Environmental group sues water pipeline partner for information

Environmental group sues water pipeline partner for information

  • March 17, 2016
  • News

Arguing that partners in a proposed multibillion-dollar water pipeline proposed for Austin’s eastern flank should divulge more information about the workings of the project, an Austin environmental group has filed an open records lawsuit in state District Court. The Save Our Springs Alliance is suing the nonprofit Central Texas Regional Water Supply Corp. to force it to hand over information about the pipeline route and pump stations, copies of the meeting minutes for the corporation’s board of directors, and correspondence…

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Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council Approves $1.4 Million in Grant Awards

Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council Approves $1.4 Million in Grant Awards

The Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council today approved land trust funding totaling $1.4 million for a wide array of conservation easements to help bring more than 14,300 acres of the state’s high-value working farm and ranch lands under long term protection. The Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP) received 12 funding applications for projects in 10 counties ranging in scope from working cattle ranches to rice production and crayfish farming. Habitats considered for conservation easements were…

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Rainwater Harvest as a solution to drought and flood?

Rainwater Harvest as a solution to drought and flood?

Stormwater is starting to get some serious attention in California, as the state’s drought enters a fifth year. Thanks in part to El Niño, rain has been surging through downspouts and gutters lately. And a lot of it: one storm in Los Angeles County, packing one inch of rainfall, means 10 billion gallons of water. The Oakland-based Pacific Institute estimates that rainfall captured in the San Francisco Bay Area and metro Southern California could, in a strong year, provide enough water…

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How much is the urban forest of Austin worth? More than you might think

How much is the urban forest of Austin worth? More than you might think

Trees within the city limits of Austin, Texas contribute nearly $34 million in ecosystem services to the community annually, according to a new report by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). From May to October 2014, researchers from the Texas A&M Forest Service collected data on characteristics like the size, species, and health of trees found on 206 one-sixth-acre plots scattered throughout Austin. They followed the protocols of the USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis program, which has collected information about the…

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Spring Break is here and it’s time to capture those bluebonnets! Be sure to submit your favorite shots to the HCA Photo Contest

Spring Break is here and it’s time to capture those bluebonnets! Be sure to submit your favorite shots to the HCA Photo Contest

Houston Chronicle – If you have driven down our state highways lately you have probably seen the state flower, the bluebonnet, dotting roadsides and grassy expanses. Yes, Lupinus texensis has returned, along with warmer temperatures. It was a warm winter that led to the little blue icons coming back a tad earlier than usual. The flowers should be around until early May, though some stragglers may remain longer. Consider your window to see them about six to eight weeks maximum.…

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The high cost of sprawl in San Antonio: a look at Hausman Road

The high cost of sprawl in San Antonio: a look at Hausman Road

  • March 16, 2016
  • News

” It’s sprawl relief, a costly fix to a traffic problem caused by unplanned growth. The result is that taxpayers across the city are paying the bill for upgrades needed in the aftermath of continuing suburban sprawl.” The Rivard Report – To understand the funding dilemma that city officials face as they manage an ever-sprawling San Antonio at the expense of investing in the urban core, look no farther than the Hausman Road Project in the 2012-2017 bond. The project,…

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Golden-cheeked Warblers return to the Hill Country

Golden-cheeked Warblers return to the Hill Country

  • March 16, 2016
  • News

Golden-cheeked Warblers (GCWA) are beginning to arrive within their Hill Country haunts. Many more of these birds will arrive over the next couple of weeks. The Golden-cheeked’s scientific name, Setophaga chrysoparia, translates to golden cheek moth eater; moth eater describing the genus which now includes most New World warblers. This federally endangered songbird is an attractive member of the wood-warbler family (Parulidae) and is a Texas breeding endemic. Golden-cheeked Warblers are overwhelmingly reliant upon that special Hill Country habitat association of…

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Arsenic persists in some Texas water supplies

Arsenic persists in some Texas water supplies

Drinking water systems serving 51,000 people in several dozen rural Texas communities exceeded federal drinking water standards for arsenic for more than a decade, according to a report to be published Monday by an environmental group. The Environmental Integrity Project’s report, titled “Don’t Drink the Water,” says the state should do more to warn Texans about the dangers of arsenic, a carcinogen. None of the water systems identified in the report are in the Austin area. They are chiefly in…

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Public comment period on draft 2017 State Water Plan is now open

Your voice matters! Texas Water Development Board is taking public comment on the draft 2017 State Water Plan. Here is HCA’s Water Planning page with a good explanation of the state water planning process, our written Public Comments for the proposed 2017 plan, and a sample set of comments that you may use as a template. Please submit your comments to PUBLIC-COMMENT@twdb.texas.gov. The public comment period for the Draft 2017 State Water Plan is now open. The Texas Water Development…

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Pipeline builder, through nonprofit, seeks $885 million state loan

Pipeline builder, through nonprofit, seeks $885 million state loan

  • March 11, 2016
  • News

The company contracted to build a pipeline for the San Antonio Water System has applied for an $885 million low-interest state loan to finance the project. SAWS officials have often said in public meetings and interviews that financing for the 142-mile pipeline that would deliver up to 16.3 billion gallons per year to San Antonio from Burleson County would come from bonds sold by Abengoa Vista Ridge. But on Feb. 5, Abengoa Vista Ridge, through its affiliated nonprofit, submitted the…

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