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County To Turn Off Lights In Summer And Fall To Protect Songbirds

County to turn off lights in summer and fall to protect songbirds

The Travis County Commissioners Court passed a resolution Tuesday that will mandate county buildings to turn off all nonessential lights from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. during key migration periods for migrating songbirds. The Lights Off initiative will be in effect annually from March 1-June 15 and from Aug. 15-Nov. 30.   Read more from Seth Smalley with the Austin Monitor here.

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The Well Fixer’s Warning

The well fixer’s warning

The well fixer and I were standing at the edge of an almond orchard in the exhausted middle of California. It was late July, and so many wells on the farms of Madera County were coming up dry that he was running out of parts to fix them. In this latest round of western drought, desperate voices were calling him at six in the morning and again at midnight. They were puzzled why their pumps were coughing up sand, the…

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How Discharged Wastewater Is Feeding Massive Hill Country Algae Blooms

How discharged wastewater is feeding massive Hill Country algae blooms

Green mats coat what once were clear, scenic creeks and rivers, the result of algae blooms that are frustrating those who live in the Texas Hill Country. Effluent is wastewater with its pollutants removed, also known as treated wastewater. When effluent is discharged into creeks in the Hill Country, they experience massive algae blooms, specifically a type called Cladophora glomerata, which attaches to creek beds instead of floating on top of the water like the blue-green algae found in Lady…

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How This Texas Town Became One Of America’s Fastest-growing Cities

How this Texas town became one of America’s fastest-growing cities

In the not-too-distant past, motorists driving along a stretch of Interstate 35 just northeast of San Antonio were met with vast fields of wildflowers and grazing cows in grassy pastures. Today, the cattle are gone, replaced with clusters of sleek apartments, gated communities and big-box stores. And New Braunfels, the third-fastest-growing city in America, tucked in one of the fastest-growing regions, finds itself at a crossroads.   Read more from Edgar Sandoval from the New York Times here.

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The Key To Slowing Traffic Is Street Design, Not Speed Limits

The key to slowing traffic is street design, not speed limits

On September 8, Wiley & Sons will release the second book in the Strong Towns series: Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: A Strong Towns Approach to Transportation. Chapter five is about building great streets and how it is essential, if we want places that are prosperous and productive, that we focus on how streets build wealth for a community instead of how efficiently they move vehicles. It is impossible to build a place that people want to be in if…

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‘Nonfunctional’ Grass To Be Banned In Las Vegas Valley

‘Nonfunctional’ grass to be banned in Las Vegas Valley

The days for much of the water-thirsty grass in the drought-stricken Las Vegas Valley are numbered. Nearly one-third of all of the grass in Southern Nevada will need to be removed by the end of 2026 under a new bill signed into law by Gov. Steve Sisolak Friday, a significant conservation effort that comes as the state is facing its first federal water shortage amid declining Lake Mead levels and a two-decades-long drought that has shown no signs of ending.…

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Climate Change Is Intensifying The Water Cycle, New IPCC Report Finds

Climate change is intensifying the water cycle, new IPCC report finds

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of the world’s leading climate scientists, released its sixth climate assessment on Monday. The 1,300-page paper is the most comprehensive, up-to-date report yet on the physical science of climate change, synthesizing the findings of thousands of recent publications. The report paints an alarming picture of the future of fresh water. It concludes that man-made contributions to a warming planet are far-reaching.   Read more about the IPCC report from Laura Gersony with…

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Young Life Camp Withdraws Wastewater Permit, Will Employ Zero-discharge Approach

Young Life camp withdraws wastewater permit, will employ zero-discharge approach

LoneHollow Ranch, a camp in the Vanderpool area owned by Young Life, a Colorado-based Christian organization, recently announced they will be withdrawing their wastewater discharge permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and moving forward with a zero-discharge water conservation plan. The new zero-discharge plan, developed in a collaboration with the Cibolo Conservatory and also based on discussions with TCEQ, utilizes two complementary permits governing water usage on the property. Read more from the Bandera Bulletin here.

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Big News On Young Life Permit

Big news on Young Life permit

HCA is happy to share some GREAT news from the Bandera Canyonlands Alliance, LoneHollow Ranch, and The Cibolo Conservancy! After months of opposition, including a petition garnering nearly 25,000 signatures and three county resolutions opposing the wastewater permit application, Young Life's LoneHollow Ranch has announced they will be withdrawing their request for a TCEQ discharge permit. Instead, they will be enacting a Zero-Discharge water conservation plan and pursuing a Texas Land Application Permit (TLAP). Read on for an excerpt from BCA's recent press release…

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Deadly Disease Outbreak In Breeder Deer Threaten Texas’ 3.9 Million Whitetails

Deadly disease outbreak in breeder deer threaten Texas’ 3.9 million whitetails

Staff at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) haven’t gotten much sleep since March. The worst nightmare a wildlife agency in a deer-rich region like Texas with its 3.9 million wild whitetail deer and 85,000 captive breeder deer could possibly imagine now ranges the landscape: Chronic Wasting Disease. Since late March, the department has found evidence of 30 cases of the disease, with no known cure, in six deer-breeding facilities in the state, raising fears that it could spread…

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