Archive for ‘Uncategorized’ posts

Proposition 6 and Local Debt Levels in Texas

We recently blogged about a Columbia University study showing that there is a correlation between rising water rates and utility debt levels.  The study found, by way of recap, that utilities across the country have increased water rates to pay off new infrastructure, and – somewhat unexpectedly – the higher rates depressed the demand for… Full Story

Water Infrastructure, Utility Debt Levels, and Rates

The Columbia University Water Center recently released a fascinating report it produced with Veolia Environment and Growing Blue that examines the rising debt levels and rate increases across American municipal water utilities.  The report correlates survey data collected from the American Water Works Association with demographic and meteorological data and identifies several patterns and trends… Full Story

Water Usage Reporting and Cancellation

The impact of the current drought has been well chronicled, in government reports, in economic postmortems, in endless news accounts showing images of cracked earth, emaciated cattle and stranded boats.  But for all of the misery that the drought has inflicted, and for all the analysis it has inspired, we still have a far-from-perfect understanding… Full Story

The Accuracy and Inaccuracy of Anti-Prop 6 Arguments

With the November 5 election just two weeks away, the supporters and opponents of Proposition 6 have marshaled their forces and deployed their best arguments.  The proposition’s backers have even enlisted Nolan Ryan, that Texan extraordinaire, who in a new TV spot poses before what looks like a cattle pond and encourages baseball fans: “Don’t… Full Story

The 180-Day Threshold: When Water Supplies Become Critically Low

We recently blogged about the factors that H.B. 4/Proposition 6 would require the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to consider when allocating financial support from the new $2 billion water infrastructure bank. One of these factors is “whether there is an emergency need for the project, taking into consideration: (A) whether the applicant is included… Full Story

Endangered Species and Texas Water: Will the Whooping Crane and the Sharpnose Shiner Change the Course of State Law?

Water is the lifeblood of municipal, agricultural, and industrial development in the United States.  Shortages of freshwater, exacerbated by drought and inadequate infrastructure, threaten to cause regional crises and, ultimately, to limit growth. Freshwater shortages also cause harm to aquatic organisms and other wildlife that rely on ecosystems that have evolved in response to historic… Full Story

Requiring and Enforcing Drought Conservation Plans

Here in Austin, many Cap Metro buses have been emblazoned with ads reminding locals that Stage 2 watering restrictions remain in effect.  The ads feature big shapes and bold colors that seem to draw from the same palette that the Disney Channel does.  But for all the aesthetic flourishes and visual fun, the phrase “Stage… Full Story