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A crisis can be a valuable experience, if we learn from it. Most Texans are aware that we have been experiencing a chronic crisis for the past five years: a historic drought that has attracted national attention and radically reshaped how we think about water.

We have the opportunity now to learn from this current crisis. A 2014 study commissioned by the Texas Water Foundation finds that only 28 percent of Texans know where their water comes from; that’s the same percentage as in...

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A crisis can be a valuable experience, if we learn from it. Most Texans are aware that we have been experiencing a chronic crisis for the past five years: a historic drought that has attracted national attention and radically reshaped how we think about water.

We have the opportunity now to learn from this current crisis. A 2014 study commissioned by the Texas Water Foundation finds that only 28 percent of Texans know where their water comes from; that’s the same percentage as in 2004, the last time the study was carried out. Faith communities can play an active role in educating Texans about water stewardship.

The good news is, our state has taken to heart lessons learned from past crises. The previous drought of record, which occurred between 1945 and 1955, was the catalyst for the foundation of the Texas Water Development Board. The drought of the 1950s, which nearly crippled the state’s agricultural industry, demonstrated to Texans that we needed to plan for our water resources on a statewide level in order to be better prepared for future drought.

In 1997, the Texas legislature dramatically reorganized the way our state plans for the future of our water. Senate Bill 1, enacted by the 75th Texas legislature, established sixteen water planning regions to allow for a more regionally-focused and responsive approach to water planning. These regions correspond roughly to major river basins in the state, and the planning groups are made up of industry, municipal, and conservation leaders.

What these planning groups need—and invite, as planning group meetings are open to public comment—is the input of the people they serve. For our state’s water planning process to be successful, we all need to be informed and engaged participants. This can take many forms, from serving on a regional planning group to simply learning where your tap water comes from.

People are much more likely to want to conserve a body of water when it’s one that they know. If we can educate ourselves and others about our water—where it comes from, where it goes, and how we can help protect it—then we are that much more likely to become active participants in the stewardship of our state’s natural resources, and help preserve it for generations to come.

 

Event Date: 
Saturday, March 5, 2016 -
8:30am to 2:00pm

Rev. Sam Brannon will be discussing water planning in Texas at the Crossroads United Methodist Women's Lenten Retreat at Cathedral Oaks in Weimar, TX. Event registration begins at 8:30 AM, and the event will end around 2:00 PM.

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EngageWater Captains
Event Date: 
Saturday, February 27, 2016 -
8:00am to 3:00pm

Rev. Sam Brannon will be discussing water planning in Texas with United Methodist Women at the United Methodist Women Spring Celebration Spiritual Growth Retreat in Palestine, Texas. The event theme is "Let Your Light So Shine" and the keynote Speaker is Rev. Dr. Rhenel Y. Johnson. More event information is available at www.txconfumw.org.

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EngageWater Captains
Event Date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 6:00pm

At its February meeting, the El Cenizo City Council enjoyed an invited presentation on Water Captains. Water Captains coordinator Rev. Sam Brannon explained how the program engages local Texans in Texas' water planning process. Getting involved in regional water planning could provide new opportunities for safe water advocacy for small communities like El Cenizo, a former colonia.

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EngageWater Captains

When: December 5, 2015, 7AM

Where: Jacksonville United Methodist Church, 1031 SE Loop 456, Jacksonville, TX 75766, (903) 586-2494

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EngageWater Captains

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