In win for Harvey victims, federal judge finds government liable for reservoir flooding

In win for Harvey victims, federal judge finds government liable for reservoir flooding

During Hurricane Harvey, thousands of properties behind two federally owned reservoirs flooded. On Tuesday, the United States Court of Federal Claims ruled that the government was liable for the flooding and that property owners are eligible for damages. Houston’s natural vulnerability to flooding — worsened by development that officials left unchecked for decades — was exposed like never before in 2017, when Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and turned into a tropical storm that lingered for days over America’s fourth-largest…

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Report urges buying floodplain properties to head off $3 billion bill by 2050

Report urges buying floodplain properties to head off $3 billion bill by 2050

It would be less expensive for the government to buy and preserve undeveloped land that lies in Houston’s floodplains than it would be to let development occur and face a potentially devastating bill if those properties flood, according to a new study. Allowing development on these sites could expose Harris County to as much as $3 billion in damages by 2050, according the report, published in the journal Nature Sustainability. The magnitude of potential damages far outstrips the $400 million…

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Hill Country’s Honey Creek no longer set to receive treated sewage

Hill Country’s Honey Creek no longer set to receive treated sewage

A developer planning a subdivision upstream of an ecologically sensitive Hill Country creek has changed his plans to avoid filling the creek with treated wastewater. The controversial proposed wastewater treatment plant north of San Antonio is tied to a 2,347-unit subdivision planned for what is now Honey Creek Ranch off State Highway 46 in Comal County. Ronald and Terry Urbanczyk, who also run Urban Concrete Contractors in San Antonio, own the property. The Urbanczyks also control Silesia Properties, the company…

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BSEACD denies motion for rehearing of the Needmore Water LLC Permit

BSEACD denies motion for rehearing of the Needmore Water LLC Permit

This evening at its Regular Meeting, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) Board of Directors denied the request from the Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Alliance (TESPA) for a rehearing of the Needmore Water LLC permit. Blayne Stansberry, Director and President of the Board, stated that the primary reason the Board denied this request was that TESPA did not present any new information that would warrant another hearing on the matter. She further stated that the District held a 5-hour…

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Travis County commissioners delay approving RV park proposal near Hamilton Pool Preserve as residents raise concern

Travis County commissioners delay approving RV park proposal near Hamilton Pool Preserve as residents raise concern

Important Update: Despite last week’s decision (discussed in article below) to delay voting on this agenda item, the Travis County Commissioners Court will be meeting on Tuesday, 12/17/19 at 9 AM to discuss the Bentree RV proposal AGAIN. Learn more here.  For the second week in a row, dozens of Dripping Springs residents filled the Travis County Commissioners Court chambers, prepared to speak in opposition to a proposed RV park at 401 Stagecoach Ranch Road, less than a half mile…

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Marble Falls, Granger added to statewide list of lakes infested with Zebra Mussels

Marble Falls, Granger added to statewide list of lakes infested with Zebra Mussels

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has added Lake Marble Falls and Granger Lake to the statewide list of lakes infested with invasive zebra mussels after discovering established, reproducing populations in the lakes this fall. Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) biologists confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake Marble Falls after finding settled zebra mussels as well as their larvae at multiple sites in the lake. After Lake Lyndon B. Johnson was found to be infested with zebra…

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Proposition will start state’s first flood fund

Proposition will start state’s first flood fund

After garnering the approval of voters, Texas has been given the go-ahead to create the state’s first flooding infrastructure fund. The fund is being established with a one-time injection of $793 million in funding from the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund—more commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund—after voters approved Proposition 8 on Nov. 5. However, state lawmakers can choose to add more money to the fund in the future, officials said. Read more from Community Impact Newspaper here.   

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Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and sales tax funding questions answered

Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and sales tax funding questions answered

A dialogue has emerged on the relative merits of programs apparently now competing for a future share of the City sales tax. This has included confusing statements about the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP). As chair of the Conservation Advisory Board, the recommending body to City Council for the program, I’d like to clarify by addressing key questions. What does EAPP do and why is it important? In policy science jargon, the EAPP is an elegant response to a wicked…

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Residents near Hamilton Pool up in arms about proposed RV park

Residents near Hamilton Pool up in arms about proposed RV park

The Travis County Commissioners Court spent all morning Tuesday discussing a proposed RV park on Stagecoach Ranch Road in Southwest Travis County, near Hamilton Pool. The court still hasn’t come to a decision on the matter and will take it up again at next week’s meeting. Just as they did for another RV park on Fitzhugh Road last month, county staffers proposed waiving certain platting requirements that are imposed on traditional subdivisions involving brick-and-stick homes. Staff members have taken the…

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Q&A+water: Katherine Romans

Q&A+water: Katherine Romans

Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance In this issue’s Q&A, Texas+Water Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Todd Votteler, interviews Katherine Romans, Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance, a regional nonprofit focused on protecting the water, land, communities and night skies of the Texas Hill Country. She has more than a decade of nonprofit and legislative experience in natural resource issues and holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Romans serves on the board…

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