized the pressing need to address social disparities, such as access to broadband internet, in order to improve public participation in ongoing planning processes related to disaster mitigation and natural resources. “With our booming population and intensifying swings between drought and flood, Texas needs vision and leadership to ensure our rivers and streams continue to flow and our natural landscapes continue to protect us against flooding,” said Amanda Fuller, Texas...

Read More

Imagine a Texan Day Without Water

Today we join the US Water Alliance to #imagineadaywithoutwater. What would the Lone Star State be like without water? Let’s just say it would most definitely MESS with Texas. Water has, in many ways, made Texas what it is today. Not convinced? Let’s take a Texas-sized step back in time, oh say 65 million years ago. West Texas and the Panhandle are under water. Guadalupe Peak and El Capitan are flourishes in a 400-mile coral reef and El Paso is a dark ocean trough. Yes, at this point most of Texas IS water. Then, in a tectonic shift with a name worthy of an Elmer Kelton character, the Laramide Orogeny begins to push what...

Read More

Harris County Passes Bylaws for Community Task Force to Create a More Resilient Future

Listen below as Texas Living Waters' Danielle Goshen discusses the reconstituted Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force with two of the architects of the Harris Thrives Resolution: Iris Gonzalez, Director of CEER, the Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience, and Jordan Macha, Executive Director of Bayou City Waterkeeper. Iris Gonzalez, Director of CEER, the Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience Jordan Macha, Executive Director of Bayou City Waterkeeper Danielle Goshen, Water Policy & Outreach Specialist, Galveston Bay Foundation On August 11, 2020, Harris County Commissioners approved bylaws to reconstitute the Harris County Flood Control District Task Force as the Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force (CFRTF). The previous task force, in place since 1972, was criticized for...

Read More

Citizens Advisory Committees: A Rare Opportunity for Texans to Help Shape Pre-Disaster Flood Mitigation

In a rush? Listen to a 90-second audio summary of this article read by the author herself. Texans have a tangible opportunity to shape how their communities prepare for future heavy rain and flooding. It’s buried in a maze of bureaucratic language and comes with some unknowns, but it’s there and worth your time—especially if you live in a vulnerable area. This opportunity is called Citizen Advisory Committees, or CACs.  Texas has received an influx of nearly 4.3 billion dollars in the form of Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds set aside for flood mitigation projects in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, as well as 2015 and 2016 floods in Texas. These funds...

Read More

Lockdown Relief and Reflections at Gorman Falls

As part of our ongoing effort to capture the many dimensions of Texan waterscapes, Ellen Larson, an Austin-area high school student and a Summer 2020 Texas Living Waters volunteer, reflects on the beauty and precarity of our favorite summer escapes: As we head into a late Texas summer, sweltering heat coupled with restlessness in our homes has made venturing into the outdoors necessary but somewhat miserable. During this time my family has turned to one thing: Texas parks and their water. The Spicewood Springs Trail in Colorado Bend State Park is filled with inviting swimming spots. Photo: Ellen Larson, 2020. It’s become a tradition every Friday over the past few months for my family and I...

Read More

The Top 7 Water Utilities in Texas: What They’re Doing Right

The recently-released 2020 Texas Water Conservation Scorecard provides an extraordinarily detailed analysis of water conservation efforts at over 350 Texas water utilities. The only effort of its kind in Texas, the Scorecard evaluates each utility on a range of criteria including compliance with conservation planning and reporting requirements, its record on water loss and meeting targets for water use reduction, outdoor watering limits, and rate-based incentives for efficient use of water. Medium to large utilities were evaluated on 10 criteria and could earn up to 100 points on the scorecard. Smaller utilities were evaluated on 6 criteria and could earn up to 55 points. While a comparison with the 2016 Scorecard shows mixed progress...

Read More

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

Supreme Court Makes Ripples with Indirect Discharge Case Under the Clean Water Act

By Danielle Goshen, Water Policy and Outreach Specialist, Galveston Bay Foundation Not too long ago in our Nation’s history, waterways across the United States were in critical condition. Mounting environmental consciousness in the late 1960’s coupled with catastrophic events, such as the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire, led to major amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948. These amendments, made in 1972, are now referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA). Congress’s intent in creating the CWA was an unambiguous response to the environmental concerns of the day -- to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” To make the importance of this clear, Congress even...

Read More