News Digest - March 31, 2020

There have been 2,877 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Texas, 325 were reported on Monday, March 30th. A vote last week by the Texas Public Utilities Commission will ban utilities from cutting off power and water services to those Texans who have lost jobs and income during the ongoing public health crisis.

The EPA has recommended that state leaders define drinking water and wastewater employees as essential workers when enacting restrictions such as shelter in place. And while that work is obviously essential even in light of a health emergency, in Texas, essential infrastructure and flood planning may see funding cut as unspent rainy day funds are rerouted to a state government facing unexpected shortfalls.

A Wyoming company is working to bring cattle ranchers and oil producers together to reuse produced water. Encore Environmental, an agricultural midstream company, has a database with information on the water and oil produced by each well in Wyoming. With regulatory approval, two industries that work with small margins in an unforgiving and arid environment may find a new synergy.

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