Horseshoe Bay, Texas, Named International Dark Sky Community

Horseshoe Bay, Texas, Named International Dark Sky Community

  • November 30, 2015
  • News

In recognition of its exemplary efforts to preserve its naturally dark nighttime conditions, the International Dark-Sky Association announced today that it has designated the City of Horseshoe Bay, Texas, as an International Dark Sky Community. The city is only the eighth Dark Sky Community ever named in the United States, and it joins the City of Dripping Springs as the second International Dark Sky Community in Texas. Along with two nearby International Dark Sky Parks, the area boasts one of…

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San Antonio City Council Approves New Water Rate Structure

San Antonio City Council Approves New Water Rate Structure

City Council has unanimously approved increased water rates and rate structure, a strong display of confidence in the water utility’s ongoing efforts to diversify the city’s water supply and to encourage greater water conservation. The recent vote follows two years of study, deliberation, and debate over the city’s long-range water future and the Council’s unanimous vote in October 2014 to endorse the $3.4 billion Vista Ridge water project. Starting in 2016, San Antonio Water System (SAWS) will add four new usage and…

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SWIFT round two application period to open on Dec. 1

The Texas Water Development Board will open the application period for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) financial assistance program on December 1, 2015. This will be the second round of financial assistance made available through the SWIFT program. “The second round of SWIFT financial assistance is an important milestone for the TWDB and the state,” said TWDB Board Chairman Bech Bruun. “Thanks to the hard work of the TWDB staff and water entities around the state, demand…

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Rally to save the trees of Oak Hill, this Saturday

Rally to save the trees of Oak Hill, this Saturday

  • November 19, 2015
  • News

Oak Hill, Austin, TX: More than two hundred great oak trees stand to be damaged or lost if TxDOT moves ahead with the Oak Hill Parkway project as currently designed. An independent tree survey by Oak Hill resident Gerry Powell has documented and photographed 288 oak trees in the path of proposed expansion of US 290 West and SH 71 along Williamson Creek. Save Oak Hill, a grassroots group that formed out of concern for the rapid loss of treasured…

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New study maps Earth’s hidden groundwater for the first time

New study maps Earth’s hidden groundwater for the first time

A new study has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we’re using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry. Groundwater is an extremely precious resource, being a key source of sustenance for humanity and the ecosystems we inhabit. It resides beneath the Earth’s surface, ranges from…

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Austin Water Proposing permanent once-per-week watering restrictions

Austin Water Proposing permanent once-per-week watering restrictions

  • November 18, 2015
  • News

“Building on lessons learned during the drought, Austin Water is proposing to move to a permanent once-per-week watering schedule. Watering restrictions are our biggest water savings measure and the one-day-per-week restrictions, along with positive community response, were critical in keeping the Highland Lakes above emergency levels during the worst parts of the drought.”  Austin is seeking public input, a community meeting will be held December 2nd   Building on lessons learned during the drought, Austin Water is proposing to move…

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Is the Vista Ridge Groundwater Reliable? Who’s calling for it?

Is the Vista Ridge Groundwater Reliable? Who’s calling for it?

Thursday the San Antonio City Council will vote on a new SAWS rate structure being proposed in part to pay for Vista Ridge. “The controversial Vista Ridge water pipeline, if completed, will pump 50,000 acre-feet/year of Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer groundwater from a well field located in Burleson County.” Curtis Chubb takes a hard look while San Antonio’s largest business group is backing water rate increase. Commentary: Is the Vista Ridge Groundwater Reliable? November 16, 2015 by Curtis Chubb, The Rivard Report The…

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America’s $900 Million Parks Problem

America’s $900 Million Parks Problem

  • November 16, 2015
  • News

At the end of September, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has supported the creation and maintenance of greenways, trails and other outdoor spaces across the U.S. since its inception in the ’60s, expired. LWCF helps along everything from national parks to community ball fields, and with no definitive word yet on Congressional reauthorization, parks advocates are concerned. While offshore drilling generates $900 million annually for the fund (per the program’s set-up, taxpayer money isn’t used), Congress has often…

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Registration NOW OPEN for the 2016 Texas Land Conservation Conference

Registration NOW OPEN for the 2016 Texas Land Conservation Conference

The Texas Land Trust Council is excited to celebrate a milestone, the 20th Anniversary of the Texas Land Trust Conference is set for March 2 – 4, 2016 in Austin. This is an excellent program for everyone interested in land and water conservation in Texas, personally or professionally. Session topics and a schedule-at-a-glance are now available online as well as information about sponsoring and/or exhibiting   www.texaslandconservationconference.org  

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Saltcedar not the suck-up it once was thought to be

Saltcedar not the suck-up it once was thought to be

FORT STOCKTON — Saltcedar, an introduced species choking many Texas waterways, long has been a prime suspect in dwindling streamflows, but a Texas A&M AgriLife team has found that Tamarix, the plant in question, may have been accused falsely of that specific crime. Alyson McDonald, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service range specialist in Fort Stockton, said saltcedar probably was introduced into the U.S. as an ornamental shrub and windbreak plant in the early 1800s. The tree, any of several species…

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