Tag Archives: Central Texas Drought

Lake Travis Party a Hit!

Austin Beyond Coal
Photo by Craig Nazor

Austin Beyond Coal sure knows how to throw a party!

Last Saturday, November 17th, the Austin Beyond Coal campaign hosted a great lakeside party at the Iguana Grill to kick off efforts in the lakes region to phase out the Fayette coal-fired power plant.

The Fayette Power Project is a 1,600 MW coal plant plant located in Fayette County, Texas that uses more than 5 billion gallons of water from our river and lakes every single year.  In a time of extreme drought, this is water that could be put to better use supporting our communities and farms, or simply being conserved.   As you’ll see in the pictures below, the fact that we are still in one of the worst droughts this state has every seen was very obvious while out on Lake Travis last weekend.

Lake Travis
Photo by Craig Nazor

Attendees heard from Austin Beyond Coal volunteers as well as Dr. Lauren Ross, an engineer who knows quite a bit about the relationship between water, coal and the LCRA; all of this while enjoying great food, great music from the Bouldin Creek Bobkat Band and a beautiful Texas sunset.

Bouldin Creek Bobkat Band
Photo by Craig Nazor

Missed out? No problem! For information on how to get involved in efforts to phase out of the Fayette coal plant and free up 5 billion gallons of water a year, email lydia.avila@sierraclub.org.

– Lydia Avila, Associate Field Representative for Beyond Coal

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All Dried Up? Ways to Survive the Texas Drought

The Guadalupe River is Dry above Canyon Lake!

We’ve all heard that Texas is in the grips of a severe drought and that people and wildlife are having a hard time as a result.  While we can’t control the weather, there are things that we can do everyday in our homes and businesses to help conserve water and ensure there is enough for people and the environment during these dry times.

We have assembled some of our favorite tips below.  Every drop of water saved is important and with no end in sight for this drought, it is necessary.  It all comes down to using only what you need.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are plenty more things that you can do to conserve water.  Find out what methods work for you and your family and go for it!

Top 10 Tips to Conserve Water:

  1. Only run the dishwasher or washing machine with a full load.  If it is time to replace either of these appliances, check in with your utility about rebates for water-conserving versions and purchase those instead.
  1. Water your lawn on the right day.  Are you odd or even?  Most Texas cities restrict outdoor water use to one or two days a week during times of drought. Save water and avoid fines by learning and following your city’s schedule.
  1. Catch the condensation from your AC unit and use it in your yard.  Depending on how your air conditioner is programmed, it can produce gallons of water per day.  Catch that water in a bucket and put it on your garden, shrubs and trees.
  1. Turn the water off when you brush your teeth. This simple step can save up to 8 gallons of water per day.
  1. Fix leaky faucets.  Leaky faucets can waste up to 7 gallons of water per day.  To check for leaks at home, read your water meter and avoid using water for 2 hours.  Read the meter again after this period.  If the amount is different you have a leak.
  1. Fix running toilets.  Running toilets can waste a lot of water.  Fix these leaks as soon as you find them.  Check with the manufacturer of your toilet for the proper replacement “flapper” to ensure maximum efficiency.
  1. Inspect your irrigation system. Have your system inspected by your water utility or a certified irrigator to make sure it is operating correctly, identify any problems and help you set it to run more efficiently.  Many cities offer free inspections.
  1. Install faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.  These water saving devices are cheap and easy to install.  Many utilities give them away to their customers.  Check with your utility and pick up a few extras to share with your neighbors!
  1. Install a high efficiency toilet. Toilets account for about 25% of water used in the home.  Depending on the age of your toilet, you can save up to 5 gallons per flush by replacing older models.  Check with your city for possible rebates.
  1. Make water conservation a whole-family activity.  Challenge your family members to think of new ways to save water and to be part of the solution

Want to learn more about water conservation?

Want to learn more about the drought? 

Posted by: Jennifer Walker, Water Resources Specialist, Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club