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Out Of Excuses; Secure Hill Country’s Fragile Water

Out of excuses; Secure Hill Country’s fragile water

Here’s something we don’t get to say very often: It’s been a promising month for water in the Hill Country. With record sprawl pushing ever westward from I-35 and climate change threatening an age of Texan megadroughts, the water future of the Hill Country has looked increasingly fragile. Yet this month’s passage of a bipartisan infrastructure package with $55 billion directed toward the water sector — combined with the development of major new water reuse planning resources directed specifically at…

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Texas Adopts New Management Rules For Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer

Texas adopts new management rules for chronic wasting disease in deer

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a new chronic wasting disease management rule package  Thursday, regulations mostly geared toward the state’s deer breeding industry. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff believe the update was necessary because the previous CWD rules were deemed inadequate to prevent the transmission of the always-deadly disease in the wake of a recent outbreak in more than 30 CWD-positive deer at seven facilities across the state.   Read more from Matt Wyatt with the Houston…

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White House To Review Floodplain Building Codes In Response To Petition

White House to review floodplain building codes in response to petition

The White House on Tuesday announced a series of new proposals for climate initiatives, including new building standards for structures in flood-vulnerable areas. In the fact sheet, the Biden administration announced a comment period for an update to the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) standards for floodplains. The last major update to the standards took place in 1976.   Read more from Zack Budryk with The Hill here.

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EPA Announces The Expected Availability Of $21.7 Million In Grant Funding To Support Rural And Small Water Systems

EPA announces the expected availability of $21.7 million in grant funding to support rural and small water systems

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it expects to issue by October 15th a $21.7 million grant funding opportunity for technical assistance and training providers to support small drinking water and wastewater systems that are often located in rural communities across the United States. EPA’s funding will improve public health and environmental protection by helping ensure that drinking water in these communities is safe and that wastewater is treated and responsibly returned to the environment.   Read…

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If You Think The Texas Electrical Grid Is Fragile, Take A Look At Our Water Infrastructure

If you think the Texas electrical grid is fragile, take a look at our water infrastructure

In August, during the second special session of the 87th Texas Legislature, the Texas Capitol flooded. After the water stopped cascading down the pink granite walls inside the Capitol extension, the Legislature resumed its deliberations. The August flood was preceded by February’s severe winter storm. Hundreds of Texans died in the cold and dark after days without power and, in some places, without water.   Read more from Todd H. Votteler on the Dallas Morning News here.

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Already, 18 Weather Disasters Costing At Least $1 Billion Each Have Hit The U.S. This Year

Already, 18 weather disasters costing at least $1 billion each have hit the U.S. this year

This year is on pace to be one of the most active and costliest years for disasters in the United States. Through the first nine months of 2021, the U.S. has endured 18 separate weather and climate disasters that have cost at least $1 billion, according to the latest report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Read more from Kerrin Jeromin with the Washington Post here.

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25% Of All Critical Infrastructure In The US Is At Risk Of Failure Due To Flooding, New Report Finds

25% of all critical infrastructure in the US is at risk of failure due to flooding, new report finds

As a massive investment to repair roads and adapt to climate change faces an uncertain fate in Congress, a new report finds much of the country's infrastructure is already at risk of being shut down by flooding. And as the planet heats up, the threat is expected to grow. Today, one-in-four pieces of all critical infrastructure in the US — including police and fire stations, hospitals, airports and wastewater treatment facilities — face substantial risk of being rendered inoperable by…

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Building The Texas Water Data Hub From The Ground Up

Building the Texas Water Data Hub from the ground up

Roughly five years ago, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation began gathering a small group of Texas water data stakeholders to discuss opportunities to improve decision-making in the water space by improving access to the data that decisions are based on. Through those discussions, the seed for the Texas Water Data Hub was planted. However, before cultivating a hub, it was critical to conduct a gut check with the Texas water community to determine if such an effort would be…

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Biedermann Declines Reelection In District 73

Biedermann declines reelection in District 73

After nearly six years in the Texas House of Representatives, Fredericksburg Rep. Kyle Biedermann on Wednesday announced he would not seek a fourth term representing District 73. His statement, posted on his Facebook page just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, hinted at another run for public office closer to home. Meanwhile, former New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel announced he’ll seek the GOP nod in District 73, with social worker Justin Calhoun saying he’ll seek the Democratic nomination.   Read…

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Republicans Say Texas’ New Political Maps Are “race Blind.” To Some Voters Of Color, That Translates As Political Invisibility.

Republicans say Texas’ new political maps are “race blind.” To some voters of color, that translates as political invisibility.

As they devised political maps to maximize their hold on power for another decade, Texas Republicans laid the foundation for a crucial argument they may need in defending their handiwork against multiple legal challenges claiming they are discriminating against Texans of color. Their pursuit of partisan advantage produced new districts giving white Republican voters even greater say in deciding who represents Texans in Congress and the Legislature. Despite overwhelming population growth among people of color in the state, the power…

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