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Western Journalism and Media Fellowships

In Era of Drought, Texas Cities Boost Water Rates

Data Visualization
The Texas Tribune
June 12, 2012
Kate Galbraith, Western Enterprise Journalism Fellow
Scott Murray

Higher prices have a way of grabbing attention, and many communities across Texas are raising rates to pay for new water supplies and to encourage conservation amid concerns that the lingering drought may portend a broader water crisis. Water experts say it is about time Texans placed more value on this irreplaceable natural resource, given the state’s rapid population growth and fickle weather. But raising rates often triggers public resistance in a state that is wary of too much government.