time to get serious about water conservationAs Texas moves deeper into another hot summer and closer to the 2013 legislative session, Clean Water Action is urging state lawmakers to get behind a comprehensive water conservation strategy. The Texas Water Development’s Board “Water for Texas 2012” plan concludes that the state will not have enough water to meet future needs, given current patterns of consumption and projected population growth through 2060. Rising temperatures, declining rainfall and greater evaporation rates from surface water will increase stress on Texas waterways, including Central Texas rivers and reservoirs. Action is needed now to secure this region’s future water needs.
perdernales electric delays action on clean energy...again
In May, the Pedernales Electric Co-operative’s board postponed its decision on whether to deepen commitments to energy efficiency and solar programs, disappointing Clean Water Action and other clean energy advocates. With more than 200,000 household members in a vast service area stretching from Central Texas to Junction, the PEC is the nation’s larges electric co-op. The PEC adds thousands of new customers each year as population grows, especially in the booming Austin area.
a better bluebonnet?
Bluebonnet Electric serves 80,000 customers in a 14-county area along Austin’s eastern edge. The electric co-op’s service area is growing rapidly, and the member-owned utility expects to add 40,000 more customers by 2020, mostly in new subdivisions along the State Highway 130 corridor. Bluebonnet does not generate its own power, but instead purchases electricity from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and resells it to homes and businesses along the co-op’s power lines.
the time for solar is now
There has never been a better moment for Austin homeowners to invest in solar than now.
Austin Energy rebates, federal tax credits, and a newly approved premium price that Austin will pay for energy produced by rooftop solar combine to make it a bargain. The rebates can cut the price of an array of panels — typically around $12,000 for a 5 kilowatt system — by about half.
water drinkers catch a break
In an important victory for Clean Water Action members, the Austin Water Utility (AWU) is restructuring its water rates. The new rates will lower costs for households using the least amount of water, while increasing costs for those using the most water. This creates a financial incentive to conserve water and provides rate relief for households of limited means, most of whom also consume much less water.
Nothing proves the need for a strong federal role in protecting our environment better than Texas’ failure to regulate hydraulic fracturing. ‘Fracking’ is a process for extracting natural gas and other hydrocarbons from shale formations. It involves injecting a mixture of sand, water and chemicals — including diesel — under high pressure. This creates fissures in the rock, releasing the fossil fuels. The process was pioneered in Texas in the 1990s, and thousands of new wells are being drilled here each year — and in Colorado, Pennsylvania, California, and other states.
As Texas moves deeper into another hot summer and closer to the 2013 legislative session, Clean Water Action is urging state lawmakers to get behind a comprehensive water conservation strategy. The Texas Water Development’s Board “Water for Texas 2012” plan concludes that the state will not have enough water to meet future needs, given current patterns of consumption and projected population growth through 2060. Rising temperatures, declining rainfall and greater evaporation rates from surface water will increase stress on Texas waterways, including Central Texas rivers and reservoirs.
Texas’ population is projected to nearly double by 2060, with Central Texas growing even more rapidly. Population of the five-county Austin region (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson) grew by over 41% from 2000 to 2010. Our limited water resources will have to meet the needs of more people.
Environmental Groups Praise EPA’s First-Ever Clean Air Protections for Fracking
Agency Takes Important First Step to Protect Air Quality and Public Health
Washington, D.C.—On April 18 environmental groups praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) vital updates to nationwide air quality protections to include oil and natural gas production. This is the first federal safeguard aimed at curbing air pollution from hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking.’
is it dry enough for you?
Epic Drought: A Wake-Up Call for Conservation Planning
For more than two years now, Clean Water Action has been sounding the alarm about the looming water crisis. Continued population growth in Texas, a warming climate and fre-quent drought all prove the urgency of the need. Communities must ramp up water conservation programs now. Austin and other Central Texas cities need to shift their spending on expensive new water treatment and distribu-tion infrastructure to smarter investments in using available water supplies more efficiently. Clean Water Action has made this case repeatedly in meetings with decision makers across the region.