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Commentary: This Session, Make Water A Priority

Commentary: This session, make water a priority

More than half of all Texans lost water during last February’s deadly winter storm. It was a warning of trouble to come. Our state’s water infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and it is aging and fragile. Just one week before the storm knocked out water and power service, the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Texas’ huge network of water pipes and treatment plants a C grade. Further, the 2022 State Water Plan projects…

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San Antonio’s Newest Trail Connects Eisenhower Park To The Rim, And It’s Opening Soon

San Antonio’s newest trail connects Eisenhower Park to the Rim, and it’s opening soon

While at the entrance of Eisenhower Park, it's hard to miss the huge fence with a sign that reads, "Leon Creek Greenway: Coming 2021." Brandon Ross, manager for the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System, tells MySA the new 2-mile paved trail that will connect Eisenhower Park to the Rim should be available for public use by the end of September. He says there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 6 to celebrate the connection of two major greenways — Leon…

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Chronic Wasting Disease And Deer Management On Private Land

Chronic Wasting Disease and deer management on private land

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a degenerative, fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose first discovered in Colorado in the 1960s. The disease can be transmitted among animals and over the past 6 decades, the disease has spread to more than 25 states and 3 provinces. There is no effective cure for the disease and so limiting its spread is the best management action. Government agencies act where they can to limit the spread of CWD, but landowners and deer…

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Water Reuse Is Helping Meet Needs. But We Can Do Better.

Water reuse is helping meet needs. But we can do better.

With the state’s population soaring, water resources limited and the climate getting warmer, water reuse is a growing but still underutilized solution to ensure that Texas has clean, abundant water supplies long into the future. The state’s latest water plan projects that direct non-potable water reuse could yield as much as 180,000 acre-feet of water – enough to fill nearly 90,000 Olympic-sized pools – every year by 2030. Austin’s 100-year water plan estimates that nearly a third of the city’s future water supplies could be achieved with water reuse.   Read more from Sharlene Leurig and Jennifer Walker with the Austin…

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Opinion: Oak Hill Road Plan Is Taxpayer Abuse

Opinion: Oak Hill Road Plan is taxpayer abuse

By the time you read these words, a federal judge will have ruled on whether the Texas Department of Transportation can make the historic community of Oak Hill into roadkill. Since it seems like forever ago, the "Y" intersection of U.S. 290 and Texas 71 in Southwest Austin has been slated to become a freeway flyover. Most everyone who drives on U.S. 290 West favors such a project – that is, until they learn the specifics of this wasteful plan.…

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Explosive Growth Endangers Unique Wildlife, Critical Waters Of San Marcos River

Explosive growth endangers unique wildlife, critical waters of San Marcos River

The San Marcos River touches hearts in the fastest-growing city of Texas’ fastest-growing county, and threats to it strike a nerve. Its champions warn that rapid development and the crush of new residents could herald a dark fate for the river’s endangered species and for its critical role providing drinking water to nearly 2 million people from San Antonio to Austin. The river draws from the San Marcos Springs and by extension the massive Edwards Aquifer. And as people and…

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Water Company’s Moves Anger Buyers, Landowners, Local Governments

Water company’s moves anger buyers, landowners, local governments

In 2018, Ronnie Urbanczyk signed a contract to purchase water from Texas Water Supply Co., a Boerne company with access to at least 40 water wells that tap into the drought-sensitive Trinity Aquifer just south of the Bexar County line. Three years later, Urbanczyk doesn’t want the water anymore, but that won’t stop Texas Water Supply from holding him to the water contract. The impasse could put an end to plans to turn Urbanczyk’s land into a state park. The…

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Wastewater Threatens Texas Streams

Wastewater threatens Texas streams

Diane Causey is a 75-year-old antique shop manager in Utopia, a tiny town of 277 people located an hour-and-a-half northwest of San Antonio. Her favorite place in town is a swimming hole on the Sabinal River, accessed on land her family owns. This section of the Sabinal, a little-known Texas river fed by springs, is crystal-clear and chilly even in June. Each summer, Causey’s extended family of more than 100 people converge on the swimming hole for their annual family…

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Walkability And The Culture Wars

Walkability and the culture wars

An unfortunate recent article by Aaron Gordon for Vice is titled, "Walking Places Is Part of the Culture Wars Now." It's centered around a discussion of recent survey results from Pew Research, which appear to show that a majority of Americans prefer a neighborhood with larger homes and yards, but where driving is a must to get to schools, stores, and restaurants, versus a neighborhood where amenities are in walking distance, but the homes are smaller and closer together.  …

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Hill Country Communities Can Pursue Dark Sky Designation Following New State Law

Hill Country communities can pursue Dark Sky designation following new state law

Across the more remote pockets of Hill Country, several communities are looking to attract tourism dollars and increase the quality of life for residents by utilizing a precious, shrinking natural resource—darkness—or rather, the absence of artificial light. With the authorization of a recent state bill, Senate Bill 1090, cities across Texas can again apply for a designation of a Dark Sky Community from the International Dark-Sky Association. In order to attain that title, a town must enact certain restrictive lighting…

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