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 In many cases, the state has given permission for more water to be withdrawn from rivers than is actually available.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.

If enough of us speak out, we can save Texas rivers.

 

 

Clean water updates

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Tyson Foods, Inc. is “one of the world’s largest producers of meat and poultry.” The company’s pollution footprint includes manure from its contract growers’ factory farm operations, fertilizer runoff from grain grown to feed the livestock it brings to market as meat, and waste from its processing plants.

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Due to overwhelming public support, the Clean Water Rule has now withstood every attack that polluters could muster in Congress - the Barrasso bill, the CRA measure, and now an attempted budget rider.  Polluters and their allies have played all their dirty water cards in Congress and lost.   

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Metzger, Smith: Our water infrastructure isn't up to task to handle pollution

Last month, more than 2 million gallons of raw sewage overflowed across Houston, the result of Halloween weekend rains swamping the sewage system.

The sheer volume of stormwater transmitted by roads and parking lots into sewers overwhelmed the capacity of the system and sewage was released to nearby bayous and ultimately to Galveston Bay.

Unfortunately, this wasn't an isolated incident - there are more than 40,000 sewer overflows every year in the United States. These events, along with other pollution picked up by stormwater, contribute to 80 percent of the major waterways in Greater Houston not being safe for swimming or fishing.

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