Symposium mulls ‘climate change’

Symposium mulls ‘climate change’

  • November 30, 2017
  • News

A Texas Water Symposium titled “Climate and Water in Central Texas: Planning for a Changing Resource,” was held earlier in November at Schreiner University and recorded for broadcasting on Texas Public Radio. The public was invited to the free symposium to hear moderator Weir Labatt and a panel of four experts discuss water conservation and climate change; and could ask questions after their presentations… Read more from Hill Country Community Journal

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Fast-growing Hays cities partner to build $225 million water pipeline

Fast-growing Hays cities partner to build $225 million water pipeline

Officials in Hays County cities and others along the Interstate 35 corridor are moving forward with a $225.8 million deal to secure a long-term water supply for the rapidly growing region. The coalition of agencies has permits in hand and financing underway to start construction next year on a 95-mile pipeline to pump groundwater from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer east of Lockhart in Caldwell County. The pipeline will bring an additional 13 million gallons of water per day to San Marcos,…

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TCEQ Punts on Water Rights Fight on the San Saba River

TCEQ Punts on Water Rights Fight on the San Saba River

  • November 28, 2017
  • News

In the latest volley in a decade-long fight over water rights on the San Saba River in Central Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has delayed implementing a permanent solution to ensure the river flows year round. As the Observer reported in October, a 40-mile stretch of the river has repeatedly dried up between Menard and Brady. Landowners who live downstream charge that their neighbors upstream are to blame for illegally pumping more water than their permits allow, and TCEQ hasn’t settled…

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Kyle officials find temporary fix for failing wastewater plant

Kyle officials said Tuesday that they’ve come up with fixes for the city’s wastewater treatment plant, which experienced a mechanical failure Sunday morning. City staff will install a temporary pump system at the malfunctioning plant this afternoon that will mimic the function of the broken part. Division Manager Jason Biemer said the city hopes to have the pump running by Tuesday night… Read more from Statesman.com

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Wastewater plant issue could lead to partially treated effluent in Plum Creek

Wastewater plant issue could lead to partially treated effluent in Plum Creek

  • November 27, 2017
  • News

Kyle city officials are scrambling to rectify an issue at the city’s wastewater treatment plant that, if left unfixed, could release up to one million gallons per day of partially treated effluent into Plum Creek. The issue took place Sunday when the center well bearing system at the Kyle WWTP 1 suffered “significant component failure,” according to a city press release. According to the city, Plant 1 is approximately 20 years old. The bearing system is the main part of…

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Six oil operators, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation form partnership

Six oil operators, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation form partnership

  • November 27, 2017
  • News

Partnerships and joint ventures are nothing new among Permian Basin oil operators, but a new partnership just announced takes a unique approach. Six companies with significant operations in the Permian Basin – Anadarko Petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil’s subsidiary XTO Energy, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum and Shell Oil are teaming up with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to form the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative to support conservation projects in the region. The initiative is designed to identify significant conservation opportunities to…

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David Yeates: The Massive Urban-Rural Imbalance in Texas

David Yeates: The Massive Urban-Rural Imbalance in Texas

Anyone who has heard me speak publicly on natural resource conservation in Texas knows that I invariably bring the discussion around to the enormous urban/rural imbalance that we find ourselves in here in our great state. Texas is a private property state, given our unique history as an independent republic before joining the United States.  Therefore, the vast majority of our open spaces are held in private ownership. As our state’s economy develops, demographics shift, and agricultural practices become more efficient,…

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Humans at fault for many nuisance species spoiling state’s environment

We should have our hands slapped over some of the things we’ve done in this state by letting plants and animals run wild. Think about it: We now have tens of thousands, probably more, of exotics — axis deer, black bucks, fallows, oryx, etc. — throughout the Hill Country. And while they do offer some income potential for landowners, they also swiftly overwhelm native animals such as whitetails and the habitat on which they live. We have zebra mussels in…

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Our nights are brighter, and brighter

Of course, our night skies are more washed with artificial light than those of our ancestors, but apparently – despite the efforts of groups such as the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) – Earth’s night skies are still getting brighter. A landmark study released November 22, 2017 found both light pollution – and energy consumption by lighting – steadily increasing. The study is based on five years of satellite images. The data show gains of two percent per year in the…

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Want dark? Go to Big Bend Ranch, which just earned dark sky status

Want dark? Go to Big Bend Ranch, which just earned dark sky status

  • November 22, 2017
  • News

When the sun sets on a moonless night at rugged and remote Big Bend Ranch State Park, the night wraps around you like a black velvet cloak. This week, the 315,000-acre park announced its designation as an International Dark Sky Park. Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, with a combined area larger than the state of Rhode Island, now form one of the largest contiguous areas under dark-skies protection in the United States… Read more from…

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