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Our Research and Publications

Our Most Recent Work

November 1, 2016
The Texas Living Waters Project has designed Navigating the SWIFT Application Process: Water Conservation Projects to assist small-to-mid-sized utilities in evaluating the funding strategies available to them for implementing their water conservation projects. This document focuses primarily on the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and includes a detailed description of the application process established by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).
May 1, 2016
The Texas Water Conservation Scorecard (visit website here) is the first-of-its-kind in-depth analysis and ranking of the water conservation efforts of more than 300 water utilities in Texas. Based on publicly available information, the Scorecard reveals a wide disparity of effort and information on what is being done to conserve the Lone Star state’s most precious resource: water. The Scorecard is an evaluation of utilities based largely on their level of effort to advance water conservation, and to a lesser extent on their achievements. Scoring criteria included a utility’s compliance with water 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. Large and medium-size utilities (serving 25,000 customers or more) were evaluated on ten criteria while smaller utilities (serving less than 25,000) were rated on six criteria.
May 1, 2016
The 2nd edition of Facts About Texas Water is available in English (click to download English PDF) and Spanish (click to download Spanish PDF).  Facts About Texas Water is intended to give all Texans—young and old, urban and rural— basic information about water that will help us understand this important resource and how to use and protect it.  Facts About Texas Water was prepared for the 7th/8th grade student, but is useful to all Texans that want to learn basic information about your water supply and how to appreciate, conserve, and protect this valuable resource. We have a limited amount of printed copies available free of charge for educational activities.  Please contact us to inquire about availability.
March 1, 2016
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.
February 1, 2014
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
November 1, 2013
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.
December 1, 2012
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).
March 1, 2010
This report recommends seven common-sense water conservation measures. It reviews 19 cities around the state to see where these measures are in place and concludes that, with some exceptions, most of the cities surveyed are not doing enough to make the most efficient use of existing water supplies.