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 In many cases, the state has given permission for more water to be withdrawn from rivers than is actually available.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

News Release | Environment Texas

Senate Approves Aid for Communities Facing Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water

AUSTIN – This afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted to authorize funding to address drinking water contaminated with lead in Flint and other communities across the country.  The safe drinking water funding provisions were included in S. 2848, a bill to reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).  Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger issued this statement:  

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News Release | Environment Texas

Texas elected officials, industry leaders, and environmental organizations encourage Congress to invest in water infrastructure

AUSTIN –A group of bipartisan state legislators, business leaders and conservation and civic organizations wrote the Texas congressional delegation today urging them to invest in water infrastructure and address the growing problems with lead contaminated water.

The Senate version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill includes $4.8 billion in funding to address clean drinking water, removal of lead pipes and stormwater management, including a $220 million aid package to address the Flint, Michigan crisis, but the House version does not. The group is calling on Congress to make sure this additional $4.8 billion is included in the final package of the bill.

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Tyson among top water polluters in Texas

HOUSTON – Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest meat and poultry producers, generates the most animal manure of major companies surveyed nationwide, a new report said today. The Environment Texas Research & Policy Center study documented pollution from Tyson and four other major agriculture conglomerates, responsible for 44 percent of the pork, chicken, and beef produced in the U.S.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Corporate Agribusiness and the Fouling of America’s Waterways

Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides. Today’s agribusiness practices – from the  concentration of thousands of animals and their waste in small feedlots to the massive planting of chemical-intensive crops such as corn – make water pollution from agribusiness both much more likely and much more dangerous.

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Blog Post

River otter, today’s your special day | Russell Bassett

It’s International River Otter Awareness Day! Here are five reasons we appreciate these amazing creatures.

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