Amidst complaints of high water bills, WCID17 customers welcome water rate increase with open arms

Amidst complaints of high water bills, WCID17 customers welcome water rate increase with open arms

The board meeting agenda was posted online in accordance with legal requirements, and the proposed rate increase and hearing information were published in a local newspaper. If people care so much about their water rates and if the proposed increases were well-advertised, why aren’t more people at the board meetings? 

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More water woes in Wimberley

More water woes in Wimberley

Water has taken center stage in Hays County on multiple fronts lately, including concern over the protection of Jacob’s Well. At a special public hearing of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, fear over adoption of regional DFCs was clear. Nearly 100 people attended the September 23rd meeting in Wimberley; many argued that adopting these region-wide targets wouldn’t be enough to keep Jacob’s Well from going dry.

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Lessons you don’t learn in the classroom

Lessons you don’t learn in the classroom

As Texas is seeing increased consequences from the drought, and we are looking to meet a shortfall of 2.7 trillion gallons of water by 2060 [1], it’s a great time to evaluate what is happening with Texas water policy. I recently had the opportunity to look at water policy from the field rather than the classroom at a West Travis County Public Utility Agency (WTCPUA) meeting. I learned a few things that you often don’t discuss in the classroom but that influence the effectiveness of policy implementation. My two key findings are that policy should be tailored on a case by case basis, and effective communication is key.

 

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Aquifer Storage and Recovery: HB 655 Reduces Red Tape

Aquifer Storage and Recovery: HB 655 Reduces Red Tape

Reservoir-building is a Texas tradition – approximately 40 percent of the state’s water supply comes from these man-made lakes. While reservoirs are Texas’s traditional method of water storage, they are terribly inefficient. They lose large amounts of water to evaporation, sometimes over 40 percent of their storage. Total evaporation for the Highland Lakes was 192,404 acre-feet in 2011 – that’s more than the entire City of Austin’s 2011 water use (168,334 acre-feet). 

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Explore Texas Water Policy

Welcome to the new and improved Texas water policy resource website! This website has been in the works primarily as a way for a group of graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin to share thoughts and ideas on water policy issues. We migrated our previous blog to this site and have added--and will continue to add--some great additional content. 

Check out our previous blog posts for individual perspectives on various topics. We've also compiled an extensive list of water words, agencies, and acronyms relevant to Texas--most with links to explore each further. 

As a part of our initial interdisciplinary collaboration as a student group, we selected topics and assessed the current status of state policy concerning each topic. Check out our policy analyses on groundwater conservation districts, interstate and international water, municipal utility districts, groundwater and surface water, water and energy, and rivers, bays, and estuaries. In these assessments you can find general background information related to each topic. 

We hope that this website will provide you with all the information you need to have knowledge-based and well-rounded discussions about all things water in Texas. If you want news and updates, subscribe to our blog on the right hand side of this page underneath the category list. Thanks for visiting!

“The Water of the Future will be Expensive Today”

“The Water of the Future will be Expensive Today”

Guest Author

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy boldly claimed, “If we could produce fresh water from salt water at a low cost, that would indeed be a great service to humanity, and would dwarf any other scientific accomplishment.” Today, as populations increase and water supplies are stretched, we are still hunting for ways to produce fresh water at a low cost. On November 6, 2014 in Austin, the Texas Water Development Board adopted rules needed to fully implement the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas, the $2 billion funding mechanism meant to provide low-cost loans for water projects in Texas.

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The 2011 Texas Drought: its impacts and implications

The 2011 Texas Drought: its impacts and implications

by Behni Bolhassani

Drought and excessive heat are nothing new to Texans. These are, and will continue to be, facts of life in Texas. Fast growing urban areas intensify the impacts. In recent years, the severity and persistence of drought and heat has taken a toll on the Lone Star State. Current drought contingency plans are not enough to address the challenges and to initiate proper responses. The 2011 conditions reflected the failure of current management policies and emphasized the need for prudent reactions before the next inevitable drought.

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