California Law Recognizes Meadows and Forests as Water Infrastructure

California Law Recognizes Meadows and Forests as Water Infrastructure

  • October 24, 2016
  • News

California’s vast water infrastructure is likely the most extensive in the world. It includes the tallest dam in the nation and enormous state and federal water projects that tap rivers flowing from as far away as Wyoming. On September 27th, Governor Brown signed legislation that recognizes the state’s watersheds as part of it’s infrastructure. Just as the state’s canals and levees need maintenance and repair, so do our rivers and watersheds. This bill opens the door to using modern infrastructure…

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It Takes a Network to Tackle Growth and Complexity

It Takes a Network to Tackle Growth and Complexity

  • October 18, 2016
  • News

Famous frontiersman and politician Davy Crockett once remarked, “You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas,” and apparently, he was onto something. While the impetus for his remark was disenchantment with Tennessee politics in the early 1830s, an increasingly large number of people have followed in his footsteps. According to a recent Census Bureau report, Texas is home to several of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, with much of that growth occurring in a unique…

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America’s Next Great Metropolis Is Taking Shape In Texas

America’s Next Great Metropolis Is Taking Shape In Texas

  • October 18, 2016
  • News

If you drive south from Dallas, or west from Houston, a subtle shift takes place. The monotonous, flat prairie that dominates much of Texas gives way to a landscape that rises and ebbs. The region around Highway 35 is called the Hill Country, and although it does not seem so curvy to a Californian, it is some of the very nicest country in the state of Texas, attracting a growing coterie of wealthy boomers. It also turns out to be a growth corridor…

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West Travis County construction hammers may stop

West Travis County construction hammers may stop

  • October 18, 2016
  • News

 Officials of the West Travis County Public Utility Agency, which services Bee Cave, Travis County Municipal Utility District No. 5 and parts of Hays County with water and wastewater, said it has exceeded, at least on paper, its service capacity. “We are oversubscribed from a paper commitment standpoint,” District Engineer Curtis Wilson told WTCPUA directors during the agency’s Sept. 15 meeting in Bee Cave. Once a developer seeks to create a project, he or she files a service extension request,…

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What the Prairie Teaches Us

What the Prairie Teaches Us

Paul Gruchow | The prairie, although plain, inspires awe.  It teaches us that grandeur can be wide as well as tall. Young prairie plants put down deep roots first; only when these have been established do the plants invest much energy in growth above ground.  They teach us that the work that matters doesn’t always show. Diversity makes the prairie resilient.  One hundred acres of prairie may support three thousand species of insects alone, each of them poised to exploit…

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HCA Director’s Notes – October 2016

HCA Director’s Notes – October 2016

  • October 14, 2016
  • News

October always feels like a month of renewal in the Hill Country. August rains replenished our aquifers, rivers and rain tanks, and the signs of abundance are reflected in the tall grasses, brilliant fall wildflowers and flowing rivers. Fall is also a great time to reconnect with neighbors. With summer’s heat behind us, it seems that wildlife co-op gatherings, watershed potlucks, and star parties are planned for almost every weekend. The land, water, sky and community issues we focus on…

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Texas Water Symposium planned for November 10th in Austin: 2017 Legislative Outlook: Population Growth and Groundwater Management

Texas Water Symposium planned for November 10th in Austin: 2017 Legislative Outlook: Population Growth and Groundwater Management

The second Texas Water Symposium of 2016-2017 season has been set for 7pm on Thursday November 10th at Thompson Center Auditorium (adjacent to the LBJ School) on the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas. The Texas Water Symposium is free and open to the public. The Texas Legislature will be convening in 2017 and one of the most important issues they will consider is the management of our state’s groundwater resources. With the population of Texas projected to double…

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Rainwater Revival Raises Funds for School Grants

Rainwater Revival Raises Funds for School Grants

  • October 12, 2016
  • News

A good place to learn about the many benefits of rainwater harvesting is at the 7th annual RAINWATER REVIVAL to be held Saturday, November 5, from 10am to 4pm at Dripping Springs Ranch Park in Dripping Springs, Texas. In addition to a full-day of speakers and demonstrations, 50 vendors, food trucks and musical entertainment, the RAINWATER REVIVAL raises funds for the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) School Grant program for water conservation education in schools throughout the 17-county region. This year,…

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EP Aquifer Test Approved

Aquifer tests are an essential part of the District’s permitting process.  The Board and staff rely heavily on results of these tests to inform permit volumes and conditions. In the spring, Electro Purification (EP) submitted a test well application to allow them to perform an aquifer test on three wells.  District staff worked with EP to design and plan an aquifer test that meets District guidelines.  The aquifer test will measure responses to abbreviated pumping simulations from the target pumping…

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Discovering Westcave

Discovering Westcave

  • October 12, 2016
  • News

In the heart of the Texas Hill Country lies an astonishing place called Westcave Preserve, a 76-acre nature preserve and environmental education facility in western Travis County, near Austin, that provides a sanctuary for the flora and fauna of surprisingly diverse ecosystems. Westcave has been connecting children and families to nature since 1976, when the nonprofit Westcave Preserve Corporation was established to restore and protect a popular but rapidly deteriorating picnic spot that encompassed a fern-covered grotto, an ancient rock…

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