Keep Our Rivers Flowing
We should be doing everything we can to keep our rivers healthy and flowing. But instead of conserving water, oil companies and developers are lobbying Texas officials to let them drain more water from our rivers, leaving barely enough water for recreation and wildlife like Whooping Cranes. We can't stand by and let this happen, and that’s where you come in.
At stake: the lifeblood of Texas
Canoeing the Colorado on a hot summer afternoon. Watching turtles in the Comal. Rope swinging into the cool waters of the Guadalupe.
Our rivers are a big part of what makes living in Texas great. But even after a record drought, big developers and dirty energy companies keep on wasting water. As a result, there’s barely enough water for recreation and wildlife, from fish to Whooping Cranes.
One of the worst droughts in history
2011 was the worst single-year drought ever and we’ve seen little improvement since. In August, river water levels were less than 25 percent of normal and multiple rivers were at record lows. Lower water levels hurt habitat, threaten wildlife, strain drinking water supplies, and disrupt outdoor recreational activities.
Unfortunately, the state’s proposed plan for satisfying future water demand favors increased water withdrawals that could further harm our rivers. In many cases, the state has given permission for more water to be withdrawn from rivers than is actually available.
We have the technology to save 500 billion gallons
Many proven technologies can improve the efficiency of water use. Implementing more efficient irrigation technologies in agriculture, increasing the use of drought-tolerant plants and rainwater harvesting in landscaping, repairing leaking municipal water mains and other conservation efforts could save 500 billion gallons of water a year, enough to meet the needs of 9 million Texans.
Our chance to save our rivers
We all have to do our part to conserve and save our rivers. Fortunately, thanks to a new law we helped pass, Texas officials are required to double our investment in water conservation. But instead of conserving water, some dirty energy companies and developers are lobbying Texas officials to let them drain more water from our rivers.
Together, we can win
Our staff has been knocking on doors across the state to educate Texans about what’s at stake. We’re also meeting with state officials, researching water conservation solutions, and shining a spotlight in the media on the need to keep our rivers full and flowing with water.
But the real key to winning this fight is you. Across the state, thousands of our supporters have called or emailed state officials, signed petitions and spread the word to friends and family. With your support, we can let state officials know we’re serious about saving water and protecting our rivers.
- A new law we helped win could double our investment in conservation technology, which could save enough water to meet the needs of 9 million Texans. But Gov. Rick Perry and state officials are deciding right now whether to follow through.
- The Texas Water Development Board anticipates that 51 percent of new water supplies will come from rivers and streams as the state’s aquifers are increasingly depleted.
- Water withdrawals from the Guadalupe River have led to the deaths of 23 whooping cranes in the world’s only remaining migrating flock. Despite flows that are already inadequate, the 2012 state water plan includes proposals for more diversions from the river.
- In July 2012, 11 reservoirs across the state were still less than 10 percent full.