Two aquifer districts join the fight against Dripping Springs wastewater

Two aquifer districts join the fight against Dripping Springs wastewater

A preliminary hearing was held last week by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), resulting in the addition of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) and Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to the battle against the contested Dripping Springs wastewater permit.  These two districts now join Save Barton Creek Association, Save Our Springs, Protect Our Water, and some Dripping Springs landowners as participants in the case against the City Of Dripping Springs. The city wishes to…

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Wimberley Valley Cities become third International Dark Sky Community in Texas

Wimberley Valley Cities become third International Dark Sky Community in Texas

  • June 15, 2018
  • News

In recognition of noteworthy local efforts to reduce light pollution and promote the benefits of nighttime darkness, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) today designated the Wimberley Valley of Texas as an International Dark Sky Community. It is only the third such designation to date in the Lone Star State. The Wimberley Valley, situated in the Texas Hill Country between the Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas, consists of the Cities of Wimberley and Woodcreek and neighboring unincorporated areas subject to limited municipal regulation.…

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Needmore Water Grab Closer to Fruition – Landowners and Hill Country Groundwater at Risk

Needmore Water Grab Closer to Fruition – Landowners and Hill Country Groundwater at Risk

On Wednesday June 6th, the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued a ruling dismissing TESPA’s Motion for Summary Disposition in the Needmore Water LLC Contested Case, granting Needmore and BSEACD’s Motions and cancelling the Hearing on the Merits, which was scheduled for July 19th. The result of this decision is that Needmore’s application will now at some point in the near future go before the BSEACD Board of Directors for final approval. This is a…

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LCRA asks to drill eight water wells into the Simsboro Aquifer

LCRA asks to drill eight water wells into the Simsboro Aquifer

The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District is gearing up to adjudicate a request from the region’s largest utility entity to drill eight water wells in Bastrop County and suck billions of gallons of water per year from the underlying Simsboro Aquifer. In February, the Lower Colorado River Authority submitted to the water district eight applications for eight water wells that would pump up to 25,000 acre-feet — or 8.15 billion gallons — of water a year by 2026. A public…

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New Mexico official says Texas landowners are “stealing” millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking

New Mexico official says Texas landowners are “stealing” millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking

After you head northeast on Ranch Road 652 from tiny Orla, it’s easy to miss the precise moment you leave Texas and cross into New Mexico. The sign just says “Lea County Line,” and with 254 counties in Texas, you’d be forgiven for not knowing there isn’t one named Lea. But the folks who are selling water over it know exactly where the line is. That’s because on the Texas side, where the “rule of capture” rules groundwater policy, people…

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Tackling Future Hill Country Water Needs: ‘We Can’t Solve The Problem Alone’

Tackling Future Hill Country Water Needs: ‘We Can’t Solve The Problem Alone’

“We are looking at starting the summer months, in the Hill Country, with only five inches of rain,” Katherine Romans, Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance, explained during the opening of the most recent Texas Water Symposium on Wednesday, May 30. As the Hill Country continues to grow at unprecedented rates, the demands on limited water resources will increasingly outpace the current supply. The overpumping of rivers and aquifers will result in reduced spring flow, thus impacting everything from the…

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Austin’s quaintest neighbor aims to become 3rd Texas city to earn dark sky status

Austin’s quaintest neighbor aims to become 3rd Texas city to earn dark sky status

Only two Texas cities currently hold the coveted “dark sky status,” as designated by the International Dark-Sky Association. But Horseshoe Bay and Dripping Springs could soon be joined by forever-small town Fredericksburg. If Fredericksburg has anything to say about it, that is. According to KSAT, the town, known as much for its peaches as it is its sweet hospitality, is actively looking to earn itself dark sky status. In an effort to cut down on its light pollution while working toward…

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Mason, TX “The gem of the Hill Country”

Mason, TX “The gem of the Hill Country”

Mason is a farming and ranching community with a significant artist presence. Having originated as a Germansettlement, Mason is not very ethnically diverse, but our population is very diverse in age approximately 22%under 18, 25% between 25 and 44, 29% between 45 and 65 and 25% 65 or older. You might think it would presentsome challenges for so many generations to live in peace and harmony, but we do it every day. How? We respect each other, we look out…

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Tucson, Arizona, U.S. Skyglow Reduced 7% after Street Light Conversion

Tucson, Arizona, U.S. Skyglow Reduced 7% after Street Light Conversion

John Barentine, Director of Conservation at the International Dark-Sky Association, is the lead author of a recent study published online by the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer. Although Barentine has previously published papers in the field of astronomy, this is his first in the field of light pollution studies. Working with students and a scientist from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Barentine used a 2014 dataset that was compiled for other purposes to measure the change in skyglow in…

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No Resolution in Sight For Ranchers and Farmers Fighting Over San Saba River

No Resolution in Sight For Ranchers and Farmers Fighting Over San Saba River

Why is a 40-mile stretch of the San Saba river running dry during the summers? That was the central question at a Texas House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Brady on Wednesday. As the Observer first reported last year, a significant stretch of the San Saba, a tributary of the Colorado, has run dry every summer from 2011 to 2015 and pitted upstream and downstream neighbors against each other. Irrigators in Menard claim that natural climatic changes, decreasing spring flows and faults…

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