Graduate research study explores origin, quality of Pedernales water

Graduate research study explores origin, quality of Pedernales water

Sarah Zappitello, a graduate student in the Department of Biology at Texas State University, has published results from a year-long study determining the origin and quality of water carried by the Pedernales River. The research is part of a larger study facilitated by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment on the Pedernales River watershed. Zappitello’s research centered on finding the origin of surface water in the Pedernales River and involved intensive water testing of 100 different sites within…

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Katherine Romans selected as Executive Director of Hill Country Alliance

Katherine Romans selected as Executive Director of Hill Country Alliance

  • June 29, 2016
  • News

The Board of Directors of the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) is proud to announce the selection of Katherine Romans to serve as full-time executive director of HCA. The selection was made after a nationwide search. Katherine will fill the vacancy created when founding HCA executive director, Christy Muse, departed in February to join the Shield Ranch. “We could not be happier to have Katherine step into the role of Executive Director,” said Dr. Leo Tynan, President of the HCA board…

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TPW Commission Adopts Amended Deer Movement Rules

TPW Commission Adopts Amended Deer Movement Rules

  • June 22, 2016
  • News

After extensive public testimony, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission recently approved an amended set of regulations for artificial movement of deer by permit as part of the state’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) management plan. Adopted provisions are the result of extensive collaboration between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the deer breeding community and landowners to address concerns over the future of permitted unnatural deer movement qualifications following the discovery of CWD in…

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Sprawl Costs Americans $107 Billion a Year, Says Study

Sprawl Costs Americans $107 Billion a Year, Says Study

Urban sprawl isn’t a new phenomenon. But new analysis from City Observatory has finally quantified the cost of building cities that make us travel farther between the places where we live, work, and play. They call it the “Sprawl Tax.” Based on numbers from a 2015 Brookings report, the new study found that commuters in the country’s 50 largest metro areas pay an additional $107 billion a year in travel costs and time navigating the sprawl between work and home—at…

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STEVE NELLE: Misunderstood mesquite

A great deal of myth, misinformation and folklore surrounds mesquite ? the most common and most unpopular tree in West Texas. For decades, this attractive native tree has been maligned, abused and misunderstood. Yet mesquite survives and thrives, even in the midst of persistent drought and massive human efforts to eradicate it. The most pervasive myth about mesquite is that it uses exorbitant amounts of water and is responsible for the drying of aquifers, springs, creeks and rivers. Common sense,…

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Rising Water Level Lifts Spirit of Residents, Local Businesses

Rising Water Level Lifts Spirit of Residents, Local Businesses

  • June 20, 2016
  • News

More than four years ago, many Lakehills residents traded in their jet skis and boats for 4-wheelers and ATVs, said Kristin Eliason, who lives in the Brushy Creek subdivision next to Medina Lake. In a drought-ridden area like Medina Lake, there was no use for water sports equipment at her “lakeside” home. “It was barren,” Eliason said. “It was a totally different lifestyle (compared to now).” For the first time in nearly 10 years, Medina Lake has reached full capacity again. The sites and sounds…

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Nestlé Just Suffered a Major Defeat as Community Blocks Water Privatization

Hydrogeologist and spokesperson for Nestlé Waters North America, Eric Andreus, announced at a monthly township meeting in Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, last week that Nestlé had given up on its plans to pump 73 million gallons of water per year from the town’s local aquifer. Truth-out depicted the scene of the announcement: “The room erupted in cheers and for the first time since Nestlé began meeting with community members about the project, the company received a standing ovation.” The small town of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania,…

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Landowners Win Six Cases Over Compensation Claims Against Pipeline Company

Landowners Win Six Cases Over Compensation Claims Against Pipeline Company

  • June 15, 2016
  • News

A special commission appointed by District Judge Roy Ferguson to settle compensation claims in eminent domain lawsuits tied to the Trans-Pecos Pipeline has sided with landowners and against the pipeline company – Energy Transfer – in six of seven cases. The Dallas-based company has invoked its legal power to condemn land through eminent domain against multiple landowners in the Big Bend region whose property the pipeline will run through. Now, the six landowners have won awards in the hundreds of…

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Texas Supreme Court: Accommodation Doctrine Applies to Groundwater

On May 27, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC v. City of Lubbock.  Many Texas agricultural and water law attorneys were in Lubbock attending the State Bar of Texas Agricultural Law Continuing Legal Education Seminar.  As soon as the opinion was released, you should have seen everyone scurrying around! This case (on which I have previously blogged here) is extremely important for Texas landowners and groundwater owners.  For the first time, the Texas Supreme…

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USGS Map Reveals Long-Term Changes in America’s Groundwater Quality

Chloride and nitrate concentrations are rising and arsenic levels are holding steady or falling. Those are two of the conclusions from a U.S. Geological Survey assessment of changes in the nation’s groundwater quality in the last two decades. The federal science agency published the results on Thursday in an interactive online map. The contaminants in the assessment are a roster of two dozen undesirable intruders that can cause health and environmental damage if not cleansed before consumption: cancer-causing chemicals, radioactive…

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