November 22, 2011
Baylor 45, Oklahoma 38.
Actually, let’s get some more context on that:
There you go.
Oh, and by the way, the Austin High lacrosse team went 8-0 this weekend at its tournament at the Hampshire Dome in Nashua, N.H.
Suffice it to say that it was a big sports weekend in the Watson household, even if the Watson household was about 2,000 miles away from the actual Watson house. I’m pretty sure my breathing’s back to normal.
Texas House of Representatives:
My district, Senate District 14, still looks a lot like it did following the legislative session. Unfortunately, and unnecessarily, Travis County still gets split among four different state senators, though Austin and Travis County appropriately remain the anchor of District 14.
More generally, these new maps create more opportunity districts for minorities across the state. They’ll allow communities of interest to elect the candidates of their choice. And they fix discriminatory problems from the previous map, particularly in Dallas and Tarrant Counties and along the southern border.
Stay tuned for more news about redistricting – and the always-controversial congressional maps – later next week.
There was also a bit of news last week on Texas’ water situation.
The executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality decided on Thursday to recommend that the Lower Colorado River Authority be given more flexibility in how it manages water supplies during brutal droughts like this one.
Among other things, he said the LCRA should have the power to protect water supplies for people living in both larger cities and smaller communities, as well as for industries that are vital to the Texas economy. That flexibility could also require the LCRA to curtail water for some customers, including many agricultural customers, whose rights to surface water are “interruptible” under the law.
This wasn’t an easy choice, but it was the right one. More than that, it demonstrates the difficult situation that really all of us face given Texas’ limited water resources, the crippling drought conditions, and the stubborn (bordering on – if not in fact – irresponsible) failure by those in control of state government to implement the state’s long-range water plan.
The state still hasn’t created a state-wide framework for water conservation, even though the water plan itself says that almost a quarter of our future water supply will need to come from conservation measures, and we’re still waiting for the projects that the water plan calls for.
Now, the TCEQ’s decision (should the commission certify it next month) won’t add to our region’s water supply. Nor will it avert even harder decisions if this terrible drought gets worse.
But this drought, and these sorts of difficult choices that the drought’s forcing, should focus all of us.
Individually, we must each do our part in conserving and protecting this essential resource. And while state agencies should be commended for addressing a tough situation the best way they know how, legislators must respond to this crisis. Without a real, honest commitment to implement the state’s water plan, the hard choices facing Texans in and out of government will only get harder.
It’s time to take action and make sure that our children, grandchildren and future generations have access to the same clean, reliable water supply that’s fueled our lives and economy.