By Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises

March 16, 2016

The cost of water has been in the news in the Austin area over the past couple of weeks. Earlier this year, the lack of water due to an unprecedented drought captured the headlines. Then the Labor Day floods took center stage, and while they brought terrible destruction, they gave us a respite from the drought.

It now appears as though the respite may be brief as the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture drought monitor map shows that the watershed for the Highland Lakes has returned to between moderate and severe drought levels. With the return of drought conditions, it is important to note that the true value of water is determined by the cost of not having a safe, reliable supply of water.

The Value of Water Coalition is a partnership of public and private water agencies, business and community leaders, and national organizations united in communicating the importance of water to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of America. The Water Environment Association of Texas ( is a member association of the Water Environment Federation (, which is a participant in the Value of Water Coalition.

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