North Texas Water Plan Heavy on Reservoirs, Light on Conservation
State law divides Texas into 16 water planning regions. Each region must present an updated plan for meeting future needs every five years. Region C covers the 16-county Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and includes some of the nation’s fastest growing suburbs. Region C’s proposed update was recently open for public comment.
In August, Clean Water Fund submitted comments on the Water Plan which faulted it for prioritizing expensive new reservoirs over conservation.
Dallas and Fort Worth have made progress in lowering per capita gallons of consumption (GPCD) through toilet rebate programs and the “Lawn Whisperer” campaign, which offers tips on more efficient lawn watering. However, the GPCD for most cities in Region C remains well above the state average, and few cities have programs in place to lower consumption. Fewer than half of Region C communities limit lawn watering, even during drought. Less than 40% have tiered rate structures to promote conservation and only 25% punish water waste. Read more
Texas Legislature Moves to Stop Cities from Regulating Fracking
Of the many bad bills passed by the Texas Legislature this year, House Bill 40 tops the list. It places the regulation of oil and gas operations exclusively in the hands of the state, preempting cities and counties from protecting their citizens. This is an overreaction to Denton’s fracking ban, passed overwhelming by its voters last November. HB 40 will also likely undo setbacks established by Dallas, Fort Worth and other communities to protect neighborhoods and schools, and will have a chilling effect on communities that have wanted to follow their example.
UPDATE: This bill was passed in the Senate. Take action today to tell the House to vote No!
No state in the country has more potential for wind and solar energy production than Texas. We already lead the nation in wind, and solar is expanding rapidly. Wind and solar energy helps us conserve water in Texas because they do not require the vast amounts of water that conventional forms of energy production demand. Don’t let the State Legislature move us backward!
Austin, TX – Provisions of the federal law originally intended to protect drinking water are instead being used to allow oil, gas and uranium mining industry activities that would otherwise be illegal, according a report released today by Clean Water Action. This first-ever analysis of a critical Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) program found widespread sacrifice of underground water resources (aquifers) that could otherwise be used for drinking water in the future.
Happy holidays! Please join Clean Water in celebrating democracy and the holidays by voting in the Austin mayoral and city council runoff elections! Early voting lasts through Friday December 12, and election day is Tuesday December 16.
Clean Water Members lplayed a key role electing Ann Kitchen, Kathie Tovo, and Delia Garza in November, and helped carry most of our other endorsed council candidates into these runoffs.
We need your help to finish the job!
Clean Water Action Endorses:
Austin - Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell welcomed Ellen Gilinksy, Senior Advisor for Water
for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Austin today, and expressed his
support for an EPA proposal to clarify which waterways are protected under the federal
Clean Water Act. When finalized, this proposal will restore protections to headwater and
small streams and wetlands, including streams that only flow seasonally or after storms,
but serve as the drinking water sources for over 117 million Americans. This includes
11.5 million Texans and 864,000 people in Travis County. Ms. Gilinsky is traveling in
Texas to hear perspectives on the proposed rule, Definition of "Waters of the United
States" Under the Clean Water Act.
"Small streams and wetlands, including those that flow only seasonally, have a direct
impact on the health and quality of larger streams and rivers downstream," Mayor
Leffingwell said. "These resources are critical drinking water sources, and they protect
communities from flooding and filter pollutants. Our own Colorado River is fed by small
headwater streams that dry up part of the year, especially during times of drought, such
as the prolonged drought most of Texas is experiencing now. If we do not protect these
networks of small streams, we cannot protect and restore the lakes, rivers and bays that
our economy and way of life depend on."
Clean Water Action has announced that it is endorsing long-time environmental champion Brigid Shea for Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 2. Clean Water Action is one of Texas' leading grass-roots environmental organizations with over 25,000 members in Travis County.
“It is difficult to imagine a more qualified candidate than Brigid for this position,” said David Foster, State Director for Clean Water Action. “She brings a wealth of expertise, a proven record of building consensus among diverse stakeholders, and a genuine passion to protect our environment and quality of life. We need energetic leadership on the Commissioners Court, and that's why we are endorsing Brigid Shea.”
Please use the resources on this site to transform your yard and your community’s landscape to protect our water resources.
“Xeriscape” simply means landscaping with plants that do well in the local climate without requiring much, if any, additional water beyond normal rainfall. This can encompass a wide variety of plant options. It is important to note that xeriscaping does NOT mean landscaping with rocks and cacti alone.