Austin’s on the wrong side of the 100th meridian

Austin’s on the wrong side of the 100th meridian

The invisible line that divides the arid western part of the country from the wetter eastern half is on the move, and that has important implications for the Texas capital. Meet Robert Lee. Not the Confederate general, the town. Robert Lee, Texas is a ranching community of 1,025 that lost its only source of water to the second-worst drought in recorded state history. By August 2011, Lake E.V. Spence, a praying-mantis-shaped, man-made reservoir once revered for its striped bass fishing,…

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One Water: The future of land and water in Central Texas

One Water: The future of land and water in Central Texas

For centuries, the Texas Hill Country has been a region defined by its water resources. Early European settlers traced the paths of the San Antonio, Nueces, Guadalupe, and Colorado Rivers, following their rocky beds, spring-fed tributaries, and shallow draws, no doubt noting every seep and spring along the way. Before the Europeans, numerous tribes of indigenous peoples hunted, gathered, and fished along these same creeks and rivers. Evidence of their preference for the rivers and the spring sites of the Hill…

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Hays County residents fear the fight to protect their water was all for nothing

Hays County residents fear the fight to protect their water was all for nothing

Hays County residents thought their water was saved. Houston-based Electro Purification had plans to pump 5.3 million gallons of water per day from the Trinity Aquifer. The area wasn’t regulated by any groundwater conservation district, meaning the water was considered the company’s private property and it could pump as much as it pleased, even if it meant running neighbors’ wells dry. A 2015 law changed that, annexing the company’s leased parcels of land into the control of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District.…

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State Lawmakers: who owns the right to groundwater?

State Lawmakers: who owns the right to groundwater?

Many rural groundwater conservation boards are considering or have already decided to export some of their water to nearby urban centers. Farmers are concerned the state is developing a Robin Hood system for its water needs, one where landowners lose. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has asked the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs to examine, ahead of the 2019 legislative session, whether regulations set up by groundwater conservation districts sufficiently protect the rights of landowners to their own…

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River cane eradication digs into third year

River cane eradication digs into third year

The joint project to eradicate Arundo donax, also called river cane or giant cane, is going into its third year along Barons Creek and Town Creek in and around Fredericksburg. The project combines Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Transportation, City of Fredericksburg and the Hill Country Alliance in an effort to rid the area of the invasive and fast-growing plant in river basins. Read more from the Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post.

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Aquifer district presents plan to harness EP

Aquifer district presents plan to harness EP

Almost 200 Hays County residents crammed into the Wimberley Community Center Monday to hear the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s (BSEACD) recommendation on a 2.5 million gallon per day pumping permit by Electro Purification (EP). BSEACD general manager and staff recommended a plan for Electro Purification’s pumping permit, which originally called for 2.5 million gallons per day of water to be pumped from the Trinity Aquifer. The forum was hosted by BSEACD to discuss the staff’s recommendation to the…

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EP request is an alarming threat to groundwater

“In 2014, when Electro Purification Corporation (EP) planned to pump massive amounts of water from the unregulated portion of the Trinity Aquifer in Hays County, residents worked with BSEACD to bring this region under regulatory oversight. We were successful in the 2015 legislative session and BSEACD received authorization to expand its jurisdiction. Their added tasks are to protect groundwater resources, manage pumping and coordinate conservation over the Trinity Management Zones – the Upper, Middle and Lower Trinity Aquifer, that underlie…

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The Fight for Comal County

The Fight for Comal County

“We’re literally loving the Hill Country to death.” These words of warning did not fall on deaf ears at a packed public forum, “Local Control Options for Hill Country Counties,” on June 5 at GVTC Auditorium. Attendees learned the only real chance they have of gaining local control over infrastructure projects that encourage growth is to bug their legislators to change Texas law so that it gives counties more zoning authority over development… Read more at mycanyonlake.com  

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Comal County Conservation Alliance moving forward with preservation efforts

Comal County Conservation Alliance moving forward with preservation efforts

Late last year, a group of concerned citizens began a conversation about land conservation in Comal County. As a result, a domestic nonprofit has been formed centered around conserving open spaces and other natural resources in the nation’s second-fastest growing county. On May 8, the Comal County Conservation Alliance received its official domestic nonprofit certification from the Secretary of State. Consistent participation from 30-35 landowners in the county helped move efforts along to forming the nonprofit group, said Katherine Romans, executive director…

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Do zebra mussels in our lakes have an upside? State experts say no

Do zebra mussels in our lakes have an upside? State experts say no

  • June 19, 2018
  • News

An animal the size of a grain of sand with the growth potential of about an inch and half has infested Lake Travis. Its sharp shell can cut up lakegoers’ feet and its rapid reproduction can cause economic and ecological damage. In less than a year, the population of zebra mussels in Lake Travis has boomed and found its way downstream to Lake Austin. Because of the size of the lakes, eradication is an unlikely option. Does this invasive species have an…

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