The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation district held a meeting May 15th to discuss whether to grant new permits to outside businesses. "I think the whole state will be watching this," Steve Box, with Environmental Stewardship, told StateImpact Texas ahead of the hearing. Learn more from StateImpact Texas.
Are we listening to the next generation? 18 year-old Justin Wolfe writes, "The state’s next step ought to be to legislate groundwater as a public resource, so as to manage and regulate it effectively. Only by managing this resource can we ensure the longevity of our water system for generations to come." Read Justin's full article here.
The Texas Groundwater Protection Committee has announced the launch of its redesigned website. It’s the same great clearinghouse of groundwater information, just in a more user-friendly format.
The ongoing drought in Central Texas sapped the green out of many lawns – and spurred private well drilling in Austin. South of the Colorado River, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District has a tight hold on permitting for any well drilling. “But north of the river,” Slusher says, “there’s not a groundwater district and since there’s not a ground water district, there’s not a level of information about the aquifer levels.” Read full article from KUT News.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority declared Stage IV pumping reductions Friday for the Uvalde Pool of the Edwards Aquifer. For farmers in Uvalde, that means starting the year with an unprecedented 35 percent reduction in pumping permits. For San Antonio growers, it means an ever-decreasing flow into the local pool and increased reductions likely, later this year. More from SA Express-News.
Amid a persistent drought that has rattled Texans about water supplies, cities and investors are jockeying to purchase millions of gallons of underground water and pipe it to rapidly growing communities. More from Statesman.com
“Development-rights deals keep the land in private hands and typically involve no access to the general public.” This is one of the best Hill Country strategies for improving water supply and water quality while protecting heritage ranch lands. The cities of Austin and San Antonio, Travis, Hays and Bexar Counties have had tremendous success with bond initiatives. HCA’s research indicates that it’s feasible for other high growth counties such as Kendall, Kerr, Comal and Blanco to do the same. Read more from the American Statesman. More from Statesman.com.
The northern segment of the Edwards Aquifer, which stretches from Lady Bird Lake to the Lampasas River, is lightly regulated, unlike the southern Barton Springs segment, which is controlled by the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. The district restricts the drilling of water wells and has the authority to limit the amount of water that can be pumped during a severe drought. Read more from Statesman.com.
David K. Langford tells an eloquent story about his family’s longstanding connection to the land, and about a problem he is facing that is bigger than even he can deal with. With an earnestness that reveals his passion, David describes how his ranch’s natural springs and creeks that are so vital to the health and diversity of his land are being jeopardized by an external threat over which he has little to no control. Read More
Private wells are on the rise, mostly for landscape irrigation. Take a look at this story from the most recent edition of the BSEACD Aquifer Bulletin. While groundwater conservation districts (GCD’s) are the preferred method of groundwater management in Texas, it’s important to remember that Western Travis County and Western Comal Counties still have not created (GCDs). Learn more from HCA and BSEACD.
A new website and video developed by the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) help explain the purpose and goals of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP), which is currently under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The website www.eahcp.org went live August 3, 2012, and features helpful background information on the development of the EAHCP, its history, mission and goals, including a new informational video. Learn More
Texas is the only Western state where rule of capture is law. That may work well for property owners wanting to sell their groundwater, or sell their mineral rights, but not so great for most of the rest of the population that relies on water as a life source. Read full article by Joe Nick Patoski.
The 2012 Texas Water Plan produced by the Texas Water Development Board reports that water supplies for the Hill Country are insufficient to meet projected municipal (urban and rural) water demands during the next severe drought. The report identifies 60 Hill Country municipal water suppliers (i.e. city utilities and water districts) that will have water shortages. For many of the suppliers, the water demands are substantially greater than the supplies. View Presentation by Raymond Slade, HCA Advisory Board and Technical Team member.
“There are still artesian wells in Texas, Mace said, but most of them are now gone. Some towns just let the wells run free until they stopping running altogether. "They just played out," Mace said. "It's actually a really good lesson in conservation." Read more from Statesman.com.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA ), for the first time in its history, has declared Stage IV mandatory pumping reductions for Edwards Aquifer users within the Uvalde Pool (Uvalde County). Read more from AACOG.
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance is encouraging participation in an EAA hearing that will be held this Wednesday, June 27th at 6pm in Hondo and Thursday in San Antonio. If approved, the proposed rule “will certainly increase the amount of fuels and other hazardous material stored on the Recharge Zone (ERZ), putting our water supply in peril”. Read more from GEAA.
Karl Dreher, the general manager for the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA), has been placed on paid administrative leave.It isn’t clear why Dreher was placed on administrative leave. Assistant General Manager for Communications & External Affairs Roland Ruiz said that “as a personnel matter, there is no statement other than to confirm that the action did occur.” Ruiz also confirmed that Dreher was placed on leave by Laura Buckner, chair of the EAA board of directors. He says the decision will be taken up by the board at its next meeting June 12. Read more from NPR.
As plummeting lake levels triggered drastic watering restrictions during the drought, homeowners drilled 47 new water wells in Austin last year — more than doubling the 19 drilled the year before, according to data from the Texas Water Development Board. Read more from Statesman.com.
Key farming regions in the US are drawing water from underground sources at unsustainable rates, with slightly more than one-third of the southern Great Plains at risk of tapping out its sources within the next 30 years. Read more from scmonitor.com.
The Hill Country’s Trinity Aquifer set a 30 foot average drawdown management goal despite heavy public protest stating this was too much and would not sustain spring flows. The next five year planning cycle is already underway. At a recent public meeting, David Glenn, an involved citizen from Wimberley in Hays County offered well written comments to help create a picture of the Trinity Aquifer and consequences of careless management of the resource. Read, learn and get involved locally.
"The purpose of a district, in my opinion, is to prevent harm that the rule of capture would allow and to try to the best of their ability to create sustainable aquifer production. The goal as much as possible should be one of sustainability." Read more from Livestock Weekly.
“Texas is virtually the only state that functions by the “rule of capture,” which allows landowners to pump essentially unlimited amounts of water. Elsewhere in the U.S., groundwater is a public resource, and the state allows people to use the resource.” Read more from Texas Tribune.
Groundwater is found in the spaces between particles and cracks in underground rock in formations known as aquifers. Even though it is out of sight, groundwater should not be far out of mind. In Texas, groundwater provides 60% of all freshwater used – great shortfalls are expected during the coming decades. Conservation is key. Learn more from the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee. Learn about groundwater resources from HCA here.
Texas gets 80 percent of its water supply from aquifers, according to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Aquifer water levels are declining because of drought and increasing demands on water supply due to population growth. The quality of aquifers also is in jeopardy from construction runoff, leaking toxic waste sites and storage tanks, injection wells, industry pollution, and the use of agrochemicals on farm land. Read more from Clean Houston.
The March 1st board meeting of the Texas Water Development Board in Austin drew a large crowd at the Stephen F. Austin building downtown. Many came to speak in opposition to the 30 ft decline or so called Desire Future Condition (DFC) of the Trinity Aquifer in Western Hays County and to support the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association’s request for developing a ‘Special Groundwater Management Area” (SGMA) for Jacob’s Well and the Wimberley Valley. Read more from WVWA.
While “bumper crop” might be a stretch of a prediction considering last year’s drought, local growers are expecting a good crop on area peach trees barring a late freeze. Read more from the Fredericksburg Standard.
Prompted by the severity of the current drought, Texans have been earnestly discussing how to manage the state's water resources for the next several decades to meet the needs of a growing population and dynamic economy. This necessary discussion must now consider last week's ruling on property rights and groundwater by the Texas Supreme Court and how it potentially threatens efforts to regulate and conserve aquifers. The court unanimously ruled Friday that property owners own the water beneath their land just as surely as they own the oil and gas. Read more from Statesman.com.
In a case with potentially vast implications for groundwater rules in Texas, the Texas Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of two farmers in the San Antonio area who challenged the local aquifer authority's sharp restrictions on their use of a water well on their land. Read more from Texas Tribune. Background on groundwater rights here.
As the most intense drought in state history drags on, plenty of Texans are waiting for months to have such wells drilled, fearful that their municipalities could impose stricter limits on water use. But this increased demand is causing concerns that groundwater in some places will start drying up, and regulators are working on rules to maintain certain groundwater levels. Read full Texas Tribune Article.
It's official. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the year 2011 was the driest on record. The average total rainfall across the state was 14.88 inches, beating the previous record low of 14.99 inches established in 1917. Now, more than ever, is the time for each of us to take an active role in water conservation in order to extend our existing water supplies. Without waiting for plans and finances or rains to catch up, there are ways to increase your water supply today. Read full Statesman.com commentary by HCA's Milan Michalec.
The canary is in the coal mine and he's thirsty. Without thoughtful stewardship, public treasures such as Jacob's Well, Hays County's historic perennial spring, as well as the private legacies of the many unnamed springs feeding Block Creek on Kendall County's historic Hillingdon Ranch could stop flowing forever. Read full Statesman.com commentary by David K. Langford and David Baker.
Draft Water Plan Says Texas "Will Not Have Enough" "The primary message of the 2012 state water plan is a simple one," the introduction states. "In serious drought conditions, Texas does not and will not have enough water to meet the needs of its people, and its businesses, and its agricultural enterprises." Read full Texas Tribune article.
The Texas Water Development Board has posted the 2012 State Water Plan in draft form for public review and comment. This is your opportunity to provide input to the State of Texas about the future of our water resources. An email option makes it easy to send comments. Several public meetings will be held to gather input including October 3rd in San Antonio followed by a formal public hearing in Austin on October 17th. Learn more from TWDB.
In these times of severe drought and water shortages, it’s hard to believe that Travis and Comal Counties still have not formed Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs) like the rest of the Texas Hill Country. One reason is that some people fear a new tax. Last week in Burnet County, the GCD voted on a lower new tax rate, only one cent ($0.01) per $100. Learn the myths and truths of GCD’s.
Kendall County Commissioners Court gave their consent to the declaration of a local disaster by County Judge Gaylan Schroeder during their regular meeting Monday, giving the Kendall County Sheriff’s Department, constables and the county attorney authority to assist the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District in detecting and prosecuting violators of groundwater use restrictions. Violators can be fined up to $1,000 or confined in the county jail for up to 180 days. Read full Boerne Star article here.
Population in the Hill Country is projected to continue to rapidly increase, thus the number of folks threatened by a serious water shortage also will increase. Perhaps the only benefit might be that residents of the Texas Hill Country would create a long-term plan to prevent such situations from occurring in the future. It will take many people working together to achieve this goal. Read full SA Express article here.
Coming off its driest January-June period in 49 years -- and with still no rain in sight -- the City of Fredericksburg is this week implementing Stage 4 water rationing to limit outdoor watering to just one day a week. Read more from the Fredercksburg Standard here.
Read this alarming news report - Travis County is one of just a few areas recognized with critical groundwater issues and yet wells continue to be drilled without permitting or oversight. Read more about the lack of a groundwater conservation district in Western Travis County here. More on Hill Country Groundwater resources here.
With little prospect for rain in the foreseeable future, additional reductions in pumping from the Edwards Aquifer appear to be imminent, according to information presented Tuesday to the Edwards Aquifer Authority Board of Directors during its monthly meeting. In a report to the board, Authority staff indicated that soaring temperatures and the continued lack of rain are likely to result in further drought-induced pumping restrictions for Edwards Aquifer users across the region. Read more
At their June 13th, 2011 Board Meeting, the Cow Creek GCD’s Board of Directors moved from Drought Stage 4 - Severe Drought to Drought Stage 5 - Extreme Drought. General Manager Micah Voulgaris recommended the move, citing the lack of rainfall, historic lows in several of the District's monitor wells and the extremely low stream flow levels in the Guadalupe River. here.
With the Big Dry upon us, the longstanding fight over the water percolating under the surface in nine major and 20 minor underground aquifers was bound to get contentious before the end of the 82nd legislative session. And it did, at least for a while, because of a single word. Read full Texas Tribune article here.
The adopted Desired Future Conditions for our aquifers will cause the Colorado River to lose its base-flow by 2060. Environmental Stewardship illustrates this point and introduces “Project Game-Changer” Learn more
The water in the San Marcos River and Barton Springs may be more closely related than previously thought. It's long been believed that an underground divide separates the water flowing from two springs, but a new study has found that's not always the case. "The assumption was whatever happens in the San Antonio segment of the Edwards Aquifer doesn't really impact what's going on at Barton Springs and vice versa,” Todd Votteler with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority said. “But the study shows that's not necessarily true during these really serious droughts." Read full YNN story here.
Challenges Water Plan to Allow for More Groundwater Pumping Than is Available in the Hill Country, Profile of Jacob’s Well, David Baker receives the Texas Environmental Excellence Award, a Hays County Water Issues Alert: Download the newsletter here.
Scientists have been using small variations in the Earth’s gravity to identify trouble spots around the globe where people are making unsustainable demands on groundwater, one of the planet’s main sources of fresh water. Read more from the New York Times here.
By increasing its average monthly water bill $3, San Antonio Water System could help pay for a new management program for the Edwards Aquifer that would free San Antonio from the threat of a federal lawsuit or loss of control of its main water source, according to a leading water policymaker. Read more from SA Express-News here.
In Texas oil and gas is definitely still king, and nowhere is that more evident than in South Texas, where the Eagle Ford shale play is making money hand over fist for many fortunate landowners. However, as wonderful as that income may be, rarely do such treasures come without at least some give and take, and mostly it’s give on the part of the landowners. Read full Livestock Weekly here.
Citizens petition for an election to affirm or reverse the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District decision granting a permit to Wimberly Springs Partners, owners of an active golf course in the city of Woodcreek and undeveloped acreage in Woodcreek North. Read more from the Citzens Alliance for Responsible Developement.
The PGMA designation is given when critical groundwater shortages are expected - and to recommend some action to manage groundwater. Western Travis absolutely should remain in the PGMA and strengthen groundwater management, not ignore it. Statesman Article here.
The Texas Senate passed a much-discussed piece of groundwater legislation, voting 28-3 to approve a bill stating that landowners in the state have a "vested ownership interest" in the groundwater beneath their land...Texas Tribune report.
More on SB 332.
The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association has filed a Petition Appealing the 30’ Desired Future Condition (DFC) Drawdown Set by Groundwater Management Area 9 (GMA-9) for the Trinity Group Aquifers in Hays County and is calling for the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) and GMA-9 to determine the 30’ DFC as unreasonable and unsustainable. Read more
A report released last month by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority regarding water planning in Kendall County and Fair Oaks Ranch is based on estimates of available groundwater that are substantially different - 67 percent less - than estimates released by the Texas Water Development Board on Feb. 7. Read full Boerne Star article here.
"Ground water and surface water are not separate categories of water any more than liquid water and ice are truly separate. The designations 'ground water' and 'surface water' merely describe the physical location of the water in the hydrologic cycle. Indeed ground and surface water form a continuum." Full report from GWPC. Yet in Texas policy, we treat these resources separately.
KUT covered the story yesterday, “It’s a critical time for groundwater districts right now”. Read or listen to the story here. Sierra Club released a statement today still opposing the bill, “The Legislature would be subjecting virtually every action by a groundwater district to a potential “takings” claim. Full media release - For history and resources about SB 332 click here.
The water level of Texas' Edwards Aquifer was displaced about a foot Friday after energy released from a massive earthquake near Japan put the squeeze on the underground rock formation that supplies drinking water for much of Central Texas. Read the full Statesman.com article here.
Environmental Stewardship, Independent Texans, Neighbors for Neighbors and The Texas Drought Project will be hosting and open forum conference to discuss groundwater issues March 19th in Cedar Creek. Details and Registration - Conference Agenda
Read more about the Texas Water Wars here.
At a crowded hearing earlier this week, members of the state Senate’s Committee on Natural Resources heard testimony on a bill that would declare that landowners have a “vested ownership interest” in the water beneath their land. A less-discussed second bill recognizes both landowner rights and the “compelling public interest” of effective groundwater management. Read full Texas Tribune article here.
Senate committee takes up measure that would equate groundwater with private property. Read full Statesman.com article here.
Water is simple. Water policy, water law? Clear as crude. Today, in an interminable hearing, the Senate Natural Resources Committee discussed two bills that would, depending on your view, do nothing, radically change, slightly modify, clarify, or confuse Texas groundwater law. Read full Texas Observer article here.
The Keep Our Water Association has launched campaign in response to an ongoing movement by private investors to pass legislation that will allow the transport Edwards water away from the rural western region. The mission: To protect and preserve the wellbeing of the western portion of the Edwards Aquifer and those citizens and businesses that are affected by it. Learn more here.
"The fate of these unprotected areas – including southwestern Travis County adjacent to BSEACD – is anybody’s guess at this point…” Read the full article here and the entire issue of The Aquifer Bulletin published by the BSEACD here. This resource includes timely articles about groundwater resources.
Next legislative session, during the few minutes not taken up with the budget, redistricting and immigration, an old stand-by of an issue could creep onto the agenda: water. Observers say legislative proposals on groundwater rights are probable, given that Texas is just wrapping up a controversial process for planning the allocation of water from aquifers, while environmentalists will be pushing more measures for water conservation. Read more from the Texas Tribune here.
The Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District developed an animated video explaining the complexities of Hill Country aquifers and groundwater management. As Milan explains, “Here's a modern educational tool that will serve well to increase the understanding of the behavior of something that many years ago was considered "mysterious and occult" by Texas law-groundwater.” Read more
Travis County commissioners unanimously approved a one-year ban Tuesday on nearly all new development in western parts of the county that would rely on water from the Trinity Aquifer. Read full Statesman.com article here.
The water marketers have taken steps to get Bastrop and Lee county groundwater against our wishes.” The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) and the South Central Texas Regional Water Planning Group (Region L) move towards a $400 million pipeline from Bastrop, Lee and Burleson counties to San Marcos and San Antonio. Learn more here.
Last week’s water symposium sparked conversation about the rule of capture, water marketing and rainwater harvesting. Listen to Representatives Hilderbran, Callegari and Miller discuss water policy on Newsmaker at 8:00 pm, October 10th, KSTX 89.1. More about the Texas Water Symposium here.
If the 26 members of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program can reach a compromise in the next two weeks on two cantankerous issues, they may solve a two-decade-old dispute about the allocation of water from the aquifer. Read full San Antonio Express article here.
An intensive process to plan out the maximum depletion of aquifers over the next half-century has been completed just ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline. Read full Texas Tribune article here.
The TCEQ issued a report that draws the conclusion that an order be issued to create a Groundwater Conservation District to include Western Travis, Hays and Comal Counties. The report was filed June 30th and is available online here. More information here. A hearing has been set for set for October 28, 2010 at the Hays County Courthouse at 10:00 a.m. Click here for details.
State Representative Doug Miller and TWDB Board Member Thomas Weir Labatt III will headline the fall meeting of the Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA), scheduled for October 13-15, 2010, at the Crowne Plaza Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio. The program will also include numerous presentations on surface and groundwater management. Registration information and a full agenda should be available on the TWCA website by mid-August.
In the state of Texas, the state owns surface water, including lakes and rivers. But groundwater is a private-property rights matter. In this regard, the state has declared that the preferred method of managing groundwater in Texas is by a groundwater conservation district. (Comal) county has no such groundwater conservation district atop the Trinity Aquifer, which spans about two-thirds of our county. Read full San Antonio Express community article here.
After nearly four years of hydrology modeling and politicking, representatives from groundwater districts in Kendall and eight other Hill Country counties decided Monday to limit the drawdown of aquifer levels to no more than 30 feet over the next 50 years. Read full Boerne Star article here.
Beneath many places in the Texas Hill Country, more groundwater is being pumped out than can be replaced through the water cycle. “What does a Desired Future Condition (DFC) have to do with your water?” On 26 July 2010, you can comment on this question. Read more here.
This month, parts of Central Texas will decide how much water will be in the aquifers below the land for the next 50 years. The decisions will affect Dripping Springs, Johnson City, Wimberley and other towns south and west of Austin that rely on groundwater supplies. Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports, click here.
Hill Country Groundwater Districts are meeting over the next few weeks to prepare for the Regional GMA9 meeting on July 26th. Local groundwater districts need your input. The Hill Country region is about to establish a Desired Future Condition (DFC) for groundwater supply. What will this mean for your well? For spring flow? For your ranch? Read more here.
Groundwater Conservation Districts in the Texas Hill Country are jointly planning a “Desired Future Condition” (DFC) goal for groundwater resources in our region. Public meetings will be held June 21 in Kerrville, June 23 in Boerne and June 24 in Dripping Springs. Learn more here.
After a months-long, sometimes contentious process to formulate new groundwater rules for Kendall County, a public hearing on the matter has been set for the board’s regular meeting June 14. Read full Boerne Star article here.
“...to sustain these flows, the efforts of private property owners, whose land stewardship practices can reduce runoff and improve recharge, are directly linked to the responsibilities of a Groundwater Conservation District, through which locally elected Directors strive to equitably manage this resource for all.” Read the report and preceding articles here.
Hill Country Groundwater District boards and staff meet regularly to work towards common desired future conditions for this region. On this agenda, to be held in May 10th in Kerrvile, planners will be briefed from Texas Water Development Board staff about recent progress with water availability models. Stay informed. Read full agenda here.
On the surface, it’s a case about an oat-and-peanut farm and two South Texas men who wanted enough water to operate it. But underneath lies a century-old tug-of-war over who really owns the water beneath the land. At the core of the case is how the court will interpret Texas law, which currently acknowledges not only landowners’ rights to water beneath the land but also the authority of groundwater districts to regulate it. Read full Texas Tribune article here.
TWA President Tina Y. Buford on Thursday told members of the House Committee on Natural Resources that TWA strongly believes it is in the best interests of the citizens of our state to continue to recognize this right because this vested, protectable right promotes conservation and management of our groundwater. Read more here.
The GMA 9 “desired future conditions” process continues. Ron Fieseler recently released a status report for the GMA 9 process as of April 2010, click here to read. Texas Water Matters is always an excellent resource on groundwater and surface water planning.
During the drought Groundwater Management in the Texas Hill Country was a topic of conversation everywhere you turn. We have to keep that conversation alive while creeks are flowing; managing groundwater for our growing region remains a challenge. Learn about the history and intentions of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District with Jack Hollon on “Cedar Lady” this Saturday morning at 9:00 am on 99.9 FM, or http://www.kdrplive.org.
Today in Victoria is the first of seven meetings that will be held across South Texas to gather the public's input about the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's plan to collectively manage Edwards Aquifer and ensure protection of the ecosystems that those species and people depend on for clean water. Read full San Antonio Express News article here.
With just about every drop of river water already spoken for, suppliers, especially in Central Texas, are turning to underground water in counties to the east as the next big source. But they face a problem because groundwater districts, set up as individual fiefdoms meant to reflect local histories and philosophies about water and land use, have different permitting rules and sensibilities. Read full Statesman.com article here.
The board of GMA9 has decided to hold three more public hearings — in Kerrville, Wimberley and Boerne — in the coming months before it establishes new Desired Future Conditions for the Edwards Aquifer. Read full Kerrville Daily Times article here.
In an effort to protect Boerne’s surface water sources, the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District board approved a resolution Monday challenging the Texas Water Development Board’s recent decision that the desired future conditions adopted by the executive committee of Groundwater Management Area 9 are unreasonable. Read full Boerne Star article here.
Preserve Our Water commends the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for its decision regarding the protest of the Groundwater Management Area 9 Desired Future Condition (DFC) for the Edwards/Trinity aquifer component. Read full Preserve our Water release here.
In a special meeting Thursday in Austin, the Texas Water Development Board said the desired future conditions adopted by the executive committee of Groundwater Management Area 9 are unreasonable. The board of directors of the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District has strongly backed the GMA-9 position and Cow Creek Board President Tommy Mathews is a member of the GMA-9 executive committee. Thursday’s ruling was a significant blow to local water planners. Read full Boerne Star article here. Read comments about this article here.
Most of the water consumed in Texas is groundwater. As the demand for this precious resource grows, so does its need for management and protection. Read full TECQ article here.
The Texas A&M Graduate Water Program, Texas Agrilife Extension and the Texas Water Development Board have planned a conference addressing pumping limits for Texas’ aquifers and the desired future condition process. Read about the details and how to register here.
“I am convinced that the current system of groundwater management in Texas is an obsolete model and has no place in Texas in the 21st century.” That was one of the opening remarks offered by Steve Kosub, water resource counsel for the San Antonio Water System, at a recent Texas Water Law conference sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law. Read full Livestock Weekly article here.
Months of behind-the-scenes work paid off Monday night with a quiet public hearing and unanimous approval of a revised management plan for the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District. The plan deals with numerous hot-button issues, including predictions of managed available groundwater, projected total water supply in Kendall County and groundwater management policies. Read full Boerne Star article here.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has announced formation of a new Office of Water, effective Dec. 1. The new office will encompass the three existing major water divisions in the agency: Water Planning, Water Supply, and Water Quality. “The new office is in recognition of the fact that the state’s population is expected to double in the next 30 years,” said Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D. “So the agency must put even more focus on water issues to ensure that there will be adequate water quality and quantity for future demand.” Read full media release here.
In another signal of how much the Central Texas drought has eased, the Lower Colorado River Authority on Wednesday released customers from mandatory watering restrictions in place since August. Read full Statesman.com article here.
At its meetingWednesday, Nov. 18, the LCRA Board approved drought measures aimed at managing the ongoing Colorado River Basin Drought. The Board’s approval followed weeks of expert staff analysis, public input from customers and stakeholders and deliberation among Board members. Read full media release here.
Water restrictions put in place during this year's drought are nothing compared with those of the future if management of the Edwards Aquifer is not changed, scientists say in a new report. Read full San Antonio Express - News article here.
Another round in a battle between Hill Country water planners was fought in Kerrville Monday at a Texas Water Development Board hearing. The conflict centers on a decision about “desired future conditions” made on Aug. 29, 2008, by the executive committee of Groundwater Management Area 9, which is made up of one representative from each of the groundwater districts in Kendall, Bandera, Blanco, Comal, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Travis and northern Bexar counties. Read full Boerne Star article here.
A swirl of debate overwhelmed the Oct. 9 quarterly meeting of the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District. After nearly two hours of give-and-take during the public comment part of the meeting, directors spent another two hours arguing over just the first of two dozen action items on the agenda. The topic of production limits on permitted wells, proposed in the district's new rules, drew the most attention - Read full Bandera Bulletin article here.
Protect Lake Travis Association continues to educate residents regarding the immediate threat of sewage effluent being discharged into Lake Travis and upstream. Comments are due October 30th. This is the time to speak up and contact your local elected officials. Read more here.
TCEQ staff is recommending that the western Comal County territory be added to the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District and the southwestern Travis County territory be added to the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. All written comments must be received by November 12th, 2009. Read more here.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a personal visit is priceless. Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan store and supply drinking water for many Central Texans and are only 39 percent full. A pessimist would say the glass is 61 percent empty. Read full Statesman.com commentary here.
Imagine the Hill Country stream near you with a wastewater treatment plant dumping treated effluent into it. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality identified a stakeholders committee to review and comment on wastewater discharge rules for the Barton and Onion Creek watersheds of the Edwards Aquifer. This came after the much debated Belterra permit application which was granted in spite of multi-jurisdiction united opposition. The stakeholder’s committee says don’t do it, but TCEQ seems to be moving ahead with a proposed new rule to make direct discharge permits in this fragile region okay. Read more here.
The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District has changed its rules to manage more equitably its groundwater resources and to respond more effectively to severe and prolonged droughts. At its Board meeting last night, the District’s Board of Directors approved a sweeping set of rule changes to accomplish those objectives. Read full media release here.
There is nothing like a long, serious drought to make us really appreciate the wonderful asset that is Lake Travis. And while we all worry about when the rains and water will return, there is one thing we have not had to worry about in a very long time – the threat of pollution in the form of sewage effluent discharged into Lake Travis and upstream. Read full North Lake Travis Log Op-ed here.
In the United States, we constantly fret about running out of oil. But we should be paying more attention to another limited natural resource: water. A water crisis is threatening many parts of the country -- not just the arid West. Read full article here.
Cities up and down the Colorado River, including Marble Falls, are being asked to join in a petition to change rules that have stood for a decade against releasing discharge from wastewater treatment plants into the watershed. Read full Highlander article here.
City Council keeps treatment facility on pace for spring construction as some members begin to question need, cost. Read the full Statesman article here. A special meeting has been called for September 17th to debate this issue before a definitive vote in October. Previous news on this issue here.
John Graves said it best in Texas Rivers: “The loss of our primeval forests and prairies, the extinction or increasing rarity of many species of living things, the disruption of our waters’ flow and their pollution — all these evils and more … are the price we have paid for progress and prosperity and our nation’s power, for getting to the point we have reached today.” What point have we reached? Gunnar Brune’s Springs of Texas (1973) gives a clue. “Texas originally had 281 major and historically significant springs, other than saline springs. Sixty-three springs, many with important historical backgrounds, have completely failed.” - Read full TPWD article here.
When the San Antonio Water System accused the Lower Colorado River Authority in May of reneging on a huge water deal, more than money was at stake. The potential $2.2 billion water-sharing project ran aground after the river authority said it might not have enough water to meet the needs in its basin area while also shipping water to San Antonio. Read full article here.
Groundwater users in the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District expressed concerns about groundwater supplies holding up if the current Critical Stage drought worsens. The District held town two hall meetings on June 2 and June 8 in Sunset Valley and Buda to review and get feedback on proposed rule changes that would better prepare the District to regulate and conserve groundwater resources during extreme drought. Read full release here.
Texas contains nearly 200,000 miles of streams and rivers. Thirteen of the state’s 15 rivers flow through metropolitan areas supply-ing water for more than 22 million people. Twenty percent of those people depend on a single river: the Trinity. To supply water for people while balancing the needs for wildlife, positive things must happen on the landscape — 95 percent of which is in private hands. - Read full TPWD article here.
Last Thursday, May 21, was a banner day for those who support the construction of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority tri-city water infrastructure project - those opposing the project weren't quite so happy. In a hearing in Austin, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved the sale of $182 million in bonds to fund Phase 1A of the project, which will include a pipeline along Trails End Road in Cedar Park and a water treatment plant with 17 million gallons per day capacity. See full Hill Country News article here.
Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District vice president Wayne Brown, a leading critic of the CTGCD’s proposed regulations, told a Burnet County water issues meeting Friday that the district’s attorney made regulations more confusing after two public hearings in the past year criticized the rules as too long and too complicated. See full Highlander article here.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is being asked to permit the mining of sand and gravel along a nearly one-mile stretch of streambed in the Llano River. Kingsland businessmen Joe Long and Mark Stephenson have petitioned TPWD to annually remove or disturb 240,000 cubic yards from an island in the middle of the river, approximately three miles above the Kingsland Slab. Under state law, the TPWD manages, controls, and protects sand and gravel extraction in navigable rivers of the State. In deciding whether to grant or deny the permit, the agency must consider the project’s impact on fish and wildlife habitat, navigation, and in some cases, recreational activity. Read full article here.
Following a lengthy discussion at Monday night’s meeting, the Fredericksburg City Council agreed to supply local golf resort Boot Ranch with ground water for its golf course from a nearby well until an effluent line can be completed from the city’s waste water treatment plant. The motion to supply water to the golfing community located near RM 965, passed by a 4-1 margin, with councilman Tom Musselman casting the only dissenting vote. The new plan, which comes at the request of Boot Ranch, calls for the city to sell a maximum 40.5 million gallons of water until an Aug. 1 cut-off date. By then, it’s believed that the golf facility will have completed the effluent pipe project and have the pump stations on-line. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.
Surface water in Texas belongs to the state. It can only be used with the state’s permission. The management of groundwater is another rather complicated, even strange story, considering how critical and urgent groundwater conservation is for Texas. Action by this legislative session to move toward more effective groundwater management is ongoing. Read the full article here.
Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCD) are local units of government authorized by the state legislature and ratified at the local level to manage and protect groundwater. Ninety-seven GCDs have been created in the state. The total includes 93 established (confirmed) districts and four unconfirmed districts. The 93 established districts cover all or part of 145 of the state's 254 counties. This leaves about half of Texas subject to the rule of capture. Read the full article here.
"Flying L Public Utility District’s (PUD) 256 customers have been under Stage 3 water restrictions since July 2008, when both wells supplying homeowners with water had dropped to 345 feet," writes Stephanie Parker for the Bandera County Courier. "Stage 3 restrictions means that outdoor watering is restricted and households are limited to 15,000 gallons of water per billing period. In July, Flying L PUD President Bob Dawson said that 97 percent of PUD customers complied and used less than the allotted 15,000 gallons." Read the full Courier story here.
In their most recent water news alert, Preserve Our Water has released a story on the severity of the drought in Blanco County, an update on the GMA 9 Desired Future Conditions debate, a Texas Legislature preview and a review of drought conditions in the news. Read these stories and more here.
According to the Barton Springs/ Edwards Aquifer Conservation District: "The District’s Board of Directors declared Critical Stage Drought for the District area on December 11, 2008, and both drought indices, Barton Springs and the Lovelady Well, remain below their respective Critical thresholds (Figure 1). This is only the second time in the District’s 21-year history that a declaration of this severity has been issued, and comes six months after the Board declared Alarm Stage Drought on June 23, 2008." Read this full story and the rest of the bulletin here.
From the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance: "State Representative David McQuade Leibowitz (District 117) late Tuesday filed a bill that many believe is much needed to protect the quality of water in the Edwards Aquifer. H.B. 595 states 'The commission (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality-TCEQ) may not issue a new permit authorizing the discharge of sewage effluent directly into any water in the contributing or recharge zone of the San Antonio or Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer.'" Read the full release here.
"Growing pressure by the state to increase water well regulation could cause parts of western Travis County, including the Oak Hill area, to be regulated under the authority of a Groundwater Conservation District," writes Adrienne deWolfe for the Oak Hill Gazette. "The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has asked the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to consider annexing Oak Hill." Read the full Gazette story here.
Come to the town hall meeting November 6 at Bee Creek's United Methodist Church, located at 3000 Bee Creek Road in Spicewood to discuss annexing SW Travis County into the Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Groundwater Conservation District (BSEAGCD). The meeting lasts from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include information on how groundwater protection can be achieved in this vulnerable area, as well as a session for public input to help assess the area's annexation. Read the details here.
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently formed a new Water Quality Planning Division dedicated to improving water quality with Kelly Keel as director," reports the Texas Water Resources Institute. "The division has three sections: Planning and Implementation, Monitoring and Assessment and the Houston Laboratory." Read the full story here.
In the latest edition of Preserve Our Water's newsletter, the organization discusses: Current Blanco County drought conditions, Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District's drought stage, Jacob’s Well running dry, Central Texas' drought, an update to the GMA 9 Desired Future Conditions, and our own Hill Country Alliance 2009 Calendars. Read more after the jump.
"As winter nears, federal authorities describe South Texas, the Panhandle and most of West Texas as not experiencing even mild drought," writes Asher Price for the Austin American-Statesman. "But across Central Texas, drought has stifled water supplies already taxed by a hot summer and never-ending demand. Exact definitions differ, but drought is often described as a period when an area receives less than 75 percent of its average annual precipitation. Average yearly rainfall for Austin is 34 inches; so far this year, 15 inches have fallen." Read the full Statesman story here.
"More than a decade of hard work by the Edwards Aquifer Authority could be washed down the drain by a recent 4th Court of Appeals opinion," writes Bruce Davidson for the San Antonio Express-News. "And a process being conducted by groundwater districts across the state to establish desired aquifer levels over the next 50 years is also in jeopardy...The EAA is preparing a discretionary petition for review asking the state's high court to weigh in on the matter." Read the full story here.
"The current Texas drought could rival the record drought of the 1950s if weather conditions don't change soon," writes David Tewes for the Victoria Advocate. "Canyon Lake on the Guadalupe River has reached its lowest level ever since it was created in the early 1960s, breaking the previous record low set on Nov. 24, 1984." Read the full Advocate story here.
Back to Groundwater Resources
Back to Issues
Save Bracken Cave Reserve
What happens when you put 10,000 people next to more than ten million bats (and sensitive Edwards Aquifer recharge land)? Bat Conservation International (BCI), GEAA and others are urging participation this Wednesday , May 29th in San Antonio. Learn more from BCI. You can also find extensive information about this issue from GEAA including how to contact your elected officials. We simply cannot afford to continue to make these kinds of mistakes in the Hill Country.
Master Naturalists Hill Country Chapter New Class begins August 19 Do you ever wonder what kind of moth or butterfly that caterpillar will become? And do ever think about why it’s eating that particular plant and not any other? If you’ve asked yourself either of the last two questions, perhaps you have an inner “naturalist” begging to explore and learn. The Texas Master Naturalist program can offer you the platform from which your exploration is endless. Learn More
Learn about summer gardening, water conservation during Rain Dance Festival at Herff Farm on June 1 Gardeners, nature enthusiasts and people who like to spend time out in their yards will have a chance to learn tips and techniques for sustainable gardens and landscapes and water conservation in a festive, family-friendly atmosphere during the Rain Dance Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at The Herff Farm at the Cibolo. Learn More
A water generation gap portends confrontation between Texas’ past, future
“If people understand how rich this state is in springs, and how those springs provide most of the flow for many of our rivers, then maybe they’ll pay more attention to how they’re depleting them...” Sharlene Leurig, Andy Sansom and David Langford, all friends of HCA’s, share stories in this thoughtful article about Hill Country water resources. A must read from Texas Climate News.
2013 Scholarship Contest Winners Announced
The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District has announced the winners of the Kent S. Butler Memorial Groundwater Stewardship College Scholarship Essay Contest and its Aquatic Science Adventure Camp Scholarship program. Read More
Cibolo Nature Center & Farm announces 2013 Stewardship Award winners
“Six area conservationists were honored on Friday with the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm’s annual Stewardship Awards, recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to protecting the land, water and wildlife of the region.” Learn More
National Trails Day to be Celebrated on June 1
Celebrate the 21st annual National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1 by lacing up some sturdy shoes, grabbing a hiking stick and heading to a Texas State Park near you to join a guided hiking tour or hit the trails on your own. Learn More
Trifecta of drought, late freeze, hail decimate Hill Country peach crop
It’s peach season, but Austinites likely won’t be seeing any Fredericksburg peaches in grocery stores any time soon after a combination of freezing weather and hailstorms decimated more than 90 percent of the crop in Gillespie County. More from Statesman.com
Local Parks Matter!
“In these last frenzied weeks of the 83rd Texas Legislature, much remains in limbo - including funding for a relatively small program with an outsized effect on Texans' quality of life.” This story come from Houston, but the message certainly holds true here in the Hill Country.
Needmore Ranch MUD Approved with Amendments
Despite strong opposition from the citizens and elected officials of Wimberley and Hays County, the Texas House and Senate have approved the Needmore Ranch Municipal Utility District (MUD) #1 for approximately 4,020 acres of the 5,000-acre ranch just east of Wimberley. More from WVWA.
Central Texas Water Fight Could Have Statewide Implications
The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation district held a meeting May 15th to discuss whether to grant new permits to outside businesses. "I think the whole state will be watching this," Steve Box, with Environmental Stewardship, told StateImpact Texas ahead of the hearing. Learn more from StateImpact Texas.
Bringing back the Milky Way, May 14 in Uvalde
HCA has been partnering with the McDonald Observatory and local Hill Country community organization’s creating an entire menu of programs aimed at reducing light pollution. The next workshop will take place May 14 at the Cactus Room of the Uvalde Convention Center. Details
Petitions opposing Needmore Ranch MUD sent to Sen. Donna Campbell and State Rep. Jason Isaac
On May 6th the offices of State Senator Donna Campbell and State Representative Jason Isaac received packets containing 372 petitions signed by citizens opposed to bills these legislators have introduced to create a 4,000+ acre Municipal Utility District (MUD) on the Needmore Ranch, just east of Wimberley. Learn More
Texas Groundwater Levels Suffer Sharp Drop, Study Finds
According to the report, the greatest decline during 2010-11 occurred in the Trinity Aquifer of Central Texas, where 33 monitor wells showed a median drop of 16.7 feet, and an average drop of 19.7 feet. (The water board also includes one well in the Edwards-Trinity Plateau in that calculation.) More from the Texas Tribune.
Join GEAA at City Hall in San Antonio on May 22nd
In March, SAWS approved water and wastewater service to Crescent Hills, a development located entirely in Comal County on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. GEAA encourages SAWS ratepayers and those who don’t want to subsidize sprawl on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone to participate on May 22nd in urging the San Antonio City Council to rescind SAWS service to Crescent Hills. This property is adjacent to Braken Bat Cave, home to the world’s largest bat colony. Read more here.
Water for Cities vs. Ag - Is it theirs? Or ours?
Some more enlightened utilities and political leaders are beginning to realize that Texas must grow smart – not just fast. Texas county governments, long weak on any ability to properly manage and plan growth, are beginning to band together to get the attention of a largely urban Texas legislature. More from Mike Mecke in Ranch and Rural Living Magazine.
People conform to political boundaries. Water does not.
Ten years ago, recognizing the rapidly growing threat to the water quality of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer, 13 unconnected Texas Hill Country jurisdictions sat down together and talked. Acknowledging that water, especially groundwater, does not conform to human boundaries, they devised a bold plan to conform to water, by crossing those boundaries. With help from the HCA, 65 participants from those jurisdictions re-convened on April 26 in Buda for The Next Wave, a workshop to share how they are each implementing the plan now. Learn More
Texas Rainwater Catchment Association Conference this weekend in San Marcos
The TRWCA Annual Conference will be held all day Friday and Saturday, May 10–11 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in San Marcos. HCA will have a booth promoting our Rainwater Revival event – Come on by and see us! Learn More
San Antonio can lead in smart water policy
Experts contend that any of the proposed reservoirs in the Texas Water Plan built west of Interstate 35 would lose more in evaporation than they would gain in new water supply. Creating an underground reservoir through the establishment of an ASR makes much more sense in hot, dry South Texas. Read more from SA Express-News.
Water, MUD and Beer: Recipe for an Explosive Hill Country Development Fight
Despite near-unanimous local opposition, state Rep. Jason Isaac and Sen. Donna Campbell are carrying legislation that would create a municipal utility district (MUD) for LaMantia (Needmore Ranch, Wimberley), gifting him the authority to marshal tax-free bond financing, impose taxes on future landowners to recoup the costs of development, and possibly seize land through state-granted eminent domain authority. The fight has spawned a fierce debate about private property rights. Read more from the Texas Observer.
Concerned Hays County citizens gather to discuss Needmore Ranch MUD
More than 400 concerned Hays County citizens gathered at the Wimberley Community Center Thursday evening, April 25, to speak their mind on legislation affecting the long-term health of the area. Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD) hosted the event to discuss HB 3918, the 5,000 acre Needmore Ranch MUD. Read CARD’s meeting report here. To learn more about the consequences of MUDs read “Why We Really Need to Pay Attention to Special Districts” by Milan J. Michalec here.
Comptroller’s Endangered Species Duties Could Go to Wildlife Department
Comptroller Susan Combs, Texas’ top accountant and tax official, doesn’t just deal with money: she’s also in charge of monitoring endangered species. It’s an odd coupling, money manager and critter caretaker, and a new piece of legislation could undo the two disparate duties. More from State Impact Texas.
Industrial Wind and Transmission Updates
Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment continues to monitor and participate in industrial wind and transmission activities that could impact the Hill Country. In the latest updates, information is provided on the continuing debate over the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). Near and long term transmission developments are covered as well. Read the latest from SOSHE here.
Fiesta on the San Antonio River’s ‘Garbage Reach’
“This year, sadly, the lasting image of Fiesta’s final day for me will be the storm-washed litter that destroyed any sense of civic pride that I or anyone else in this city should feel today for the reborn Mission Reach of the San Antonio River.” Bob Rivard’s story makes a compelling case for the Texas Bottle Bill. Read the Rivard Report here.
CAMPO expands to include Burnet County
The Capitol Area Management Planning Organization (CAMPO) is responsible for coordinating transportation plans for counties and cities surrounding Austin. The boundaries have been expanded and the organization has formalized a cooperative planning agreement with Lone Star Rail for high capacity transit plans in Central Texas. Read CAMPO’s recent news here.
Water Bill Falters After Contentious House Debate
A major bill on the top of Gov. Rick Perry's priority list that would authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the Texas House on Monday night after a contentious debate over where to pull the money from. Ritter’s bill, House Bill 11, would have taken $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund — a multibillion-dollar reserve of mostly oil and gas taxes — and spent it on water-supply projects, in an effort to help the state withstand future droughts. More from Texas Tribune.
Central Texas Water Coalition voices concerns with LCRA Water Management Plans
“The latest version of the LCRA Water Management Plan (WMP), which the TCEQ released for public comment on April 15, 2013, still raises serious concerns.” For example, recent years' data indicates the average inflows have significantly decreased but the plan still uses data from past assumptions. “Average inflows of 1,200,000 AF are assumed as compared to the recent five year average of 450,000 AF.” Read the full list of recommendations from CTWC.
SAWS turns off its Medina Lake tap
The San Antonio Water System has stopped drawing water from Medina Lake and shut down its treatment plant on the Medina River because of problems with the quality of the lake water. More from SA Express-News.
Limiting Environmental Regs Raises Fears of ‘Race to the Bottom’
Texas likes to be “business friendly” and as the state legislature considers bills to limit environmental regulation to keep it that way, some economists warn of the longer term consequences. Read more from State Impact.
Texas EcoLab: A Compelling Alternative to Ag Valuation
EcoLab is a partnership between landowners with ecologically valuable land and university researchers. Under this program, your land could transition into wildlife management use after just 2 years without needing an ag or timber valuation first. Click here to learn more.
A $13 million failure of imagination in Center Point
Explore how in Kerr County the "business as usual" model brings not only a $13 million price tag, but social and natural resource consequences as well. A veteran of over a quarter century of trying to move society toward sustainable water, providing planning and engineering as if water and environmental values matter. Read more from waterblogue.com
Malicious but Delicious
Restaurants are beginning to do their part to raise awareness of invasive animal invaders by putting them on the menu. Austin restaurant, Foreign and Domestic, recently staged a special feast, "Malicious but Delicious," in partnership with the Nature Conservancy with a dish featuring feral hog porchetta. Learn more from the New York Times.
As SAWS Pushes Native Plants, Texas Legislature Considers Native Plant Bills
Keeping Texas looking like Texas should get a bit easier if two bills introduced by State Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) pass the Texas Legislature this session. HB 1116 would create a Texas Native Seed Competitive Grant Program to fund and promote the development and cultivation of native seed. If HB 1135 passes, a Native Seed Committee composed of 12 individuals from around the state will be charged with crafting a master plan for encouraging native seed production and diversity. More from The Rivard Report.
National historic designation plaque to be unveiled at Herff Farm at the Cibolo, April 27
The Cibolo Nature Center & Farm will hold a public ceremony to unveil a bronze plaque at Herff Farm at the Cibolo in Boerne at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 27, to recognize the farm’s inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Details
Regional Lone Star Land Steward Awards Honor Texas Conservationists
At a time when punishing drought underscores the importance of managing our land and water to help Texas weather the worst, two land owners, two organizations and a mining company are being recognized by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Land Steward program for their efforts in rejuvenating native habitat and wildlife across the state. Learn More
461 acres added to Government Canyon
Government Canyon now has 461 more acres and includes the second-highest point in Bexar County. The land is over the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer and protects endangered species and San Antonio's water supply. Read more from SA Express-News.
Huber: Don’t let short-term interests steal future prosperity
The recent federal court ruling, faulting the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes, directly relates to maintaining prosperity. The judge ruled that the agency has a statutory obligation to ensure enough fresh water flows downriver to the coast to provide viable habitat for critters like blue crabs, which sustain the whooping cranes – and ultimately us. Read more from Karen Huber at Statesman.com.
It's time for a Texas bottle bill, but crusade meets with little enthusiasm in Austin
It's called simply "the bottle bill." And it would set up a 5-cent deposit-refund system that essentially would pay people to turn in plastic and glass beverage containers from things like water, sodas and energy drinks to redemption centers across the state to be recycled. Read more from the Houston Chronicle.
City of Buda maintains small-town appeal, wins award
What happens to a small town when it is bombarded with growth? In many cases, the town loses its identity, its quaintness. Ask residents of Buda what they want for the future, and most will say, "Preserve our small town atmosphere." Read more from Hays Free Press.
Whooping Cranes Are Important Sentinel of Texas Heritage
The recent federal court opinion holding the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) accountable for the deaths of 23 whooping cranes because of inadequate freshwater inflows to San Antonio Bay has generated a lot of concern and discussion. Read More
Texas Watershed Steward program to address water quality, availability
A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality and availability issues related to the Pedernales River will be held May 22 in Fredericksburg. The no-cost training is open to anyone interested in improving the land and watershed quality of the Pedernales River area. Details
Outlook Calls for Texas Drought to Continue Into Summer
Central Texas’ two largest reservoirs, Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan, are at 41 percent capacity, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority, LCRA, website. Those low levels aren’t likely to improve much in the coming months, as the NOAA outlook anticipates warmer and drier weather through June. Read more from State Impact.
Collaboration News on the Upper Llano River Watershed
The second newsletter of the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan is a great summary of events and progress. The Llano is so important to entire Colorado River system; springs on private lands feed this resource that becomes the water supply Austin. Read more. Or download the newsletter here.
Statesman Editorial calls out Austin bashing bills
It isn’t just Austin that suffers though when land development rules are weakened. It’s not a coincidence that Austin is a great place to live. “People who oppose development rules that Austin has lived under for more than 20 years have every right to try to change them through traditional democratic means at City Hall,” state Sen. Kirk Watson said. More from Statesman.com.
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance releases Legislative Agenda for the 83rd Session
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance has released their Legislative Agenda for the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature. This agenda includes bills filed as of March 29th, 2013. The Agenda has been compiled by consensus and endorsed by all forty-seven of our member groups, spanning twenty-one counties in Central Texas. Collectively, our groups represent approximately 25,000 Texans. Read More
UGRA: River quality in better shape
Water quality in the local Guadalupe River watershed improved last year, according to a recent report by the Upper Guadalupe River Authority. Although 2012 was drier than ideal, a few rainfalls produced beneficial flooding, said Tara Bushnoe, UGRA natural resources coordinator. Read More
Pull off the interstate in Junction for kayaking, hiking, birding and barbecue
Junction’s famous for its spring-fed rivers, state park, roosting turkeys, paddling routes, bird watching and pecans. While white-tailed deer hunting still ranks as one of the most popular draws for visitors, things are changing. Eco tourism is on the rise. “Probably in 30 years we’ll have more people coming for butterflies, birding and night skies than we do for deer hunting." Read the full story from Statesman.com
Better Lights for Starry Nights!
Our Night sky educational tour last week was very successful. Monday in Kerrville we co-hosted a gathering with community leaders and friends from the Riverside Nature Center at Schreiner University. A new observatory is in the works on the Schreiner campus giving Kerrville a wonderful new incentive to protect the night sky. Monday evening we joined the Texas Master Naturalists, Hill Country chapter for their monthly meeting with close to 100 participants. Tuesday, we partnered with the Hill Country Land Trust for a program in Fredericksburg where the city council recently passed a supportive resolution. Communities throughout the Hill Country are learning about effective night sky lighting as Bill Wren of the McDonald Observatory travels with HCA to share this story. Events were hosted at the Llano Public Library Wednesday and Thursday evening at the LBJ Historical Park in Johnson City. Learn More
Texas Tribune launches “In the Flow”
Exciting to see The Texas Water Symposium, one of HCA’s partner programs is featured in Volume 1, Issue 1, Story 1. Click here to read the first issue of In the Flow and become a subscriber yourself.
Barnes: George Cofer works to save open spaces
Cofer (head of the Hill Country Conservancy) has led the charge to snap up conservation easements in the Hill Country, allowing some private projects, thereby securing legal protection for other open space in perpetuity. Soon, his group will help break ground on Phase 2 of a grand project — the 30-mile Violet Crown Trail that will link the parks and greenbelts in Austin’s urban core toward a spine of Hill Country that arcs across the Barton Springs recharge zone. More from Statesman.com.
Award given to South Llano Watershed Alliance
The Junction-based South Llano Watershed Alliance is a winner of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s 2013 Lone Star Land Steward Award. Former First Lady Laura Bush will be the keynote speaker at an awards ceremony in Austin on May 21. Read More
Drought Response Sparks the Battle of St. Augustine
At some point, the realities of water in Texas will reach a point where it is impossible to lay all of the drought’s harm on someone else. Lawns — and whether to keep them in the face of a protracted water shortage — come into the argument. Read more from Texas Tribune.
Water cutbacks loom
If conditions continue unabated, the Edwards Aquifer Authority for the first time in its history, will declare Uvalde County to be in Stage 5, thus triggering a 44-percent cut in pumping.” Read full article from Uvalde-Leader News.
Winemiller: The real cost of the Texas drought
The 2011 drought was not as impactful as the “drought of record” during the 1950s. In the wake of that terrible decade, Texas embarked on a massive campaign of infrastructure construction to achieve water security. But the situation is different now, and this time we cannot simply build our way out of a water crisis. Read more from Statesman.com.
Water: For Thirsty Lawns or Thirsty People?
The Texas Water Development Board estimates that 40 percent of all municipal water use is outdoors. Of that, half is lost to runoff from the excessive watering of lawns. This is drinking water that is simply wasted. This is water that could easily be conserved. Read more from HCA's Milan J. Michalec and the Rivard Report.
Hill Country Alliance Calls for Entries in 7th Annual Photo Contest
For its 7th Annual Hill Country Photo Contest, HCA is looking for photography that captures the spectacular beauty of this region, images that illuminate the very things that are worth protecting, and the historical or cultural stories that need to be told. The Photo Contest Call for Entries is open through May 31, 2013. Learn More
HCA in action featured in the LCRA Aqua Vita newsletter
“Stewardship in Action” by Robin Berry, gives a wonderful recap of our recent Water Symposium and gathering at 700 Springs. “Rural land steward panelists David Langford, Tom Vandivier and Ruthie Russell described how their land management practices help maintain water levels in the beautiful spring-fed Llano River” Read the newsletter and don’t miss the wonderful slide show of pictures!
Texas Water Symposium – the precious springs of Texas
The latest Texas Water Symposium (TWS) was hosted by the Llano River Field Station at Texas Tech in Junction on March 8th. The TWS provides perspectives from policy makers, scientists, water experts, and regional leaders on dealing with the complexity and challenges in providing water for Texans in this century. The Junction symposium focused on the vast importance of springs and the connections between groundwater, surface water, science, and stewardship. Read full Junction Eagle article. Read more from TPR and listen to the rebroadcast.
“Kimble County - Where Our Stars Are Stars”
The Kimble County Chamber of Commerce & Junction Tourism has announced their new “Kimble County – Where Our Stars Are Stars!” Night Skies Friendly Business Recognition Program. Learn More
The Texas Water Plan - An 18 Year Old Perspective
Are we listening to the next generation? 18 year-old Justin Wolfe writes, "The state’s next step ought to be to legislate groundwater as a public resource, so as to manage and regulate it effectively. Only by managing this resource can we ensure the longevity of our water system for generations to come." Read Justin's full article here.
Major Water Funding Bill Moves One Step Forward, Prioritizes Conservation
Significant new funding for water projects in a dry, thirsty Texas moved one step closer to becoming a reality Thursday. The bill, HB 4, would take money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to start a loan program for new water projects. Read more from State Impact Texas.
Monarchs in trouble: Bad news for the butterfly species in Mexico and Texas
“The severe drought in Texas and much of the Southwest continues to wreak havoc with the number of monarchs. The conditions have been dry both here and in Mexico in recent years. It takes four generations of the insects to make it all of the way up to Canada, and because of lack of milkweed along the way, a lot of them just don’t make it.” Read full article from Texas Climate News.
In the Valley, not just farmers, but cities, may run out of water by spring
In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, water shortages are shaping up as a crisis not just for farmers but also for entire cities this year, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. In 2009, the area experienced the worst drought in decades, as did much of the state, but this year is shaping up to be much worse for area residents, said Dr. Guy Fipps, AgriLife Extension irrigation engineer, College Station. Read More
Judge rules in favor of WVWA
Dwight Peschel, Senior Judge of the 25th Judicial District, has released a letter indicating he is ruling in favor of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association in its lawsuit against the Hays-Trinity Groundwater Conservation District and Wimberley Springs Partners. Read Full Wimberley View article.
Water on the Home Front: New Report Highlights HOA Restrictions on Xeriscaping
“Texas faces an unprecedented water crisis, and most of the HOA landscaping rules that we found are barriers to the ability of ordinary homeowners to conserve,” said David Foster, State Director for Clean Water Fund and the report's author. He added: “Lawn watering can account for 60% or more of a typical homeowner's overall water usage.” Read More
Judge rules in favor of the Aransas Project in whooping crane case
The Court issued an order preventing the TCEQ from approving or granting new water permits affecting the Guadalupe or San Antonio Rivers “until the State of Texas provides reasonable assurances to the Court” that new permits would not result in harm to the whooping cranes. Learn More
Catching water from the sky
Water conservation has become a hot-button issue as water becomes more expensive and scarcer, especially during times of drought. Restrictions on landscape watering are common during the hotter months, and the (San Antonio) city council recently approved an 8.4 percent rate increase that SAWS requested. But customers who install catchment systems develop habits that reduce water usage, said Jim Champion of San Antonio-based Texas Rainfall Catchment. “Even with the smallest system, people gain new, better habits about using water,” he said. “They become more conscious of their water use.” Read more from SA Express-News
Texas' Water Future: What if it isn't there - or it's too costly?
Seeing our legislature taking a good, long and hopefully, logical look at our State Water Plan and its financing is hopeful. But going for the big, expensive and glamorous water projects will often cause more problems and not reduce our appetite for what is now more precious than gold, oil or gas—water. Read more from Mike Mecke in Ranch & Rural living here.
Billboards on Scenic Highways in Comal County
Billboards on Scenic Highways in Comal County will be the topic of the League of Women Voters - Comal Area public meeting March 21. Chris Cornwell, of Scenic Comal County, will describe the problem of proliferation of billboards along highways in the unincorporated areas of the county and Gus Cannon & Wendy Knox, from the Texas Department of Transportation, will explain the current regulations for billboards on state maintained highways in Comal County. Property owners have been invited to provide the point of view defending private property rights and financial considerations. Details
The Central Texas Water Coalition (CTWC) proposes buying out rice farmers
"What we have asked for is simple. That the LCRA take a close look at the concept before authorizing construction of the first reservoir. A committee of farmers and upstream interests should be brought together to see if the idea makes sense, just as the bitter enemies of ranchers and environmentalists eventually came together in the Texas Hill Country to find a middle ground, and to formulate a Win/Win solution to their problems." Read more from CTWC President Jo Karr Tedder.
Rainwater Revival Garners ‘Texas Rain Catcher’ Award for Public Education Excellence
“We’re honored to receive this recognition from the Texas Water Development Board,” said Karen Ford, HCA Board Member and chair of the event. “Our goal is to offer a useful, entertaining event that inspires anyone interested in conserving our water resources to learn how rainwater harvesting can become a reality for their home or business. With hundreds of people attending each of our three annual events to date, we help make rainwater catchment an easy priority for everyone.” Read More
Leurig: Conservation is conservative approach to solving Texas water problems
Testimony to the drought of 2011 is still all around us — dried-up reservoirs in West Texas, purposeless docks on the parched Pedernales River. On the heels of the drought, the idea of seeding a fund to meet the next 50 years of Texas’ water supply needs is a hard idea to pass up. But before we pluck that money from the state’s rainy day fund, let’s take a second look at what the state’s water needs really are, and how we ensure that state funds aren’t squandered in speculative water development. Read more from Statesman.com
Texas Springs Symposium March 8th
The 6th Annual Texas Water Symposium series continues this month at Junction with a personal conversation between Hill Country landowners and water experts about springs - the connection between groundwater and surface water. Details
Bill filed to recognize ecologically significant Hill Country rivers
A bill has been filed in the Texas Legislature to help preserve the unique ecological condition of the headwaters of the Nueces, Frio and Sabinal rivers in Uvalde County and the Comal and San Marcos rivers in Comal and Hays counties. Learn More
Blanco Post Office Installs Night Sky-Friendly Lights
Sometimes its what you don’t see that is really impressive. Such was the case recently when the Blanco Post Office installed new LED bulbs in the recently replaced carriage lights on the front of the Post Office building. The bulbs that originally had been installed in the new fixtures shined straight out onto the street and caused an irritating white glare for motorists and pedestrians alike. Additionally, because the lights shined above the horizon, they contributed to Blanco’s sky glow. Read more from Blanco County News.
Asleep at the Wheel to perform at event benefiting Texas Dance Hall Preservation
TDHP was founded in 2007 to help save the dance halls of Texas. Join TDHP for a benefit, March 30 at the historic Anhalt Hall, with a performance by nine-time Grammy award winning western swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, and a silent auction featuring rare music memorabilia. Details
Judge hears arguments in Jacob's Well groundwater dispute
The clear water that flows out of Jacob's Well has brought people to the Wimberley Valley for thousands of years, but in recent years the spring has stopped flowing, something which didn't happen even in the drought of record during the 1950s. "The reason it's gone dry is because of the heavy pumping from wells that are in the area," attorney Malcolm Harris said. More from YNN.
Burnet County officials to hold meeting on water issues, February 27
Water levels at lakes Travis and Buchanan remain low, and with slim chances for respite from the drought anytime soon, Burnet County officials have called a meeting Wednesday to brief residents and businesses on water issues. More from Statesman.com
A look at green infrastructure
Much of the focus about funding the State Water Plan is centered around significant public investments for traditional infrastructure such as treatment plants, pipes and dams; an expensive and sort-term strategy. Green Infrastructure provides much more cost-effective, long-term healthy natural systems for providing plentiful, clean water supply. Learn about Green Infrastructure from American Rivers here. Another great read about Green Infrastructure from the EPA here.
Spring Ag Irrigation Could Move San Antonio Toward Stage III Water Restrictions
As Texas enters a third year of drought, San Antonio Water System is bracing for the possibility that Stage III water restrictions may be activated for the first time in the city’s history as early as March. More from Rivard Report
Water experts from around the country gather in Austin to discuss improving water conservation
Our continued drought conditions here in Central Texas are a reminder of how important successful water conservation can be to a community. The drought also serves as a backdrop for this year’s 3rd Annual Water Conservation Symposium that focuses on Success Through Innovation: Strategies To Effectively Save Water, February 26th. Details
New study shows positive economic impact through a Texas beverage container deposit recycling program
Implementing a refundable deposit on beverage containers in Texas would provide a significant, positive impact to the state through increased economic activity, job creation, and reduced litter, according to a study released today by the Texas League of Conservation Voters. Learn More
Dome on the Range
Kenrick and Laurie Kattner have shared a love of stargazing and a dream of building their own observatory. They spent months driving around at night looking a spot away from the nighttime glow of Hill Country cities and towns. In 2007 they found the perfect piece of property in Llano County. “The Big Bend area near McDonald Observatory is one of the darkest areas in the nation, and it’s not that different out at our place,” Ken says of their Hill Country land. Read their story from Landscapes Magazine.
We need to design water sustainability into the very fabric of development
“So clearly there is ample reason to question if a State Water Plan that is predicated on extending and perpetuating the prevailing 19th century infrastructure model would cost more than it needs to, if we were to instead pursue a smarter infrastructure model, a model that recognizes and responds to the water realities here in the 21st century. An infrastructure model that yields deep conservation.” More from waterblogue.com.
Native landscapes, saving natural resources, edible gardens to be March workshop topics at Cibolo Nature Center & Farm
Using energy-efficient technology at home, designing native landscapes and creating edible gardens will be workshop topics at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm during March. Details
Hill Country Land Trust Earns National Recognition
The Hill Country Land Trust has achieved land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. The Hill Country Land Trust’s accredited status demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation that benefits the entire community,” says John Huecksteadt, Hill Country Land Trust President. Learn More
Statesman Article examines who benefits from the “Fund the Water Plan” campaign
H2O4Texas PAC included “oil and gas companies, realtors, home builders, water suppliers and engineers — industries that stand to benefit from massive projects to move water around the state.” But as Andy Sansom explains, “It’s hard to grasp that the easiest, cheapest water to get is the water we already have. Should I spend $100 million to build a new reservoir, or spend money fixing the leaking water mains all over town?” Read the full article here.
Scenic City Certification Program accepting applications, through March 31
Scenic Texas has identified a direct correlation between the success of a city’s economic development efforts and the visual appearance of its public spaces. In recognition of this link, Scenic Texas has developed the Scenic City Certification Program to support and recognize municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces. To learn more and download the application visit www.sceniccitycertification.org. For a detailed review of the program be sure to attend the hour-long webinar, March 6 at 10:30am.
Enjoy beautiful images of the Hill Country Night Landscape
HCA Photo Contest winner Chase A. Fountain is featured in a wonderful TPWD photo story about the Texas night landscape and starry sky above. Learn more about Hill Country efforts to protect the night sky. Keep tabs on the HCA Website and Newsletter, the 2014 Photo Contest is about to begin!
Certified Interpretive Guide Training Workshop
Do you want to create meaningful experiences that last a lifetime? HCA is offering an Interpretation class that will help you connect the minds and hearts of your audience to the beauty of nature and the mysteries of history. Workshop held the first two weekends in April. Register now, only a few spots remain. Details
Drought Plans on Edwards Aquifer is OK'd
A plan to manage the competing uses of the Edwards Aquifer in a drought was approved Thursday and couldn't be more timely, as the region faces what may be one for the record books. More from SA Express-News
Andy Sansom: “Action on Texas Water needed Now”
“Because the landscape of Texas is more than 95 percent owned by private citizens, virtually all our watersheds, all our recharge zones and all the countryside where the raindrops fall are on private property. The implications for our water supply are that in Texas we lose rural and agricultural land faster than any other state. We must find a way to keep our landowner stewards on the land and doing the right thing to ensure continued water for the rest of us.” Read the full opinion piece published in the Austin American Statesman here.
Bee Cave seeks control over development
"The Bee Cave City Council, concerned about a lack of control over new development near the city, hopes to hold an election in May that would give the council authority to annex nearby land and better regulate what is built there." Pay attention though a little further down the road, development could be pushed where the County currently has no land-use authority and needs it. Read more from Austin American Statesman.
We Love Hill Country State Parks and Natural Areas
State Park funding is once again a challenge this legislative session. To be part of a growing voice to “Keep Texas Parks Open” visit and like this Facebook movement.Check out the most recent issue of TPWD’s wonderful “Life’s Better Outside” newsletter that includes great information about conservation, water, kids outdoors and wildlife.
Come on Texas Hill Country – Let’s take the 40 Gallon Challenge together
Help turn the Hill Country region on this map to dark blue as we take the 40 Gallon Pledge together. We can do more to conserve water inside and outside our homes and businesses. Start by taking the pledge yourself. Then spread the word! Remember to forward to teachers too, this is a great educational tool for our kids. Take the Pledge
Deep Conservation, the Surest Path to Sustainable Water
A new water dialog has been launched www.waterblogue.com. “The stock in trade of water conservation programs practiced by cities and other water supply entities only tinkers around the margins of the basic water management infrastructure system; they do not attempt to fundamentally alter that system...what we need, if we are to approach sustainable water, are dependable, enduring long-term savings that are inherent in our water management processes. To get there, we need to get more deeply into how we manage water, and to fundamentally reform those processes." Read More
16th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15-18
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Everyone is welcome--from beginning bird watchers to experts. Learn More
How Hill Country Grazing Led to Cedar Fever in Texas
Grazing practices introduced to the Hill Country region in the late 19th century may be the cause of your cedar allergies. Read how from State Impact Texas.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves EARIP Habitat Conservation Plan
"Approval of the EARIP's HCP marks a significant conservation achievement for the Edwards Aquifer Region," stated Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle. "The organizations and individuals involved in the development of the HCP clearly demonstrated that it is possible to come together and develop a consensus based solution to a very complex water issue in Texas." Read More
Texas Lawmaker Seeks Overhaul of Water Board
In addition to the intensifying discussions of water infrastructure funding at the Capitol, an even more basic conversation is also getting under way: whether to restructure the Texas Water Development Board. More from Texas Tribune
Why is Texas out of water during severe droughts?
Bringing science to policy is one of HCA’s core goals. As HCA Technical Advisor Raymond Slade explains, “Three major schemes are needed: (1) increased conservation of water to minimize waste, (2) funding for at least some of the most-promising Water Management Strategies, and (3) consistent water-use regulation for both groundwater and surface water.” Read the whole story here.
Liquid History - A Water Poem all Must Read
Sky Lewey describes this as the "most beautifully accurate description of rivers" she's ever read. HCA loves poetry -we open all board meetings with inspirational words to help us become grounded in our work. Imagine all policy decisions guided by wisdom like this. Liquid History by Dan Caudle, Upper Trinity GCD Director and distinguished Range Conservationist. Liquid History
Read more Hill Country news
May 23 in Austin - Westcave Preserve presents: “Welcome to the Wild Country,” an introduction to the unique assemblage of wildlife and plants of the Texas Hill Country - Details
May 28 in San Antonio - Native Plant Society of Texas, San Antonio meeting - Topic: Gardening for butterflies using native and adapted plants - Free and open to the public - Details
May 28-30 in San Antonio - Southwest Stream Restoration Conference - Details
May 29 in San Antonio - NEW DATE - Join GEAA to engage the Mayor and City Council of San Antonio in a dialogue about development on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, and whether or not to expand SAWS service into Comal County - Details.
May 29 in Wimberley - Screening of the new film by Robert Redford, "Watershed" - Details
May 30 - Braun & Gresham webinar on Transmission Line Routing - Landowners will have an opportunity to ask questions about their rights in this complicated process - Details
May 30 near Hunt - Range and Wildlife Management Field Day - For landowners, land managers and brush control contractors operating in possible endangered species habitats - Details
June 1 in Boerne - Learn about summer gardening, water conservation during Rain Dance Festival at Herff Farm - Details
June 1 in Junction - "Well Trained" - A one day training for people who rely on household wells - Details
June 4 - Braun & Gresham webinar on Transmission Line Routing - Landowners will have an opportunity to ask questions about their rights in this complicated process - Details
June 7 in Hunt - Streamside Landowner Workshop: Understanding Riparian Areas - Details
June 7-9 in Blanco - Join us at the Blanco Lavender Festival - Details
Call for entries through May 31st
Imagine a place where vibrant communities draw strength from their natural assets to sustain their quality of life. A place where citizens care about protecting the special qualities of a region – their region. A place where people and partners band together to envision a better economic future, tackle shared challenges and care for the natural, scenic, and recreational resources that define the place they call home.
~This is a Conservation Landscape
Helpful Mapping Resources - Beautiful and informative maps of the region to print and share.
HCA Dynamic Mapping Tool - Interactive online GIS mapping tool