News Digest - May 4, 2023

  • Across Texas, aging water infrastructure is causing breaks and leaks, leading to gallons of lost water and an increasing number of boil-water notices. "Over the last five years — between 2018 and 2022 — water entities have issued 55% more boil-water notices than they did over the previous five-year period." The problem is worse in rural areas, where pipes tend to be older and communities have less money to spend on repairing their infrastructure.
  • Epic Cleantec has created a beer made from greywater recycled from showers, laundry and bathroom sinks. While it is not for sale to the public, the beverage demonstrates how turning recycled waste into potable products can help tackle extreme drought.
  • The energy company Entergy is building a power plant in Port Arthur that can run on hydrogen, which burns with no greenhouse gas emissions, offering a glimpse into one possible future for fossil fuels. This technology may become imperative for many energy companies soon as the Biden administration is expected to announce historic power plant rules this month.
  • The EPA has announced proposed federal baseline water quality standards for Tribal Nation waterways, ensuring protections for over half a million people living on reservations. This proposed water quality standard is estimated to increase protections for 76,000 miles of rivers and streams and 1.9 million acres of lakes, reservoirs, and other open surface waters within Indian reservations, protecting aquatic life and the health of over half-a-million residents living within reservation boundaries.
  • This week's TWDB drought monitor map shows improvement across Central and Coastal Texas and some degradation in north Central Texas. The total area of the state impacted by drought has dropped to its lowest value since mid-February.

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