October proclaimed “Hill Country Night Sky Month”

October proclaimed “Hill Country Night Sky Month”

Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn read a proclamation at the Oct. 13 city council meeting declaring October as Hill Country Night Sky Month in recognition of local efforts to “preserve the rich historic heritage and starry night skies of Kerrville” by “solving the problem of light pollution.” Joining Blackburn (far right in photo) for the proclamation were, from left: Bruce E. Barton (President, Hill Country Astronomers), Debbie Thompson (Kerr County Friends of the Night Sky), Barbara Oates (President, Riverside Nature Center),…

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Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation rejects wholesale water contract from Electro Purification, but invites revised version

Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation rejects wholesale water contract from Electro Purification, but invites revised version

The Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation (DSWSC) called a special meeting on October 12, 2020, to consider a wholesale water contract with Electro Purification, LLC (EP). Prior to taking up the agenda item, Hays County Commissioners Lon Shell and Walt Smith, past Hays County Commissioner Will Conley, and Adam Friedman, attorney for Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA), offered public comments to the DSWSC Board opposing DSWSC entering into the contract. The comments apprised the DSWSC that available science demonstrates…

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Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival goes virtual!

Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival goes virtual!

The annual Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival goes spectacularly virtual on Saturday, October 24. While a live, in-person FESTIVAL event is not possible this year, the Hill Country Alliance, along with its dedicated sponsors and partners, offers the next-best-thing—an online experience that continues to celebrate the collection of rainwater, the conservation of natural resources, and a common-sense approach to living lightly and sustainably in the Texas Hill County. Mark your calendar and register now at Rainwater Revival.com! The…

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Two groups encourage ‘lights out’ for human and bird benefits

Two groups encourage ‘lights out’ for human and bird benefits

Two organizations are encouraging Highland Lakes residents to go as dark as possible every night through October. The Texas Conservation Alliance is recognizing Lights Out, Texas! from Sept. 5 through Oct. 29, while the Hill Country Alliance designates October as Hill Country Night Sky Month. The main idea for both is to encourage residents and business owners to dim outside lights, and those visible from outside. This simple act can save money, improve human life, keep the Milky Way visible,…

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Why water conservationists are worrying about Austin’s future

Why water conservationists are worrying about Austin’s future

Four years ago, Central Texas’ worst drought in history finally came to an end, capping off a nearly 10-year run of blistering summers and lack- luster rainy seasons. Beyond offering little reprieve from the area’s punishing heat, the stretch left the lakes that supply Austin’s drinking water at record low levels, raising alarm bells for conservationists. And yet, that record-setting dry spell could be nothing compared to what climate change is bringing next. In a June study examining the drought…

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Have questions about the Hays County Park Bond? Here’s what you need to know before voting

Have questions about the Hays County Park Bond? Here’s what you need to know before voting

Before heading to the polls to vote, Hays County has invited voters to learn more about Proposition A – the 2020 Parks and Open Spaces Bond – on the ballot this year. To help voters be informed, Hays County created an educational outreach effort including a website: hays2020parksbond.com… “POSAC reviewed 19 submitted projects and recommended funding of 16 over several budget cycles,” Kennedy said. “Each project on the story map indicates the types of features that would result, including public…

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San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance is finalist for national conservation award

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance is finalist for national conservation award

  • October 12, 2020
  • News

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and SMGA President Sherwood Bishop have been awarded this year’s Cox Conserves Heroes Award for the southern U.S., a designation that comes with a $10,000 donation. As one of four regional winners, SMGA now has the opportunity to win an additional $50,000. The national winner will be whoever receives the most online votes between October 1-15. The link for voting is https://www.coxconservesheroes.com/vote. Sherwood’s biography, along with a video about SMGA, can also be found at…

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New system shows homeowners how utilities are used – and how to cut back

New system shows homeowners how utilities are used – and how to cut back

Texas Tech researchers are aiming to give consumers a way to make informed decisions about the ways they use utilities like water and electricity, along with a way to reduce a household’s reliance on the grid. The patent pending Home Utility Management System, or HUMS, pairs a water catchment system, solar panels, and a wind turbine with a monitoring system that lets residents see exactly how much water and electricity they use and provides suggestions on ways to improve consumption.…

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think+water: Dam Failures, Lemon Water and Naturalized Flows

think+water: Dam Failures, Lemon Water and Naturalized Flows

  • October 12, 2020
  • News

With 38 public universities and 35 private colleges and universities in the state and many more across the country (and the world) interested in Texas, there’s a great deal of academic scholarship focused on water in the Lone Star State. In this column, I provide brief summaries to several recent academic publications on water in Texas. Dams are coming down, but not always by choice—The geography of Texas dams, dam failures, and dam removal Dams have been key as flood…

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Hill Country Night Sky Month in Dripping Springs

Hill Country Night Sky Month in Dripping Springs

October is officially Hill Country Night Sky Month in Dripping Springs, TX. With urban sprawl creeping in from Austin and the east, and more people finding refuge in the hills of Dripping Springs, the importance of preserving darkness in our night skies is as important as ever. Across the world, artificial light at night is increasing and getting brighter, so why do the night skies need to be preserved? In 2014, Dripping Springs was the first community in Texas to…

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