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Rainwater Harvesting News and Events


News

March 11, 2014

HCA’s Rainwater Revival calls for grant applications to fund water conservation and catchment programs at Hill Country schools

The Hill Country Alliance has set an April 30 deadline for local schools to apply for grants of up to $1,000 to develop or continue water catchment and conservation programs. The auction of “art barrels” during the Alliance’s annual Rainwater Revival, held in November, funds the grants. Learn more...

January 27, 2014

Chemical Spill in West Virginia shows the vulnerability of our water supplies

The disastrous chemical spill that contaminated West Virginia's water supply reinforced the value of harvesting rainwater to provide distributed sources of safe water. Read More

January 22, 2014

Hays County rainwater fund proposed

On January 21st the Hays County Commissioners Court discussed creation of a Hays County Rainwater Initiative Fund, the Hays “RAIN” Fund. The proposal authored by Commissioner Ray Whisenant would create a revolving loan fund that would be available to Hays County citizens for installation of systems to collect, store and use rainwater that would result in a reduction in the use of groundwater. Learn More

November 12, 2013

Sustainability focus of Rainwater Revival

“We’re dealing with so many water challenges in the state, particularly here in the Hill Country. There are a lot of unknowns like how to solve the complex water problems and rainwater harvesting is just a simple thing people can be doing to take the stress off of our aquifers.” Read the full Boerne Star article.

November 5, 2013

Rain Barrels: Living with Drought, Rain or Shine

It might have been a clear, crisp fall day in Boerne, but inside the Boerne Civic Center it was raining a solid schedule of rainwater harvesting information at the 4th annual Rainwater Revival. This Hill Country Alliance (HCA) event brought together a full day’s schedule of rainwater experts and professionals to teach and demonstrate a sure way to end all your water woes. Read the full story in the Rivard Report.

October 28 2013

Rainwater Revival Pitches its Tents in Boerne on Nov 2

Rainwater harvesting is part of the new water culture in Texas, especially in the Texas Hill Country where water is scarce and precious. On Saturday, November 2, the Rainwater Revival returns to the Boerne Civic Center where rain harvesting experts and practitioners will speak throughout the day in tandem with a variety of exhibitor and vendor tents, a live auction of artful rain barrels, the Raindrop Stop for kids, food trailers, music, and fun for the whole family. Learn More

September 26, 2013

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association annual conference, November 5-7

Rainwater Harvesting as an Alternate Water Source will be the Focus of this Year's Annual Conference of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association. Learn More

July 16, 2013

City of Round Rock: Collect rain water, get paid

For Round Rock resident Sean Barber, the two rain water collection tanks in his backyard are turning out to be his friend. Tired of seeing rain water wasted, Barber joined the city's harvesting rebate program. Under the city's program, which began June 1, people who install rain collection tanks like Barber's will be paid 50 cents per gallon of water collected with a maximum rebate of $250 a year per customer. Learn more from KVUE.

July 3, 2013

How to Build a Rainwater Harvesting System

AgriLife will be hosting a workshop on rainwater harvesting Aug. 17 in Austin. A comprehensive rainwater harvesting discussion will be led by Ed Parken, Travis County Master Gardener and rainwater harvesting specialist, and Dick Peterson, who served the city of Austin for 14 years as coordinator of xeriscape and rainwater programs. Details

Discounted Rain barrels though CCGCD

If you’ve been wishing for a rain barrel, the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District is having a rain barrel distribution on July 27th at the Kendall County Court House in Boerne. Special discounted prices include shipping to the pick-up site. Learn more and pre-order your barrels here.

May 31, 2013

Texas rainwater harvesting at a crossroads - a town hall meeting, June 15

H.B. 2062 as introduced could have set rainwater harvesting back ten years. But because of the dedicated work of a small group of rainwater professionals, the worst of H.B. 2062 (for the rainwater community) appears to have been struck. Next time could be different – very different, and very bad. A forum has been scheduled to begin organizing for effective, pro-active, rainwater harvesting advocacy in the interests of consumers, installers, manufacturers, vendors and municipalities. Details

May 20, 2013

City of San Marcos offers a limited time rebate on Rain Barrels

The City of San Marcos is partnering with RainWater Solutions to offer water-conserving rain barrels at an exceptional price. For a limited time the 50 gallon “Ivy” rain barrels are available for $67 each. City of San Marcos water customers are eligible for a 50% rebate, bringing total cost to only $33.50 each. Buyers do not have to be a San Marcos resident of San Marcos to purchase the barrels, but only City water customers are eligible for the rebate. Learn More

May 6, 2013

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

March 12, 2013

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

January 16, 2013

Rainwater Revival Sets Grant Application Deadline for Hill Country Schools

Hill Country schools in 17 counties are now eligible to apply for grants funded by professionally painted “art rain barrels” auctioned at the highly successful 2012 Rainwater Revival, held in Boerne in October. Learn More

December 9, 2012

Water Conservation Matters – even with no drought

What Mike says to San Angelo can apply throughout the Hill Country, “If San Angelo and the region are to continue to survive and prosper economically and if Texas is to be sustainable with its limited water resources, then residents must learn to conserve water all the time — not just in drought situations." Learn More

November 21, 2012

TWDB Accepting Applications for the 2012 Texas Rain Catcher Award

Applications are being accepted for the 2012 Texas Rain Catcher Award. The Texas Water Development Board holds the annual competition to promote the technology, educate the public in the practice of harvesting rainwater, and recognize excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas. The competition is open to all individuals, companies, organizations, municipalities, and local and state governmental entities in Texas. The deadline for submitting an entry is December 31. Learn More

September 5, 2012

Schools Receive Grants to Advance Conservation Education

Two Austin schools – J.J. Pickle Elementary and Eden Park Academy – are receiving financial assistance to help conserve water resources at their schools and teach students about the value of water conservation. Both schools have been awarded grants by the Rainwater Revival, an annual event that brings together water conservation experts and the public. Learn More

July 30, 2012

Save It for a Sunny Day

Hard-packed, fractured stretches of bone-dry earth and pale, cloudless skies with months of unrelenting heat isn’t exactly an appropriate backdrop for a conversation about rainwater harvesting. Or is it? Sanjeev Kalaswad, rainwater harvesting coordinator with the Texas Water Development Board and a leading proponent of rainwater harvesting in the state, thinks it’s just the right context for enlightening Texans about collecting and storing rainwater. Read more from Texas Co-op Power.

July 10, 2012

Texas Counties Must Get the ‘Big Picture’

Kerrville and much of our Texas Hill Country, has a limited amount of water to spare—either groundwater or surface water. In recent decades many of the Central Edwards Plateau counties have boomed in population, growth and tourism activity. Read HCA Advisory Board member Mike Mecke's article in Ranch & Rural Living Magazine.

May 29, 2012

Rainwater Revival Extends Application Deadline for Classroom Grants

Elementary and Middle Schools in 17 Hill Country counties now have until June 15 to apply for classroom grants focused on teaching water conservation and rainwater catchment to students, courtesy of the annual Rainwater Revival. Grants of up to $900 per selected application will be awarded for use during the 2012-2013 school year. Learn More

April 13, 2012

Rainwater Revival Opens Grant Applications to Schools in 17 Hill Country Counties

The Hill Country Alliance, organizer of the Rainwater Revival, is seeking grant applications from elementary and middle schools in 17 counties throughout the Hill Country to be used for water conservation education or rainwater harvesting projects at school sites. Learn More

April 2, 2012

Rain Harvest Event at McKinney Roughs April 28

Everyone interested in the quality of their rainwater is invited to the first Water Wise Conference, Saturday, April 28th at McKinney Roughs Nature Park in Cedar Creek, Texas. The program, “What’s in your rainwater – and how do you find out?” will begin at 9:30 a.m. and feature Environmental Laboratory Services/LCRA chemists Tess Abbott, Ariana Dean and Susan Benavidez. The three-hour event will include extensive “Q&A” as well as hands-on opportunities to practice using various water testing equipment. Learn More

March 29, 2012

Rainwater harvesting growing in popularity

A well driller wasn't among the contractors Bobby Watson hired when he built a new home overlooking Canyon Lake. Like a growing number of Texans, he opted to get water from the sky. In the driest times, they had 6,000 gallons in the two 10,000-gallon storage tanks that are camouflaged to blend in with surrounding trees. With the average San Antonian using 130 gallons per person per day, they were never in danger of running out. Read more from SA Express-News.

February 6, 2012

First ever study of the US Rainwater Harvesting market has been released

The study took over a year to complete and is a survey of vendors in the rainwater harvesting market. Learn More from HarvestH20.com.

December 20, 2011

Water a hot topic in Hill Country despite recent rains

"Statistics provided by the Texas Water Development Board show that groundwater withdrawal from the Hill Country's Edwards and Trinity aquifers increased dramatically between 1975 and 2010. In 1975, less than 10,000 acre-feet were withdrawn annually; that shot up to 41,000 acre-feet in 2010. Mix in recent drought years, and a picture of a thirsty Hill Country natural world comes into sharper focus." Read more from SA Express-News.

December 14, 2011

Rainwater harvesting system should make this year's wish list

Dear Santa, I've been reasonably good and would like pearl earrings, an electric lap blanket, a digital reading device and, oh yes, a rain water harvesting system. With water being a top concern, you may want to add this to your Christmas wish list. Capturing rain water is a great way to improve your water resources. Read more from MyWestTexas.com.

December 5, 2011

Submit Your Nominations for the Texas Rain Catcher Award

Time is running out to submit your entry for the 4th Annual Texas Rain Catcher Award. The Texas Water Development Board's (TWDB) Texas Rain Catcher Award is a "rainwater harvesting" competition and recognition program designed to promote rainwater technology, educate the public, and recognize excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 31. More information on eligibility, benefits, judging, entries and past winners is available on the TWDB's Innovative Water Technologies website.

August 30, 2011

Senator Wentworth: Planning for the Rains to Come (eventually)

Senator Wentworth promotes HCA’s Rainwater Revival as he informs constituents about Kendall County's action to strengthening watering restrictions and water conservation measures. Read the full story here.

August 15, 2011

Rainwater Revival Offers Expert Advice on Capturing Bounty from the Sky

At the 2nd Annual Rainwater Revival set for October 8 in Dripping Springs, you will learn how easy it can be for everyone to capture and enjoy the benefits of rainwater. The lineup of speakers will educate and inspire – with topics including Rainwater Harvesting 101, Designing and Building for Rainwater, the Water/Energy Nexus, Installing your Own System, and Making Your Own Rain Barrels. State Rep. Doug Miller and representatives from two key state agencies will provide an update on how State and local governments are supporting and encouraging rainwater capture. Read more

May 26, 2011

Rainwater Harvesting Bill Passes Both Texas Chambers

The rainwater harvesting bill made it through the Texas Legislature this week and is headed to the Governor’s desk. Read KUT story here.

May 24, 2011

Texas House Bill 3391 - The Rainwater Harvesting Bill Passes

The passage of Texas House Bill 3391, known as the Rainwater Harvesting Bill, represents a giant step forward for conservation of water resources and water security for the state. Rainwater harvesting is one of the best solutions to limited water resources and an increasing demand on water supply in Texas. Read more here.

March 24, 2011

Save the Date – Rainwater Revival 2011 is set for October 8th in Dripping Springs

Rainwater Harvesting is one of the most simple and effective water conservation tools for the Hill Country. Last year HCA co-hosted the first annual Rainwater Revival to provide education and enthusiasm for Rainwater collection. The event was a huge success and we are busy making plans for 2011! Sponsorship available now, contact HCA for more information. To learn about last year's event see http://www.rainwaterrevival.com. HCA would like to send out a huge thank you to the LCRA and Hays County for their support. You can find more information about Rainwater Harvesting on this HCA issue page: http://www.hillcountryalliance.org/HCA/RainwaterHarvesting

March 4, 2011

Curious about Rainwater use?

The Texas Rainwater Catchment Association (TRCA) is hosting their State Conference in Kerrville. This event is free and open to the public, March 18th and 19th. Learn more

October 26, 2010

Commissioners agree to keep rainwater rules for subdivisions flexible - for now

A public hearing on new development rules drew only two speakers, both supportive of a proposal in the new rules that would allow subdivisions that rely on rainwater collection to provide potable water. Read full Boerne Star article here.

August 20, 2010

Rainwater Revival announces speaker and live music line-up

The Rainwater Revival today announced the speaker and live music line-up for this outdoor festival created to celebrate the timeless conservation practice of rainwater collection. Read more here.

June 8, 2010

Rainwater Revival ramps up for Hays County

The Rainwater Revival will be a fantastic opportunity for the entire Hill Country conservation community to come together in support of rainwater harvesting. Sponsorships and vendor booths are now available and filling fast. The event will take place October 9th in Dripping Springs. Click here to find out how you or your organization can get involved.

May 25, 2010

Texas AgriLife Extention offers online rainwater harvesting training course

Texas AgriLife Extention is offering a self-directed online course designed to help small acreage landowners gain an understanding of how to collect rainwater for livestock. Click here for details.

May 19, 2010

Cibolo Nature Center announces three upcoming programs

Sustainable Concept House Workshop, May 29th, and two Rainwater Harvesting Workshops, June 12 and July 10. Click here for more.

April 13, 2010

Rainwater Revival

The Rainwater Revival is coming to Dripping Springs on 10-9-10. A brainstorm of the Hays County Water Conservation Working Group, The Rainwater Revival will be a fun, festive, educational event to spread the good word on rainwater harvesting and water conservation, the importance of which grows with our ever increasing population. Click here to check out the event website for volunteer and sponsorship opportunities.

February 6, 2010

Bandera settles with business refusing water

A two-year standoff is ending between the city and a businesswoman who refused to take municipal water because she'd installed a rainwater catchment system on her new building. Read full SA Express article here.

March 11, 2010

TRCA 2010 State Conference, March 12-13 in Kerrville

The mission of the Texas Rainwater Catchment Association is to provide Texas citizens with credible information and resources on rainwater collection, to promote the advancement of rainwater conservation and to work with state, county and other local government units in promoting rainwater catchment. The agenda of this conference has been put together with that mission in mind. - Details and Registration

August 18, 2009

Drop in time

A one-inch rain falling on a 1,000-square-foot roof yields 600 gallons of water — a bounty during times of drought, according to Hill Country Master Naturalist Jim Stanley. But storing rainwater is just one of the benefits of a rainwater harvesting system, said Stanley, who has served as a Riverside Nature Center volunteer for the past eight years. Read full Kerrville Daily Times article here.

August 11, 2009

Rainwater catchment catches on

Many Bandera County residents have been wondering the obvious, when is it going to rain? Naturally, we are all concerned about our water supplies and whether our wells will withstand the drought. Asserting he can provide an alternative to groundwater usage, Bryon Moseley, of Rain Catchment Systems, Inc., claims it's all on the roof. Read full Bandera Bulletin article here.

August 1, 2009

Collecting rain catching on in Hill Country

It seems somewhat counterintuitive that the longer the drought persists, the more demand grows for rainwater harvesting systems around the Hill Country. They're increasingly popular because, in spite of sparse rainfall, clouds may prove a more reliable long-term water source than wells because of recent rapid growth. Read full Mysanantonio.com article here.

July 31, 2009

What Roof is Best for a Rainwater Harvesting System?

Rainwater harvesting is fast becoming an attractive water supply option in many areas of Texas; some households are even using it as their sole source of water. Although rainwater is generally clean, it can contain chemical and biological contaminants. Some of these contaminants are picked up in the atmosphere, but others are from the roof of a building when rain comes in contact with it. Read full article TWDB's newsletter here.

July 15, 2009

Rainwater Catchment... Where every drop counts

With rainwater catchment dating back to 4,000 years ago, the statement "Where every drop counts" has rung true throughout the centuries in countries around the world. As our region continues to endure almost 2-years of drought conditions and our groundwater resources diminishing more with each passing day, one local Boerne couple continues to prove this method works and the statement is true. Read full Hill Country Times article here.

June 19, 2009

The Great Rain Harvest

While Hari Krishna was visiting his native India recently, he traveled through a remote rural village and saw that rainwater was being collected from the roofs of some of the buildings. He stopped and asked the villagers how they learned to build the catchment system. One man went inside and promptly brought out a copy of The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting written by none other than Krishna. A longtime employee of the Texas Water Development Board, now working as a consultant, Krishna was gratified to find his handbook so far from home, but not all that surprised. Read full TP&W artile here.

Hill Country home off the grid

Talk about the concept of a self-sustained home and the image that comes to mind is a rustic cabin with bare minimum comforts. But one couple in the Texas Hill Country — Rick and Stephanie Ertel — has erased that image. The couple has built a platinum-certified LEED home that is both environmentally friendly and luxurious. What’s more, it also won an Austin Energy Five-star rating. Read full SA Business Journal article here.

June 28, 2009

It’s Now Legal to Catch a Raindrop in Colorado

DURANGO, Colo. — For the first time since territorial days, rain will be free for the catching here, as more and more thirsty states part ways with one of the most entrenched codes of the West. Precipitation, every last drop or flake, was assigned ownership from the moment it fell in many Western states, making scofflaws of people who scooped rainfall from their own gutters. In some instances, the rights to that water were assigned a century or more ago. Read full NY Times article here.

May 1, 2009

Walking in the Rain

When it rains most people stay in and look out. But the next time it rains, get dressed and go out. This is the best way to really know what the flow of water is on ... and off your property. Read full article in Rain Garden Networks latest newsletter here.

November 20, 2008

Central Texans learn about rainwater harvesting

"Residents from all over the Hill Country of Texas who are concerned about water conservation are learning how Mother Nature can lend a helping hand," writes Scott Sticker for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. "The Texas AgriLife Extension Service on Saturday afternoon hosted a rainwater harvesting seminar at its Comal County extension office where gardeners, agriculture experts and the everyday water drinker had the chance to learn how to properly harvest and filter rainwater for various needs." Read the full Herald Zeitung story here.

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The Latest News

City Wastewater Discharge May Threaten Clear-running Creeks and Water Wells

Some water experts believe Hill Country clear-running creeks and streams may soon be a thing of the past if cities are permitted to discharge treated wastewater directly into creeks such as Onion Creek. Water wells may also become contaminated. Read More

Sky Lewey, HCA Board Member receives Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Award

Sky has been selected to receive a “Lone Star Land Steward Award” for her work in education and outreach for the Nueces River Authority in Uvalde County. “Sky Lewey is a conservation educator with extraordinary leadership and dedication. A key figure in the efforts to restore healthy riparian function to the Nueces River Basin and beyond.” David Langford, HCA Advisor, and his wife Myrna are also receiving an award for their landowner cooperative in Kendall County. Congratulations HCA leaders! Read more from TPWD.

Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers - Starts April 30

"Keeping Rivers Flowing" is a free three-part webinar series designed to inform interested persons about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries. Drawing on practical experience from here in Texas and around the world, speakers will discuss innovative approaches for ensuring that rivers, bays and estuaries continue to get the flow needed to protect water quality and support healthy fish and wildlife populations. Learn More

Amazing rally for Bracken Bat Cave

Bat Conservation International has inspired major support to prevent intense development of 1500 acres adjacent to Bracken Cave from the City of San Antonio, Mayor Julian Castro, City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation and others. Find out more about recent negotiations to save the cave and learn about upcoming opportunities to personally visit Bracken Bat Cave and see the bats take flight.

The Great Grassland Myth of the Texas Hill Country

How many times have you heard that the Hill Country was once a great vast grassland with only a modest covering of trees and brush? Although this longstanding myth is deeply ingrained and embraced by many government agencies, biologists, landowners and professionals, it is false and misleading. Learn what the Hill Country was really like prior to 1860 from eye-witness accounts, and why it is important to understand the past. Read and share from Steve Nelle.

Georgetown moves to limit residential lawns and landscaping to save water

“The rules require residential developers to use only drought-resistant plants from a list provided by the city. St. Augustine grass, which tends to be very thirsty, can only be planted in areas where there is 10 inches of topsoil and less than 6 hours of full sunlight per day.” Read more from the American Statesman (subscription required). Learn more about St. Augustine and the impact lawn watering has on our regional water supply from Native American Seed here. KXAN reports “more buyers want homes with smaller yards and less grass to water.” View video here.

The High Cost of San Antonio’s North-South Water Divide

The fact is the city’s sprawling suburbs, gated communities and ex-urban neighborhoods are addicted to lawn and landscape watering. SAWS officials say about one-third of all the water we use in the hot summer months is pumped to keep grass alive. Not humans, but grass. Learn More

TWDB launches Interactive State Water Plan Website

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has developed a new Interactive 2012 State Water Plan webpage that will let water users statewide take an up-close look at data in the 2012 State Water Plan and how our water needs will change over time. This data will arm communities with important information as they plan for projects to submit for State Water Implementation Fund (SWIFT) funding. Learn More

A more “Night Skies” friendly community

It started when the Kimble County Commissioners Court, followed by the City Council, passed resolutions supporting voluntary efforts to protect the Night Skies. This paralleled actions being taken in other Hill Country communities to preserve the awe-inspiring Night Skies and the enjoyment that comes with stargazing, including its attraction for visitors. Read more from the Junction Eagle.

Symposium explores land, water connection

HCA’s March 20th Texas Water Symposium generated a crowd of more than 150 to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Pedernales River watershed. Landowners, state and local officials and non-profit representatives gathered to explore these issues and the steps being taken to solve them. Learn more from the Fredericksburg Standard. An hour-long version of the event will be aired on Texas Public Radio in select regions Sunday, April 6th at 8pm - Details

You Can’t Say They Don’t Care What You Think – Public Input on HB 4

Approval of “Prop 6” indirectly transferred $2 billion from the state’s “rainy day” fund into this new State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) to provide water for “non-rainy” days. But just moving money around doesn’t create water. That’s why what’s happening now at the state’s Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is so important. Read more from Ken Kramer at TexasLivingWaters.org.

Groundwater Levels on the Decline

Stay informed about your local Groundwater Conservation District (GCD). The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) creates a monthly bulletin full of helpful water conservation information and news. Read the latest edition here. Do you know your local GCD? Do you have a local GCD? If you are unsure, contact HCA and we’ll help you learn.

Build Smart Water Now

While we continue to reduce our water use, demands increase every day with new homes of suburbia appearing on the horizon. Each will require more water, with a considerable amount going to establish and maintain hundreds of acres of new turf grass each year. In this region, traditional home lawns typically consume 25 to 35% of the annual treated water. Projecting into the future, new residential yards could require up to 30,000 acre-feet per year by 2040—enough water to meet about 20 percent of Austin’s current demand. Read More

A fun way for students to learn about life sciences from TWA

The Texas Wildlife Association provides Distance Learning programs to bring education about our natural world into the classroom via videoconferencing. Discover resources HCA has assembled to help parents and teachers inspire our next generations to be thoughtful stewards of the Hill Country here.

Financing the Cost of New Development

“With growth projected to skyrocket in the Hill Country, GEAA will keep working to make sure that the costs of growth are distributed equitably.” While the SAWS staff recommends new impact fees to fund additional water supplies, development interests are pushing back. Learn More

HCA's Certified Interpretive Guide Training Workshop Returns

Do you want to create meaningful experiences that last a lifetime? HCA is offering an Interpretive Guide Training workshop that will help you connect the minds and hearts of your audience to the beauty of nature and the mysteries of history. The four-day workshop will be held April 28-29 and May 5-6. Register now, class size limited. Details

EPA proposes greater protections for streams, wetlands under Clean Water Act

“Intermittent and ephemeral streams provide critical fish habitat out West. They account for 94 percent of Arizona’s streams, according to the EPA, and 88 percent of those in New Mexico.” The same holds true here in the Hill Country as these tributaries feed the Llano, Pedernales, Blanco, Guadalupe and Nueces Rivers. “These streams provide the flow for larger rivers and spawning and rearing habitat for young fish and insects; they also help to determine the quality of downstream habitat for fish.” Read more from the Washington Post.

TWDB's Water Data for Texas website now includes groundwater data

Today Texans are more aware than ever of the importance of groundwater. As part of ongoing efforts to synthesize and communicate water-related data to scientists, policy makers and the public, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) recently announced its Water Data for Texas website now includes groundwater data. Learn More

CAMPO Planning – Now is the time to get involved

The Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is currently seeking public input for projects including new roads in the long-ranch plan. Learn more about transportation planning taking place in Burnett, Travis and Hays counties and attend an open house near you.

New Billboard Fact Sheet

Scenic America has just released a handy 4-page reference guide to basic facts and figures about billboards. Download the PDF here. Learn more about scenic issues and billboard in the Hill Country here.

The Bats are on their way back to the Hill Country

While South by Southwest (SXSW) comes to a close in Austin, Texas' bat season is just beginning. That's right, the Mexican free-tailed bats have begun their northward migration. To celebrate, here's a little "Q&A" to help answer any questions you may have about this awesome spring event. Learn more from Bat Conservation International.

Stormwater Management Can Be “Green” Too

Meet Dr. Katherine Lieberknecht. She is a professor in the University of Texas School of Architecture who proposes the revolutionary idea that stormwater runoff can – and should – be managed as a water resource, rather than as nuisance to be drained “away” as “efficiently” as practical. Read more from Waterblogue.

West's Drought and Growth Intensify Conflicts over Water Rights

Across the parched American West, the long drought has set off a series of fierce legal and political battles over who controls an increasingly dear treasure - water. Read more from the New York Times.

HCA’s Rainwater Revival calls for grant applications to fund water conservation and catchment programs at Hill Country schools

The Hill Country Alliance has set an April 30 deadline for local schools to apply for grants of up to $1,000 to develop or continue water catchment and conservation programs. The auction of “art barrels” during the Alliance’s annual Rainwater Revival, held in November, funds the grants. Learn more...

SAWS Backpedals on Right Choice – Still Considering Groundwater Importation Project

Last month, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club praised staff at the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) for recommending to their Board that the focus of future water supplies for the city should rest on nearby brackish groundwater, rather than the importation of fresh groundwater from locations distant of the city. Unfortunately, the SAWS Board, sensing pressure from the business community, has backpedaled against that recommendation to reject all three of the groundwater proposals. Read more from the Texas Living Waters Project.

American Dream and the Economic Myth

Property is a thing. Happiness is an ideal, a story of the future created by the imagination. The American dream, even when it takes material form, is a wish the heart makes in its pursuit of happiness. It is an act of the imagination made vivid by the life and liberty that allow us to pursue it with hope. Read and share one of our timeless favorite pieces by Betty Sue Flowers.

SAWS: Yes to Desal Plant, Maybe to Pipeline

The San Antonio Water System board voted unanimously Tuesday to fund Phase I construction of a brackish water desalination plant in southern Bexar County – the most ambitious water diversification project in the city’s history – and enter negotiations with the Vista Ridge Consortium to provide San Antonio with an even greater supply of new water via a privately-owned regional pipeline, a second diversification project of unprecedented scope and cost. Read more from the Rivard Report.

Registration is open for the Annual Kent Butler Summit

Faucets, Toilets, and Automobiles: Balancing Growth and Sustainability in the Barton Springs Aquifer Region. Join us Friday, April 25th for a day of learning at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. Click here to learn more and register online.

Texas’ Most Endangered Places

Nominations are now being accepted for the Preservation Texas, Most Endangered Place list. Some wonderful places in the Hill Country already grace this list including the Spettel Riverside House in Bandera County, The Old Llano County Jail, Hamilton Pool, Scenic Loop-Boerne Stage Corridor and statewide, Texas Dance Halls! The deadline is fast approaching, March 21st, take it upon yourself to nominate an iconic Hill Country treasure. Learn More

More News

Upcoming Events

April

April 16 in Canyon Lake - Billboards in Comal County: TxDOT will present findings from a recent inventory of billboards in Comal County - Presented by the League of Women Voters, Comal Area - Details

April 17 in Austin - TWDB will hold two Board meetings to discuss innovative water solutions for Texas and financial assistance for water projects - The public and interested stakeholders encouraged to attend and provide public comment - Details

April 19 in Boerne - Streamside Management: Restoring and Maintaining Riparian Areas - Details

April 22 - Earth Day! - Earth Day Events

April 22 in Austin - Texas Water Journal Forum focusing on current challenges to rural and urban water conservation - Details

April 23-25 in Kerrville - Bennett Trust Educational Program: "Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau" - Details

April 23-27 - 2014 Hill Country Nature Quest - Tour the Hill Country River Region and learn about native plants, birds, butterflies and wildlife - Details

April 25 in Austin - Kent Butler Summit, “Faucets, Toilets, and Automobiles: Balancing Growth and Sustainability in the Barton Springs Aquifer Region” - Details

April 25-27 in Fredericksburg - 4th Annual Wings over the Hills Nature Festival - Details

April 26 in Austin - Native Plant Spring Symposium - Hosted by The Native Plant Society of Texas and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Details

April 28 in Kerrville - Native Bees of Texas - A meeting of the Hill Country Master Naturalist - Free and open to the public - Details

April 30 - Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers - Free three-part webinar series on strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries - Details

May

May 3 in Bandera - 13th Annual Medina River Cleanup - Details

May 6 in Medina - Fruit Tree Management Workshop - Hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

May 7 in San Antonio - Public Health and the Built Environment - Healthy Communities by Design - Details

May 8 in San Antonio - Urban Wildlife Management Workshop - Details

May 9 in Boerne - Monarch Workshop: Monarch Biology, Ecology & Monarch Larval Monitoring Project Training - Hosted by the Cibolo Nature Center - Details

May 9 in Stonewall - 2014 New Landowner Series: Forage Production, Livestock Production and Handling, Crop Production - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

May 10 in Wimberley - Grand Opening of the newly improved Jacob's Well Natural Area - Details

May 12 in Fredericksburg - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Hill Country University Center - Details

May 13 in Llano - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Details

May 14 in Marble Falls - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Details

May 16 in Fredericksburg - Better Lights for Starry Nights: Learn how to save money, preserve our night skies and enjoy some star gazing! - Enchanted Rock State Natural Area - Details

May 16 in Austin - Exploring Conservation Design in Central Texas with Randall Arendt - Details

May 28-30 in San Antonio - Southwest Stream Restoration Conference - Details



See more upcoming events


Photo Contest

Photo contest begins March 1st!
Details


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



Hill Country View
Listen and Learn



Maps

Helpful Mapping Resources - Beautiful and informative maps of the region to print and share.

HCA Dynamic Mapping Tool - Interactive online GIS mapping tool

 
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