High school students from Hill Country area schools in Pioneers Youth Leadership attended the Pioneers State Leadership Forum in Austin last week. Over two days, the students worked with state agencies and elected officials to address the challenges faced by rural Texas communities regarding water conservation, youth leadership education, and economic development. The Pioneers students and leadership and staff from the Texas Water Development Board worked together on youth water conservation education modeled after programs the students had conducted in…
In mid-western Hays County, a groundwater war is escalating. A private water supplier, with goals to pipe and sell close to 6,000 acre feet of water per year has strategically located a well field in an area of the Hill Country where the Trinity Aquifer is unregulated. Read more from the January 26 blog postby Vanessa Puig-Williams. Also read “Groundwater Wars Brewing in Austin’s Suburbs” published in the Texas Tribune.
Want to see what San Antonio will look like in 2020 and 2030? An interactive tool developed by the Urban Institute lets you look at the future size of U.S. cities and their demographics, and even alter assumptions for birth, death and immigration rates to see how low, average or high metrics will affect long-term growth and population makeup. Read more from the Rivard Report.
Nearly three months after approving the $3.4 billion Vista Ridge water purchase and pipeline deal, City Council now appears poised to authorize renewal of two landmark propositions that have funded protection of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and development of the Howard Peak Greenway Trails System for the last 15 years. Learn more from the Rivard Report.
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) is endorsing the reauthorization of Props 1 & 2; funding to conserve land that protects the Edwards Aquifer. You can make a difference by making your voice heard and encouraging San Antonio City Council members to support this ballot initiative. Learn more from GEAA.
In a recent piece in the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan Newsletter, Dr. Tom Arsuffi explores the value of a healthy, functioning Hill Country ecosystem. In a Texas that is increasingly urbanizing, how do we ensure that our urban centers properly value responsible land management that produces the clean water, resilient wildlife habitat, fresh air and healthy food resources we all need? A related article from High Country News explores the nuances of ecosystem services. It’s not as simple…
In a classic example of the gaps in Texas’ patchwork approach to regulating groundwater, an unprecedented amount of water may soon be pumped from underneath already parched Hays County with virtually no oversight. Read more from the Texas Tribune.
From Hays County Also read: “Critics see conflicts of interest in Hays County water wells” Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to form a committee that would hold public forums to discuss concerns over groundwater pumping, particularly in areas where conservation districts have no authority, in the interest of protecting private land rights while promoting public responsibility. The vote came following public comment and discussion from Court members, concerned citizens and…
A decade-old project to build a passenger rail line between the San Antonio and Austin areas picked up steam January 21 with a public meeting of the Lone Star Rail Project. The meeting served as the kickoff to the project’s environmental impact study, which Lone Star Rail Director Joe Black called a “major, major point in the project.” Read more from the Austin Monitor.
On March 4th, hundreds of conservation professionals, land trust volunteers, landowners and agency folks working on land and water conservation issues in Texas will travel to Austin to gather for the 19th annual Texas Land Conservation Conference. Learn more