Director’s Report – February 2018

Director’s Report – February 2018

  • February 23, 2018
  • News

February is the month of love! Here at the Hill Country Alliance, one of the things we love most is the wide-open lands of the Hill Country. Rolling hills, deep canyons, wooded grottos, and wide river basins are just a few of the things that define our special region. We share this love by working with landowners and partners across 17 counties to preserve the Hill Country’s open spaces and working ranchlands. As more and more people move to our…

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Commissioners debate the creation and funding of a groundwater conservation district in southwest Travis County

Commissioners debate the creation and funding of a groundwater conservation district in southwest Travis County

Commissioners recently debated over whether to hold an election to create and fund a conservation district that would regulate, protect and conserve the groundwater supply derived from the Trinity Aquifer, one of nine major aquifers in the state. In January 2017, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, recommended to the 85th Legislature that a regulatory entity be created to protect an area over the Trinity Aquifer which is not covered by any groundwater conservation district. State Rep. Paul…

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Emerald Crown Trail: Network of county trails closer to fruition

Emerald Crown Trail: Network of county trails closer to fruition

  • February 23, 2018
  • News

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance (SMGA), in partnership with San Marcos, Kyle, Buda and other park development agencies, is looking for a way to connect the three biggest cities in Hays County with a trail. The Emerald Crown Trail is a proposed transportation trail that will serve Hays County in non-motorized transit. Unlike other recreational trails in the area, Emerald Crown is a means for citizens to get from point A to point B. The proposed trail is a joint…

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Bandera’s outdoor lighting gets refocused

Bandera’s outdoor lighting gets refocused

  • February 19, 2018
  • News

The Bandera City Council last week endorsed the Dark Skies movement that has swept the Hill Country by modifying its outdoor lighting regulations to get outdoor lights focused downward rather than allowing rays to stray into the night sky. The new outdoor lighting amendment won quick passage from council on Feb. 6 as members agreed changes were needed to preserve the clarity of the stars in the night sky by limiting where light from outdoor fixtures is allowed to shine.…

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Groundwater conservation district up and running

Groundwater conservation district up and running

With no funding, no staff and a board of temporary directors, the Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District is up and running. The body was created with the intent of monitoring and protecting the area’s supply of groundwater, but it must receive voter approval before it can fully perform its functions. State Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) tried to pass a bill in the last legislative session that would create a groundwater conservation district in the last portion of the Hill…

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As World Eyes Cape Town Water Crisis, Texas Study Explores New Options

As World Eyes Cape Town Water Crisis, Texas Study Explores New Options

It’s a resource so precious that human life can’t be sustained without it, yet so common most of us take it for granted. But water is becoming scarce, a growing problem stemming from wasteful usage and exacerbated by climate change. Cape Town, South Africa, is bracing for Day Zero, when its municipal water supply runs out – likely June 4. Closer to home, Los Angeles endured a record-setting, 3-year drought that ended, just barely, last year, while Georgia and Florida are locked in a…

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Texas Water Challenges film series premiers

Texas Water Challenges film series premiers

The Texas Water Roundtable has premiered the short film series, Texas Water Challenges. Five ten-minute films on contemporary water issues impacting Texas – water pricing and economics, new water, surface/groundwater coordination, water education, and Texas water challenges overview. The films were released January 2018 and will premiere at the State Capital Annex Auditorium on April 11th from 1-3pm. Click links below to watch: · Feature film all five topics (60 minutes): https://vimeo.com/250315889 · Texas Water Challenges (10 minutes): https://vimeo.com/250203877 · Water Economics and…

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Keep sewage out of Hill Country creeks

Keep sewage out of Hill Country creeks

Dripping Springs is a good 90-minute drive to the north of San Antonio, but the flow of water connects this region even as water fights divide it. In this case, Dripping Springs is pursuing a permit that would allow it to discharge up to a million gallons of treated effluent a day into Onion Creek. Onion Creek is in the Edwards Aquifer contributing zone, meaning its headwaters eventually recharge the aquifer. While state law makes it illegal to discharge sewage…

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Uvalde joins water lawsuit against San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer Authority

Uvalde joins water lawsuit against San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer Authority

The city of Uvalde has joined the Uvalde County Underground Water Conservation District and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Edwards Aquifer Authority. The lawsuit seeks to protect residents and businesses in the Uvalde County area from what plaintiffs contend is an unfair attempt by the authority to take their water. The lawsuit was filed on Jan. 16 in district court in Uvalde County. Officials with the Uvalde County Underground Water Conservation District said the legal action was taken partly…

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Vulcan encounters opposition to proposed quarry in Comal County

Vulcan encounters opposition to proposed quarry in Comal County

  • February 5, 2018
  • News

Vulcan Materials Co. recently filed permit requests to put a limestone quarry on 1,500 acres of land along Highway 46 and FM 3009 in Comal County, Texas, but neighbors have organized some resistance, News 4 San Antonio reports. “The ideal would be that it would not be here, however, that is probably wishful thinking,” Sabrina Houser-Amaya, a member of “Friends of Dry Comal Creek,” the grass-roots group fighting against the quarry, told the news agency. “What we really want is that a quarry is done in…

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