Sadly, a day without water is becoming all too common for Texans

For many Texans, “a day without water” is not an imagined experience—it’s just another day.

Some communities have never had running water. For the rest of us, experiencing days without water has become the rule rather than the exception. The one-two punch of climate-driven weather extremes and population growth have strained the state’s water supply and aging drinking and wastewater infrastructure.

Texas is more likely to issue a boil water notice than any other state, disproportionately affecting low-income, rural, and communities of color. Texans are also increasingly more likely to lose access to water following natural disasters. During Winter Storm Uri in 2021, 15 million Texans lost access to water. Just five years ago, Hurricane Harvey rendered drinking water unusable from Corpus Christi to Houston and Beaumont.

With increasing urgency, however, communities are responding by building resilience and protecting Texas’s water.

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation envisions a One Water future as a pathway toward water security and sustainability. And our grantees have been doing prodigious work to advance this vision, from coordinating responses to disasters to facilitating One Water adoption across the state.

For example, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Texas Living Waters Project, and Bayou City Waterkeeper have pursued freshwater protection through forward-looking policy and planning efforts. Recently, NWF published a report highlighting water loss due to aging infrastructure to help pinpoint areas for investment in upgrades.

West Street Recovery, founded in response to Hurricane Harvey, is working with Houston communities to organize and advocate for equitable water assistance and justice.

Communities Unlimited has been working to help small, rural, and often low-income communities by providing deep technical assistance in accessing state and federal funds for water.

While it’s a reality that many face every day, we’re confident that through the great work of these and other organizations, we can protect Texas’s water and equitably meet these increasing demands for water across the state.

Dr. Emily Warren is the director of land conservation and water programs at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation in Austin. She is responsible for leading the design of the land conservation and water program strategies and managing a grants portfolio to achieve the foundation’s sustainability goals.

< Go Back

© 2012-2024 Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.