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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: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 3:45pm

It is always good to save water, but especially now when we're in the middle of a severe drought. To help you and your congregation focus on and conserve this precious, life-giving resource, we've compiled some ideas, organized into four categories: Stewardship, Worship, Instruction & Mission (SWIM). If you have other resources or ideas to share, please let us know!

Stewardship

  • Fix leaky faucets, pipes, and toilets (they can waste 20 to 200 gallons of water each day!).
  • Install low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads.
  • Install motion-activated water faucets on sinks.
  • Use native and drought-tolerant grasses and plants. These require less watering and maintenance. (Lawns use up to 20 times more water than native and drought-resistant species.)
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    Engage
Rio Frio running through Garner State Park

After the drought of record that lasted almost a decade in the 1950’s, Texas and Texans got very serious about water planning. During the 1960's up until the passage of Senate Bill 1 in 1997, water planning was very top-down in approach. Planning was largely done at the state level and then passed along to folks at the local level. Over the years, there developed a push to have more regional and local input—and buy in—in the water planning process in Texas.

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Learn
Event Date: 
Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 7:15pm

Texas’ water future has come into sharp focus as a result of the recent drought, but addressing our long-term water needs in a piecemeal, crisis-driven fashion risks our economic vitality and the stability of our communities. In 2013, lawmakers should commit to a systematic approach to ensuring the safety, reliability and affordability of Texas’ future water supply, beginning with an examination of current water-related funding streams and up-to-date project priorities.

Event Date: 
Monday, May 4, 2015 -
6:00pm to 7:30pm

Texas Impact, the state's oldest and largest interfaith network, invites you to attend a Better Neighbors presentation at Texas Impact´s new Weslaco offices co-located with the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association at 617 W. Expressway 83 on Monday, May 4, 2015, at 6:00 pm

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