TxWAC: Increasing Investments in Water Conservation
Spanning 5 of Texas’ 10 ecoregions and 7% of the state’s total land area, the Trinity River is a defining feature of the East Texas landscape. In addition to providing shade and wildlife habitat, including areas of urban forest in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, 5.5 million Texans depend on the Trinity as their primary water source, and 7.5 million people in the DFW area depend on the Trinity River water supply for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use.
Like many river systems across the state and country, water quality and quantity in the Trinity river system is under pressure from human activity such as population growth: Texas’ population of 29 million people is expected to double by 2050, further stretching water supplies that are already under pressure in some areas. Water conservation in Texas can be tough, as 95% of Texas lands are privately owned –– collaboration is needed to move the needle in the right direction.
We thank our lucky Lone Star there’s a collaborative solution laying the groundwork for water conservation in Texas: Texas Water Action Collaborative, or TxWAC.
A Collaborative Solution
Facilitated by Texan by Nature in collaboration with businesses, nonprofits, and governmental organizations, TxWAC launched the upper Trinity River Basin on World Water Day 2021. The collaborative began with a pilot program focused on Trinity River as a river system that is representative of both the threats facing water supplies and the opportunities for uniting conservation and industry across Texas.
55% of the Trinity River Basin is made up of agricultural lands used for crop cultivation or cattle ranching, both important economic activities in Texas. These water-intensive activities, along with population growth, groundwater depletion, and drought in the state, mean that Texas needs to take action now, with our water supplies being under greater pressure than ever.
Expanding Business Support for Conservation
The TxWAC works by matching project funders from the business and philanthropic sectors to water conservation projects that need funding. One or more business partners may fund projects at any given time to meet their environmental, social, and goverance goals. In 2021, TxWAC members PepsiCo, Meta, and Bonneville Environmental Foundation funded Ducks Unlimited’s restoration of 206 acres of wetland at the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area along the Trinity. The project creates wetland habitat for wildlife, including migratory birds, and improves overall water quality in the Trinity by reconditioning 200 million gallons of water each year. Lean more about this investment.
Through piloting TxWAC in the Trinity River Basin, Texan by Nature is developing a roadmap to effect positive change in river systems by accelerating the rate of funding for water conservation projects, which are an important piece to protecting water supplies across the state. With investment from the energy corporation Hess Corporation, TxWAC expanded to the lower Trinity River Basin in March 2022. Through the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, Texan by Nature is scoping the expansion of TxWAC to an additional river basin in Texas.
“Clean, healthy waterways are important to the state of Texas, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. This partnership with Texan by Nature on the TxWAC project is a great addition to the other water programs Hess is involved in and aligns with the commitment Hess has to clean water and addressing marine debris. We are excited to see the opportunities this brings forward.” – Brock Hajdik, Vice President for Gulf of Mexico at Hess Corporation.
The TxWAC Planning Team includes representatives from the following businesses and organizations:
- Bonneville Environmental Foundation
- Molson Coors
- North Texas Municipal Water District
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Tarrant Regional Water District
- Texas A&M AgriLife & Texas Water Resources Institute
- Trinity River Authority
- Texas Water Foundation
For a complete list of TxWAC business and conservation members, see the TxWAC page.
TxWAC’s mission is simple: benefit water resources in Texas through collaboration between conservation and business. Interested businesses and organizations may become TxWAC members at no cost. By becoming a member, you’re expressing interest in achieving TxWAC’s collaboration goals of improved water quality and quantity and joining the conversation about how to achieve those goals.
- If you have a project/program that needs funding within the Trinity River Basin, please complete the Conservation Efforts Survey.
- If you want to fund a project/program in the Trinity River Basin, please complete the Company/Funder Survey.
If you are interested in learning more about TxWAC, please contact Taylor Keys at email@example.com.
You can also get involved with TxWAC by attending the next bimonthly meeting this September 27, 2022 at 10 AM CT. REGISTER HERE or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the calendar invite.
Come on in, the water’s fine!
Visit https://texanbynature.org/projects/texas-water-action-collaborative/ for the latest!