Agency: Cost to curb Texas flooding over 10 years is $31.5B

Agency: Cost to curb Texas flooding over 10 years is $31.5B

  • December 10, 2018
  • News

DALLAS — The cost to curtail damaging flooding across Texas over the next 10 years is more than $31.5 billion and state officials are urging lawmakers to adopt legislation meant to end a cycle of “repairing and rebuilding,” according to a series of recommendations released Thursday. The Texas Water Development Board provided the recommendations to lawmakers ahead of the legislative session that begins next month. They’re part of an updated Texas Water Development Board flood assessment report that says coastal…

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Water Forward plan including artificial aquifers, graywater reuse gets council nod

Water Forward plan including artificial aquifers, graywater reuse gets council nod

  • November 29, 2018
  • News

A 100-year water resiliency plan that calls for massive underground reservoirs and reuse of wastewater is now city policy after gaining the approval of the Austin City Council. The plan, dubbed Water Forward, has been in the works since 2014, when years of drought led council members to call for a look at the city’s long-term water future. It proposes creating artificial aquifers that could store billions of gallons of potable water. Crucially for environmentalists, it promotes reusing water from…

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Water symposium addresses the future of flooding in Texas

Water symposium addresses the future of flooding in Texas

  • November 27, 2018
  • News

One month after the destructive flooding of Texas Hill Country rivers led to multiple deaths and tens of millions of dollars in property damage, scientists, regional water management leaders, and academics are still weighing the consequences and the prospect of future severe weather events in Texas. The frequency and severity of weather events ranging from the recent flooding along the Llano, Colorado, Trinity, and Blanco rivers, as well as devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey, have left communities ill-prepared, with experts…

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Making the connection: Watersheds and our water supplies

Making the connection: Watersheds and our water supplies

  • November 27, 2018
  • News

The heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding Central Texas faced a few weeks ago broke records and served as an important reminder about the connection between land and water. After experiencing one of the wettest Septembers on the state’s record, followed by catastrophic flooding from the Llano River, Lake Travis — designed to hold back floodwaters for the City of Austin and its downstream communities — reached its highest level since 1997, forcing the Lower Colorado River Authority to open four floodgates…

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Texas Water Symposium will explore extreme flooding in the Lone Star state

Texas Water Symposium will explore extreme flooding in the Lone Star state

  • November 7, 2018
  • News

The next recording of the Texas Water Symposium is planned for 7pm on Thursday, November 15th with a conversation about how man-made infrastructure can influence flooding in Hill Country creeks and rivers. The program, titled The future of flooding in Texas: How do we protect life and property in the face of extreme weather events?  will be held at the Texas State University Teaching Theater in San Marcos, Texas. Texas Water Symposium radio broadcast recordings are free and open to…

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LCRA dinged for hiring practices and lack of transparency

LCRA dinged for hiring practices and lack of transparency

  • November 5, 2018
  • News

Even as the Lower Colorado River Authority, the utility that supplies water to more than a million Central Texans, is a “sophisticated, well-functioning organization,” it lacks transparency and should hire more women and people of color, according to a state report released Thursday. As the LCRA seeks new water supplies to satisfy the thirst of a booming region, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff report said the river authority’s “approach to public engagement is inconsistent and often reactive,” often leading to…

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Texas’ water quality challenge and the need for better communication in an era of increasing water quality contamination events

Texas’ water quality challenge and the need for better communication in an era of increasing water quality contamination events

  • October 25, 2018
  • News

As Texas cities experience an increase in incidents associated with water quality contamination, the need for public education and engagement increases. The discussion in this paper identifies, based on publicly available data, three of the most common incidents in Texas related to drinking water and environmental contamination: boil water notices (BWNs), sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and lead in drinking water. Trends observed from 2011 to 2016 indicate a sharp upward increase in the incidents of such events. Increased frequency of…

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Austin boil water order in effect while utility pleads for reduced water consumption

Austin boil water order in effect while utility pleads for reduced water consumption

  • October 23, 2018
  • News

A boil water notice remains in effect for Austin Water customers, and the city of Austin is pleading for people to slash their water consumption by 15 to 20 percent. Outdoor water use is being banned as part of what officials describe as an emergency situation. On Tuesday, Travis County’s emergency management chief said the situation could last up to two weeks. Austin Water advises customers to boil water for three minutes before consuming it and says that water-filtration systems…

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The country’s cheapest water is in the West’s driest cities

  • October 16, 2018
  • News

Economists and a public policy expert at the University of Minnesota who looked into block pricing for water in the nation’s largest urban areas, including 11 Western cities, discovered a pattern they conclude is neither sustainable nor just: Many of the driest cities have the cheapest water prices. What’s more, for households across the West, the average price of water goes down as use goes up. The researchers used the Natural Resources Defense Council’s 2010 Water Sustainability Index rankings —…

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What if another Harvey Hits?

What if another Harvey Hits?

On Aug. 24, 2017, we all watched the radar screen on the news as the storm gained energy in the Gulf of Mexico and began making its way toward the Texas coast. No one understood the unprecedented rainfall that was about to hit portions of Texas and Louisiana over the next five days, nor the devastation that would be left in its wake. As the storm made landfall, it destroyed homes and businesses in Rockport, Refugio, Port Lavaca, Port Aransas,…

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