Lawmakers working to create special districts to fuel Boerne-area growth

Lawmakers working to create special districts to fuel Boerne-area growth

Developers behind two large subdivisions proposed in Kendall County are asking the Legislature to create a pair of special districts to help finance construction of roads and other infrastructure. Some residents are upset over not being alerted earlier by state and local officials who knew of the legislation since the start of the year. Worries about new growth hastening the depletion of groundwater in Kendall County were tempered by word the developers are exploring out-of-county water sources rather than drilling…

Read More
Legislature considering special use water district

Legislature considering special use water district

Jessica Goode | Boerne Star | Slipping in with the proposition of a new development, another special purpose water district is on the Texas legislative floor. If it passes, Senate Bill 914, sponsored by Republican Senator Donna Campbell, will create the Kendall County Water Control and Improvement District No. 3 and grant a limited power of eminent domain, provide authority to issue bonds and authorize the imposition of assessments, fees and taxes. The Biedenharn Ranch, off Scenic Loop Road, is…

Read More
Groundwater district prepares for damaging bills

Groundwater district prepares for damaging bills

Jessica Goode | Boerne Star | Trying to stay ahead of potentially detrimental legislation, Cow Creek Groundwater and Conservation District directors listened to a litany of proposed house and senate bills that threaten local control and aquifer sustainability. At the behest of attorney Monique Norman, directors unanimously approved granting General Manager Micah Voulgaris the authority to engage a lobbyist to represent the district should any of the bills gain momentum. The list of negative bills includes HB 3677, sponsored by…

Read More
‘No Land No Water’ campaign promotes conservation

‘No Land No Water’ campaign promotes conservation

When it rains in Texas, it falls predominantly on a privately-owned farm, ranch or timberland. How that land is managed will have consequences for the future of Texas water. That’s a cornerstone message of “No Land No Water,” a new public awareness campaign of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT). The campaign promotes conservation of private working lands is key to protecting the state’s water resources. Social media sites, billboards and a new website are bringing attention to the campaign and…

Read More

Legislature to tackle adding groundwater conservation district in southwestern Travis County

Across Texas, 100 locally-governed groundwater conservation districts are tasked with regulating groundwater, protecting the groundwater supply and researching conservation methods within their boundaries. However, southwestern Travis County is one of the only areas without a conservation district within the Trinity Aquifer, one of nine major groundwater supplies in the state. Groundwater, which refers to water found under the earth’s surface, supplies about 60 percent of the water used in the state, said Larry French, director of Texas Water Development Board’s…

Read More

Groundwater bills put some officials, residents on edge

Hays County officials are concerned recent legislation filed at the state Capitol could put groundwater oversight within the county at risk for the second time in as many legislative sessions. In 2015, Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, authored legislation that brought an unregulated area of Hays County groundwater under regulation. Now Isaac and Hays County officials are gearing up for a fight against bills that would potentially ease or remove restrictions on pumping water from the Trinity Aquifer, the same…

Read More
Three Bills Aim to Ensure Clean Water Recharges the Edwards Aquifer

Three Bills Aim to Ensure Clean Water Recharges the Edwards Aquifer

State Sen. José Menéndez (D-26) and State Reps. Donna Howard (D-48), and Tracy O. King (D-80) have filed bills that many believe are needed to protect the quality of the water in the Edwards Aquifer. Senate Bill 1796 (Menéndez)/House Bill 3036 (King) and House Bill 3467 (Howard) would prohibit discharge of sewage effluent into waterways in the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone. “Protecting the pristine streams in the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone for all landowners [and users] is of the utmost importance, and…

Read More
Conversations on Water Heating up at 85th Legislative Session

Conversations on Water Heating up at 85th Legislative Session

We’ve been tracking the latest in water news from the pink dome in Austin. This compilation of some of the most recent developments include conversations around a Hays County ranch looking to skirt groundwater pumping restrictions, a proposed law that would ban developers from piping treated wastewater into streams that recharge the Edwards Aquifer, and a commentary on the importance of protecting our state’s water resources. Bills that would impact a Hays County ranch hoping to skirt groundwater pumping restrictions: Water war boils back up:…

Read More
New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory

New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory

A new nationwide assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that the nation’s brackish groundwater could help stretch limited freshwater supplies. This study, the first of its kind in more than 50 years, found that the amount of brackish groundwater underlying the country is more than 800 times the amount currently used each year. With issues like drought, groundwater depletion, dwindling freshwater supplies, and demand for groundwater expected to continue to rise, understanding brackish groundwater supplies can help determine whether…

Read More
Austin environmental report: SH 45 SW construction could harm cave, aquifer

Austin environmental report: SH 45 SW construction could harm cave, aquifer

The environment in Austin remains preserved and protected despite its tremendous growth over the past few decades, said Chuck Lesniak, the city’s environmental officer, in the annual State of Our Environment report published on Thursday. The city’s environmental policies often stand in contrast to the state’s and now the federal government’s as regulations begin to be rolled back, Lesniak’s foreword in the report states. “Austin has made environmental protection a community priority for well over 30 years,” he said. “That ongoing…

Read More