Texans proudly say “everything is bigger in Texas”—and in a growing state grappling with a changing climate, the water challenges are certainly Texas-sized.
Texas has long been afflicted by cycles of devastating flooding followed by crippling drought. As Texas’ water supply diminishes and climate change shortens the recovery periods between these weather extremes, the state is at a critical crossroads.
The Texas Living Waters Project advocates for forward-thinking water management so that Texas communities and wildlife can thrive in this uncertain future. Together with its partners, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club and Galveston Bay Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation brings together water policy, science, and education experts to build a future with fresh water for every living thing.
Texas Living Waters Project works with local water providers and regional water planners to transform the landscape of water planning so that it is conservation-oriented and leaves enough fresh water in rivers and bays to support wildlife.
The project celebrated a big victory in 2018 when the City of Austin adopted a bold new 100-year water plan that applies innovative water conservation and reuse technologies to help the city become more drought- and flood-resilient.
Texas Living Waters Project’s legal team is a watchdog for Texas rivers, bays, and wildlife, as well as for the people whose livelihoods and family traditions depend on healthy waterways. Utilizing both its legal and scientific expertise, the project challenges environmentally destructive and costly water infrastructure projects, as well as poorly planned water use permits.
In a recent legal challenge to a water permit that threatened 250 miles of the Lower Colorado River, Texas Living Waters Project negotiated protections for 133,000 acre-feet of water flowing through the river—enough to flood 133,000 football fields each with a foot of water.
Texas Living Waters Project leads education efforts to change the ways in which Texans use water, making water conservation a part of the state’s culture and identity. The project’s efforts over the years have contributed to significant decreases in the amount of municipal water used per person.
Additionally, Texas Living Waters Project engages in education and outreach to demystify the Texas water planning process and encourage mutual engagement between Texas water planners and the community members who depend on them.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.