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Solar-powered Suds

Solar-powered suds

Craft breweries, having already surged in popularity in recent decades, are enjoying a second renaissance during the COVID-19 pandemic as social life has moved outside. "I think back in the day before Bud, Miller, and Coors, you know, took over the Amer­i­can beer industry, there used to be a brewpub in every town," says Ian Davis, co-owner of Texas Beer Company in Taylor. "And it's just getting back to the way it used to be." A large patio or grounds,…

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Easing Into Watershed Protection With Taxes And Bonds Featuring Lon Shell, Frank Davis, And Phillip Covington

Easing into watershed protection with taxes and bonds featuring Lon Shell, Frank Davis, and Phillip Covington

Episode Notes  In this episode, Leslie Bobby of Southern Regional Extension Forestry talks to Frank Davis and Commissioner Lon Shell, important water management players in Texas's Hill Country region, an area marked by considerable growth and development in recent years. They discuss how communities around San Antonio are using taxes and those around Austin are using bonds to ensure they have clean water for generations to come. About the Podcast How the River Flows highlights how our region’s communities are…

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Texas House Backs Green Solutions To Water Problems

Texas House backs green solutions to water problems

Water Board will invest $4.5 million a year for nature-based infrastructure The Texas House gave final approval today to legislation to fund rain gardens, green roofs, constructed wetlands and other “nature-based” strategies for reducing water pollution, flooding and impacts of drought. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has pledged to dedicate up to $4.5 million per year for the new Water Resource Protection Program. “This is a step forward to keeping our waterways safe for swimming, playing, and drinking” said…

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10 Texas Climate Bills To Watch On Earth Day

10 Texas climate bills to watch on Earth Day

Texas, as the saying goes, has four seasons: drought, flood, blizzard, and twister. This old quip has hit a bit too close to home for Texans this year. We are less than two months removed from a devastating polar vortex that could yet prove to be the costliest disaster in state history. Weeks after enduring some of the coldest temperatures on record, Texans were greeted by an unusually early spring with temperatures creeping close to 100 degrees Farenheit across the…

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Nature-based Infrastructure Bill Headed To House Floor As Legislative Session Continues

Nature-based infrastructure bill headed to House floor as Legislative session continues

Texas State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) presented several house bills for the 87th Texas Legislative Session in committees this week, one of which is heading to the house floor. Zwiener presented House Bill 48 to the House International Relations and Economic Development Committee and House Bills 2344 and 2350 to the House Public Education Committee and House Natural Resources Committee, respectively. Read more from Stephanie Gates with San Marcos Daily Record here. 

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3 Lessons From A Texas Groundwater District On Managing During Drought

3 lessons from a Texas groundwater district on managing during drought

The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District in central Texas urges residents to “please protect your aquifer by limiting water use.” The district manages groundwater in Hays County, Texas, one of the top five fastest-growing counties in the U.S. Due to drought, the district has imposed a 20% curtailment on groundwater pumping districtwide and a 30% curtailment in a 39 square-mile region within the district that includes the iconic Jacob’s Well spring, the second-largest underwater cave in Texas and a popular…

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An Audacious And Timely Conservation Challenge

An audacious and timely conservation challenge

We should all applaud President Biden's executive order calling for conservation of 30% of the U.S. land base by 2030. This bold "30x30" vision is firmly rooted in science, given that protected land is key to a healthy and secure future for all Americans. It provides pure drinking water, healthy food, clean air, habitat for wildlife, and places for people to reflect, recreate, hunt and fish. Conserved land also provides protection from natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, and…

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Judge Strikes Down Air Quality Permit For Proposed 1,500-acre Limestone Quarry In Comal County

Judge strikes down air quality permit for proposed 1,500-acre limestone quarry in Comal County

Opponents of a proposed 1,500-acre open-pit limestone quarry between New Braunfels and Bulverde scored a “monumental” victory on Friday when an Austin judge struck down an air-quality permit Alabama-based Vulcan Construction Materials needed to proceed with the controversial project. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) granted the permit in 2019 after two years of heated legal wrangling between Vulcan, the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates, and an alliance of Comal County citizens, community groups and Comal ISD. Read more…

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Requests For Qualifications: Blanco River Water Reclamation Task Force

Requests for Qualifications: Blanco River Water Reclamation Task Force

Important note: Deadline for submission extended to 2/26/2021 The Blanco Water Reclamation Task Force (Task Force) was formed in September 2020 when the Blanco City Council, with a unanimous vote on Sept. 8, committed to a partnership with local NGO, Protect Our Blanco, that would seek to identify solutions for continued growth and development without wastewater discharge into the Blanco River. The Task Force includes city council representatives, city staff, business representatives and technical experts. The Meadows Center for Water…

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Inside The McDonald Observatory’s Mission To Preserve The Darkest Skies In West Texas

Inside the McDonald Observatory’s mission to preserve the darkest skies in West Texas

Bill Wren remembers the night sky rising like wallpaper above him when he was a child in rural Missouri. But after a move to Houston in 1970 when he was 15, lights from the city’s sprawl obscured all but a few stars. It wasn’t until he was 21 years old, on a camping trip to West Texas’ Davis Mountains State Park, that he flashed back to the Missouri skies of his childhood. Staring at a starry mass running to the…

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