News Digest - October 5, 2022

  • Water systems were heavily disrupted after Hurricane Ian hit Florida, with nearly 50 boil-water advisories in effect last Friday. In some of the hardest-hit areas, the electricity went out, water was not coming out of the taps, and those with electric stoves were left with few options for clean water.
  • The El Paso Advanced Water Purification Facility, a project that will diversify water sources and reduce reliance on the Rio Grande, was recently awarded $20 million by the U.S. Department of the Interior. "El Paso is an outstanding model for Western communities on desalination, water reuse and overall efficiency."
  • On Monday, the Supreme Court began debating when wetlands are subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act. Environmentalists argue that ecosystems with significant connections to regulated bodies of water must be protected, but there is disagreement over which wetlands count as being directly connected to other bodies of water.
  • Conservation organizations and agencies across Texas are paying farmers to consume water more sustainably, a transaction known as a water trade. Farmers are encouraged to use efficient irrigation systems and are reimbursed for using less water or no water at all under this voluntary program.
  • This week's TWDB drought map shows an increase in drought conditions, and La Niña conditions will bring further drought expansion this fall and winter.

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