Unpave the parking lot and create paradise: A story of Headwaters at the Comal River

Unpave the parking lot and create paradise: A story of Headwaters at the Comal River

Remember the Joni Mitchell song “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”?  Well, imagine you are on the Governing Board of the New Braunfels Utility and the staff proposes a plan to parcel off sections of a valuable 16 acres tract of land – once the fleet, facility and operations center for the growing utility – for development.  The mostly asphalt-paved property could bring in a significant amount of short-term funding redeveloped for commercial purposes, however, it also…

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Texas struggles to keep pace as thirst for water intensifies

Texas struggles to keep pace as thirst for water intensifies

DALLAS (AP) — About 1,000 people arrive in Texas each day, drawn by jobs, newly built homes and other opportunities. But in a state where prolonged drought is a regular occurrence, officials are struggling to ensure they can sate everyone’s thirst. Water experts are trying to determine how “resilient” the state’s water infrastructure is in keeping safe drinking water flowing through the taps. There are indications that the system is more fragile than once thought: After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, more than…

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New manmade lake to bring clean, quality water to Rockwall county

New manmade lake to bring clean, quality water to Rockwall county

Last spring, the North Texas Municipal Water District broke ground on the first major manmade lake Texas has seen in nearly three decades – Bois d’Arc Lake. Recently, the Rockwall County Commissioners Court welcomed an update from NTMWD on the project. Bois d’Arc Lake will encompass 16,641 acres in Fannin County to the northeast of the city of Bonham, providing clean water to all of NTMWD’s member cities, including Rockwall and Royse City. NTMWD Executive Director Tom Kula said due…

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Plan to dim Field of Dreams light pollution

Plan to dim Field of Dreams light pollution

Following years of complaints from residents living near the Lake Travis Youth Association’s “Field of Dreams” about bright lights shining into their homes, the association has come up with a 10-year, $1.2 million plan that will address neighbors’ concerns while still allowing young athletes to use the fields in the evening. The sports complex at 13909 W. Texas 71 includes several baseball, softball and soccer fields on about 19.5 acres of land in Bee Cave. A combination of permanent and…

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Hill Country Alliance gathers concerned citizens

Hill Country Alliance gathers concerned citizens

A get-together introducing the resources of the Hill Country Alliance to concerned area citizens was led by the HCA’s executive director Katherine Romans who discussed Hill Country conservation issues included multiple presentations along with audience participation and questions. Future meetings are in the works. Speaking before an audience numbering dozens of area residents Thursday, Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance, offered her agency’s assistance along with cautionary reasons for guarding natural resources. Romans stated that between 2010…

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House bill opens tap for WCID3 despite opposition

House bill opens tap for WCID3 despite opposition

On May 22, HB 1806 was voted through by the Texas Senate, clearing the way for the San Antonio Water System to sell 1,500 acre feet of water across county lines from Bexar into Kendall. Despite vigorous and organized opposition by local leaders – including Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District chairman Milan J. Michalec, who protested the bill before committee members in Austin – HB1806 will reverse water management law established in 1993. After its passage, Michalec spoke strongly against…

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Hill Country landowners fight for land in proposed gas pipeline’s path

Hill Country landowners fight for land in proposed gas pipeline’s path

Hill Country landowners flooded a Travis County courtroom Tuesday hoping to thwart the construction of a natural gas pipeline they say poses safety risks and drives down the values of their multi-million dollar properties. Sitting shoulder to shoulder and wearing “Save the Water” stickers, dozens of landowners grumbled as lawyers for Houston-based Kinder Morgan, which plans to route the $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline Project through their backyards, downplayed potential health hazards, or referenced the power they say the company…

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Reduce electricity waste with proper outdoor lighting

Reduce electricity waste with proper outdoor lighting

We all know the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. But keeping the night skies dark so we can continue to enjoy the stars requires some extra effort and mindfulness. Outdoor lighting has important applications, such as keeping our outdoor spaces safe and usable at night. But it can easily result in wasted energy that creates sky glow, dimming the starry night sky for everyone. This light, and the electricity used to create…

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Bat-killing fungus detected in 21 Texas counties and in Bracken Cave, north of San Antonio

Bat-killing fungus detected in 21 Texas counties and in Bracken Cave, north of San Antonio

A fungus that kills hibernating bats has spread and is now detected in 21 Texas counties, including Bexar, and Comal County’s Bracken Cave, which houses the world’s largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. That’s double what it was in previous years, said Jonah Evans, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department state mammalogist. The fungus causes what’s known as “white nose syndrome” and has been deadly for millions of bats in eastern parts of the U.S., where some species have been…

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Eminent domain reform died in the Texas Legislature this session

Eminent domain reform died in the Texas Legislature this session

Texas state lawmakers looking to reform the eminent domain process were unable to find common ground this session, despite hundreds of hours of negotiation. State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst’s Senate Bill 421 sought to better protect property owners when private companies condemn their land — a nod to landowners in Texas who’ve grown accustomed to encroaching oil and gas pipelines. The bill would’ve required public meetings between property owners and industry groups and instituted measures to prevent low-ball offers to property…

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