Proceeds from the Wine Wingding fundraiser on Nov. 17 in Dallas will support much-needed water conservation education in North Texas. 

Nov. 10, 2015

Clean Water Fund proposes to turn wine into water next Tuesday. That hoped-for miracle at the nonprofit’s “Wine Wingding” fundraiser on Nov. 17 in East Dallas is more desirable than wine-lovers may think.

Keeping the entire water supply of North Texas pure and renewably supplied for the burgeoning future – that’s Clean Water Fund’s long-term aspiration. Tall order. For the present, there’ll be plenty of wine, beer and other beverages to enjoy, heavy hors d’oeuvres to munch on and auction items to buy – all to help grow CWF in North Texas.

David Foster, executive director of Clean Water Fund and Clean Water Action in Texas, will be on hand from Austin to regale attendees with tales of challenges and triumphs in the water wars.

Stoney’s Wine Lounge in East Dallas hosts the Wingding, CWF Texas’ first to fund expansion of the North Texas organization. Water users here arguably need more help than residents of other Texas regions, says Rita Beving, North Texas Outreach Coordinator.  

The Texas group focuses on water quality and water preservation for the future and counts many major successes, as does its parent organization. Established in 1974 and based in Washington, D.C., Clean Water Fund operates locally staffed environmental and health protection programs serving communities in more than 20 states. CWF first came to Texas in 1988. 

Rita Beving, the 2014 winner of the Green Source DFW Sustainable Leadership Award for nonprofit professional, is the North Texas Outreach Coordinator for the Clean Water Fund.

Recently, the Texas office gathered citizens’ comments and formal resolutions statewide to back EPA's Clean Water Rule, renewing protections against illegal dumping in streams and wetlands.  CWF also made enquiries of state and federal agencies on the condition of Texas aquifers – a good question, with aquifers that have stored water for millennia at historic lows. The effort led the 2015 Texas Legislature to enact programs for aquifer mapping and analysis of water quality and quantity. 

Texas CWF also evaluated water conservation programs of 50 cities in DFW’s state water district, Region C, and critiqued Region C's water plan to the Texas Water Development Board that’s responsible for implementing water resources.   

That’s where the need for extra help comes in. 

“Dallas uses an average of 203 gallons per person a day, which is about what the statewide average was 15 years ago," said Beving. "That's why we are so high in the eyes of the state. Fort Worth is at 165 gpcd (gallons per capita per day). And the statewide goal for cities to try and reach is 140 gpcd per the Texas Water Development Board.”

Not only do we – or our emerald-green lawns – have a drinking problem, our Region C water plan relies on water strategies that are widely questioned. Region C’s position, as typified by some observers, amounts to “New Reservoirs? Yes! Conservation? What’s that?" It’s not that Region C’s plan doesn’t mention conservation, it does. However, there are no teeth in the conservation planning, Clean Water Fund’s research showed. Specific water-saving goals are not requested of towns in the region, and watering restrictions in drought seasons are neither uniform nor mandatory. 

Critics include renewable technology producers, outside engineers and residents complaining over rising water bills on local TV news.

CWF wants to see Region C use “new and better technologies that our region hasn’t tried,” says Beving. 

That and more will be aired when David Foster takes the floor.

The goals of the funding campaign include physical office space – a requirement by some funders – and increased staffing. 

Beving says, “We need full-time staff to expand the program here and be a bigger presence” where they are most needed.

 

EVENT INFO 

What: Wine Wingding, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Who: Clean Water Fund

Where: Stoney’s Wine Lounge, 6038 Oram St, Dallas.

Tickets: $30 singles (includes 1 beverage ticket), $50 couples (2 beverage tickets)

RSVP: By Nov. 14 via www.CleanWater.org/DallasWineWingding

Info: Rita Beving, 214.557.2271  or  [email protected]

 

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