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Texas Reimagines The Fight Against Floods

Texas reimagines the fight against floods

For more than 60 years, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has been tasked with leading Texas efforts in securing the state’s water supply through the conservation and development of Texas’ water resources. The agency’s framework for fulfilling this mission combines the three key functions of science, planning, and financing.   Read more from Peter Lake in the Texas Water Journal here.

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Feds Release First Slice Of Water Bill Assistance Funds

Feds release first slice of water bill assistance funds

The Department of Health and Human Services released $166.6 million in federal funds for a program to help low-income residents pay off their past-due water bills or to reduce their water rates. The new program — temporary for now, though some Democrats want permanent status — is called LIHWAP. Congress provided more than $1.1 billion to the first-ever federal water bill assistance program in separate appropriations in December and March.   Read more from Brett Walton with Circle of Blue…

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Using Science For Equitable Policies: A Framework For Climate Scientists

Using science for equitable policies: A framework for climate scientists

Climate science is having its moment. With the recent administration changes, climate change is getting attention at the national level through much-needed bold and ambitious federal policy developments.  “We must listen to science — and act,” the Biden administration wrote in an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, signed by President Biden within a month of his inauguration.   Read more from Arsum Pathak with the National Wildlife Federation on The Equation here.

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Texas Matters: The State Of Climate Change Denial

Texas matters: the state of climate change denial

Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, the sea is rising, animal ranges have shifted and there are more intense heart waves. Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities — and the clock is ticking to deal with this. The sooner steps are taken to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere and in the oceans, the…

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Texas Leaders Made A Big Mistake Ignoring Water This Session. But Not All Hope Is Lost.

Texas leaders made a big mistake ignoring water this session. But not all hope is lost.

Last weekend I paddled on the Blanco River with my family. We swam in spring-fed swimming holes, fly fished and lounged in shallow sections of the river, which was flowing nicely thanks to recent rains that ended drought conditions across Texas. Read more from Vanessa Puig-Williams with Environmental Defense Fund here. 

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New Law To Allow More Texas Cities To Become Dark Sky Communities

New law to allow more Texas cities to become Dark Sky communities

A new Texas law will make it easier for communities to pursue International Dark Sky designations. Texas Senate Bill 1090, authored by state Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and state Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Kerrville), was signed into law on Monday, June 14, by Gov. Greg Abbott. Effective immediately, the legislation allows communities to take the necessary steps in order to protect their night skies, according to Scenic Texas, which announced the bill’s passage in a news release. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to preserve…

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Solutions To Blanco Wastewater Discharge Seeing New Light

Solutions to Blanco wastewater discharge seeing new light

The impact of the election May 1 on Blanco citizens and their Wimberley Valley neighbors downstream along the Blanco River was immediately apparent at the city’s May 11 council meeting under new mayor Rachel Lumpee, joined by new council member Connie Barron. A council previously struggling to address its first municipal utility district (MUD) achieved a number of water and wastewater planning objectives for Blanco that will directly benefit Hays County. The Blanco City Council adopted a MUD policy that…

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Marble Falls Rock Crushing Plant Canceled; Lawsuit Settled

Marble Falls rock crushing plant canceled; lawsuit settled

A lawsuit between Marble Falls-area plaintiffs and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Asphalt Inc. (now doing business as Lone Star Paving) was put to rest May 23 once all involved parties signed off on a settlement agreement. The lawsuit, filed in 2017 over a proposed rock crushing plant, hit a dead end after landowners sold the property where the plant would be built. “The sale of the property has mooted the primary basis of the lawsuit in as…

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Texas Could Give Landowners More Say In Eminent Domain Negotiations Under Bill Sent To Greg Abbott’s Desk

Texas could give landowners more say in eminent domain negotiations under bill sent to Greg Abbott’s desk

The Texas Legislature approved a bill early Thursday that will revise eminent domain negotiations between landowners and companies — such as railroads, pipeline and utility companies — that are seeking to condemn land, requiring that landowners be given the terms of the contract up front, as well as more information about the eminent domain process. After six years of heated negotiations between groups that represent landowners and the groups that represent big pipeline, utility, railroad, and oil and gas companies,…

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After The Storm: Legislative Solutions To Texas’ Water Infrastructure Emergency

After the storm: Legislative solutions to Texas’ water infrastructure emergency

My Austin apartment has always been drafty, hard to heat when it's cold out, and hard to cool in the summer. But on February 17th, our third day without power, when I ventured into the kitchen for some bread my roommate and I could eat for breakfast, I found ice in our sink and a knot formed in my gut. We were without power, without heat, and, as we soon learned, without clean water as well -- we didn’t even…

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