Letter to the Editor, the challenges of growth

Letter to the Editor, the challenges of growth

by Ernie Witter, New Braunfels, TX, with the Comal Country Conservation Alliance Letter to the Editor of the Herald-Zietung Published June 11, 2019 Recent articles in the Herald-Zietung pointed out the continued growth of New Braunfels. As the second fastest growing city by percentage in the nation, New Braunfels welcomes about 15 new people each day—that’s about 5,500 new residents per year. Providing schools, libraries, parks, medical facilities, police, firefighters, and other services that our growing population will need is…

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Letter to the Editor, Legislature approves funding for parks

Letter to the Editor, Legislature approves funding for parks

by Jensie Madden, Comal County, TX, with the Comal County Conservation Alliance Letter to the Editor of New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Published June 11, 2019 As the 86th session of the Texas Legislature draws to a close, I am celebrating the passage of legislation to allow Texans to vote in support of state parks. Thanks to the co-sponsorship of Senator Donna Campbell and Representative Kyle Biedermann along with many other legislators, a joint resolution will allow for the placement of a…

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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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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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100 years later, Medina Lake dam still a marvel

100 years later, Medina Lake dam still a marvel

The Medina Lake dam is a huge block of concrete, lodged in a canyon, which impounds a waterway flowing along the border of Bandera and Medina counties. But that description hardly does justice to the enduring edifice on the Medina River, say those behind Saturday’s celebration of the dam’s construction 100 years ago. They see the dam as an engineering marvel that provides water critical to surrounding farmland, safeguards downstream residents from flooding and spawned, among other developments, Lakehills, now…

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Texas House passes bill to spend more than $3 billion to help pay for flood control projects

Texas House passes bill to spend more than $3 billion to help pay for flood control projects

Nearly two years after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, the Texas House approved legislation Thursday that would pull more than $3 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to help pay for flood control projects statewide. The House version of Senate Bill 7 is one of three disaster relief bills Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declared a top priority earlier in the legislative session. Sponsored by state Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, it combines the Senate version with a House alternative, creating two funds that would provide…

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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.…

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