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…

Read More
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…

Read More
Centuries-old irrigation system shows how to manage scarce water

Centuries-old irrigation system shows how to manage scarce water

It’s spring again, the time of year—for the 300th time in some instances—when New Mexico communities come together to clean the acequias, irrigation channels that carry snowmelt from the mountains to newly tilled farm fields. Each annual cleaning is one more demonstration that at least here, in these close-knit communities arrayed across arid and rugged rangeland, it’s possible for people to share scarce resources to achieve a common goal—in this case, making sure everyone in the group has enough water.…

Read More
Local official opposes state water bill in Austin hearing

Local official opposes state water bill in Austin hearing

Last week Boerne’s Milan Michalec, chairman of Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District, was in Austin speaking against House Bill 1806. Authored by Senator Donna Campbell, HB 1806 was the subject of a public hearing in the Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs committee. It is intended to authorize the San Antonio Water System to sell water into particular, adjacent counties. One of only three of the seven committee members were present for the hearing, Dist. 18 Senator Lois Kolkhorst spoke, objecting…

Read More
Bulverde developments threaten local water supply by discharging treated sewage into the Edwards Aquifer

Bulverde developments threaten local water supply by discharging treated sewage into the Edwards Aquifer

The past decade has seen numerous developments sprouting up in the area around Bulverde, Texas. Driven by close proximity to the one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., the sprawling development in the Bulverde area is going largely unchecked, causing all sorts of problems for local residents. Winding through the Bulverde area is Cibolo Creek, a tributary of the San Antonio River. Cibolo Creek is unique in that it contains numerous faults and fractures that recharge the Edwards Aquifer.…

Read More
How San Antonio uses its water to influence Kendall County development

How San Antonio uses its water to influence Kendall County development

 Two years have passed since Kendall County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) No. 3 was introduced in Senate Bill (SB) 914, by Sen. Donna Campbell.   As written, 1,055 acres were to be developed and more than 2,000 homes built, but it had no source for a water supply.  Boerne City Council considered consenting to creation of the district in early 2019 – now WCID No. 3 and 3A – but members voted unanimously to table the matter indefinitely.  However,…

Read More
Reality of drought: Sausages, laws and a water district

Reality of drought: Sausages, laws and a water district

Part One of a Two-Part Series – Friday, Mar 29, 2019 From a 1933 textbook “Government in the United States” the author invokes the sage advice of Otto von Bismarck: “The man who wishes to keep his respect for sausages and laws should not see how either is made.” Never before has this observation rung so true as with our local government. Look at what has happened with Kendall County Water Control and Improvement District, WCID, No. 3 in the two…

Read More
New publication examines consequences of groundwater depletion to agriculture

New publication examines consequences of groundwater depletion to agriculture

COLLEGE STATION — A new Council of Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST, paper examines the causes and consequences of groundwater depletion throughout the U.S. with a focus on how this will affect agriculture — the largest sector of groundwater use. The paper, “Aquifer Depletion and Potential Impacts on Long-term Irrigated Agricultural Productivity,” was co-authored by Dr. John Tracy, Texas A&M University’s Texas Water Resources Institute director, College Station. Tracy chaired a task force of university and government researchers exploring…

Read More
Could a tug-of-war between two Central Texas counties leave residents without drinking water?

Could a tug-of-war between two Central Texas counties leave residents without drinking water?

Dirk Aaron’s timing was terrible. He took over management of Bell County’s Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District in the summer of 2011, which the National Weather Service regards as the driest year in Texas history. What made the drought particularly difficult was that the less it rained, the more groundwater people pumped. When Mother Nature isn’t watering your yard or your farm, you have to do it yourself. That dynamic played hell with the resources Aaron had been hired to…

Read More
SAWS bills could rise less than planned for Vista Ridge due to developer fees

SAWS bills could rise less than planned for Vista Ridge due to developer fees

San Antonio Water System officials say they are planning on seeking a lower rate increase in 2020 than the nearly 10 percent originally approved by City Council to pay for the Vista Ridge pipeline project, though they have not said how much lower. Gavino Ramos, SAWS’ vice president of communications and external affairs, made the statement about a smaller rate hike in 2020 in response to questions from the Rivard Report following a key vote by SAWS’ Capital Improvements Advisory Committee, which recommends…

Read More