A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

From the moment Kinder Morgan and its business partners announced that their 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline would cross the Texas Hill Country, landowners, environmentalists, elected officials and groundwater protection agencies along or near the route have fought tooth and nail to move it or stop it. And they openly warned of the precise danger landowners such as Albright now face: disturbing the “karst” features below their property. Like underground Swiss cheese, they serve as conduits for groundwater that, in a…

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Great Springs Project envisions a network of trails from Austin to San Antonio

Great Springs Project envisions a network of trails from Austin to San Antonio

Twenty-seven years ago, Deborah Morin watched as the hills, streams, caves, and springs of the Hill Country outside of Austin were being gobbled up by construction… Almost three decades later, Morin, a San Antonio native, is at the head of a nonprofit working to do just that, but on a much larger scale. She’s president of the board of the Great Springs Project, an initiative to preserve land and stitch together a network of hike and bike trails that will…

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Texas Living Waters Project unveils 2020 Texas Water Conservation Scorecard

Texas Living Waters Project unveils 2020 Texas Water Conservation Scorecard

Texas water conservation practices have not improved in the last four years. June 23rd, 2020 – Austin, TX – The Texas Living Waters Project released the 2020 Texas Water Conservation Scorecard, an in-depth analysis and ranking of the water conservation efforts of more than 300 water utilities in Texas.  The study found that many utilities are not taking serious actions to advance water conservation. The Texas Living Waters Project is a partnership of the National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club-Lone…

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Revealed: millions of Americans can’t afford water as bills rise 80% in a decade

Revealed: millions of Americans can’t afford water as bills rise 80% in a decade

In the first nationwide research of its kind, our findings reveal the painful impact of America’s expanding water poverty crisis as aging infrastructure, environmental clean-ups, changing demographics and the climate emergency fuel exponential price hikes in almost every corner of the country… “More people are in trouble, and the poorest of the poor are in big trouble,” said Roger Colton, a leading utilities analyst, who was commissioned by the Guardian to analyse water poverty. “The data shows that we’ve got…

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What’s at stake when we pave over, fragment and otherwise fail to protect Texas farmland from the disruptions of development?

What’s at stake when we pave over, fragment and otherwise fail to protect Texas farmland from the disruptions of development?

Millions of acres of America’s agricultural land were developed or converted to uses that threaten farming between 2001 and 2016, according to “Farms Under Threat: The State of the States,” a new report by American Farmland Trust. The report’s Agricultural Land Protection Scorecard is the first-ever state-by-state analysis of policies that respond to the development threats to farmland and ranchland, showing that every state can, and must, do more to protect their irreplaceable agricultural resources… The report found that Texas was the most threatened state in the nation due to…

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SAWS flushing half of Vista Ridge water as cost overrun nears $80M

SAWS flushing half of Vista Ridge water as cost overrun nears $80M

The San Antonio Water System is flushing some of the most expensive water in Texas down a Northside creek as it struggles to finish a connection pipeline that has run nearly $80 million over early cost estimates. Originally set to be finished in mid-April, construction on an underground pipeline to connect Vista Ridge’s endpoint to the main SAWS system south of Loop 1604 now won’t be finished until July, SAWS Chief Operating Officer Steve Clouse said at the utility’s June…

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Armed with Eminent Domain, pipeline projects continue to burden landowners during the pandemic

Armed with Eminent Domain, pipeline projects continue to burden landowners during the pandemic

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project is ceaseless, continuing through the coronavirus pandemic. Landowner Heath Frantzen said that dozens of workers have showed up to his ranch in Fredericksburg, even as public health officials urged people to stay at home. “They weren’t wearing masks. They weren’t wearing gloves. They weren’t practicing social distancing,” he said. Frantzen believes…

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Southside residents succeed in push to bring air monitor to area

Southside residents succeed in push to bring air monitor to area

The monitor’s installation by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) came seven months after a meeting with a half-dozen Southside residents and TCEQ officials. State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio) organized the face-to-face session at Palo Alto College in response to the proliferation of frack sand mines and other industrial sites in South Bexar County. At the September meeting, Pacheco and others blasted the TCEQ for not cracking down harder on sand companies that spread “very fine, fine dust”…

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San Antonio Council OKs zoning change over Edwards Aquifer property

San Antonio Council OKs zoning change over Edwards Aquifer property

City Council on Thursday approved a zoning change that paves the way for new development over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone on the Northwest Side. The change will affect 22 acres close to the intersection of Jones Maltsberger and Redland roads. The land is part of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, where water flows underground and adds to the main drinking water supply of the San Antonio region. Landowner Austin Hagauer, a San Antonio real estate broker, plans to build 67…

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Senate approves Great American Outdoors Act

Senate approves Great American Outdoors Act

The U.S. Senate today voted 73-25 to approve the Great American Outdoors Act, which would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and make critical investments in our national park system. “Today the Senate delivered a historic win for the conservation of America’s natural landscapes,” said Jennifer Morris, chief executive officer at The Nature Conservancy. “This bill would make major investments in the landscapes and landmarks vital to our economic, emotional and societal well-being. By protecting important natural spaces…

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