Texans must treat every drop of water as precious

Texans must treat every drop of water as precious

The state of Texas is a behemoth. At some 268,000 square miles — from the Piney Woods of East Texas, the Hill Country and the Panhandle to the desert mountains of West Texas and the Gulf Coast — the Lone Star State encompasses disparate climate regions, each with varied economic, social and environmental drivers. As climate change continues, each of these areas will change. As a general rule, scientists predict a significantly warmer and drier climate — with occasional catastrophic…

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opinions+water: Time for Texas to get serious about controlling water loss

opinions+water: Time for Texas to get serious about controlling water loss

This fall the state’s 16 regional water planning groups will be submitting to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) revised plans for meeting projected water demands in their area of Texas over the next fifty years — to 2070 and even beyond. These “2021” regional water plans, once reviewed and approved by TWDB, will be the culmination of the latest five-year review and revision cycle established by the passage of Senate Bill 1 by the Texas Legislature in 1997. The…

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Blue Hole Primary wins TWDB Rain Catcher Award

Blue Hole Primary wins TWDB Rain Catcher Award

The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association is so proud of the collective accomplishment that is Wimberley ISD’s One Water School – Blue Hole Primary. The honor of the 2020 TWDB Rain Catcher Award will be shared by the many hands and minds that came together to make this reality—not just theory. The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association has a long history of preserving and protecting water resources in Hays County and the greater Hill Country. Locally, we see water resources that are…

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City could store three Lake Austins’ worth of water underground by 2040

City could store three Lake Austins’ worth of water underground by 2040

Austin gets all of its water from the Highland Lakes, but that might not always be the case. The city recently took a first step towards storing massive amounts of water underground. If the plan works, it could help Austin survive as climate change threatens traditional water supplies. The technique is called aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR. In it, utilities pump water into underground aquifers to save it for later. Aquifer storage and recovery is touted as a good…

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‘God is not making more Honey Creeks’: Longtime neighbors clash over planned Hill Country development

‘God is not making more Honey Creeks’: Longtime neighbors clash over planned Hill Country development

Fed by water pouring out of Honey Creek Cave, the stream forms a series of pools and riffles, shaded by towering cypress and sycamore trees. Bass, sunfish, and other native fish dart beneath the lily pads dotting the surface of the clear water. Biologists consider the creek one of the most pristine examples left in the region of what Hill Country creeks looked like before European settlement. Development was probably inevitable for this area on the northern fringes of the…

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San Antonio aquifer, trail advocates lament sales tax vote

San Antonio aquifer, trail advocates lament sales tax vote

Environmental advocates were dismayed Thursday after City Council set up a shift of sales tax funding away from the Edwards Aquifer and San Antonio’s trail network, with some saying they plan to focus on ensuring replacement funding. San Antonio City Council voted 9-2 Thursday to put a measure on the November ballot to devote a one-eight-cent sales tax to workforce development for four years before shifting to VIA Metropolitan Transit. The tax currently funds the City’s trails and aquifer protection…

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Texas Organizing Project joins petition campaign against SAWS

Texas Organizing Project joins petition campaign against SAWS

Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is the latest group to sign onto a coalition fighting to ratchet back the SAWS CEO’s pay, enforce existing term limits for the utility’s board, audit any project worth $1 billion or more, and halt SAWS’ lobbying efforts at the Texas Legislature. Organizers call their legislation the SAWS Accountability Act. Their plan is to collect 20,000 signatures this year needed to get the act on the May 2021 ballot. Read more from Brendan Gibbons with San…

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‘It’s a start’: Plan to protect Edwards Aquifer surfaces, but experts say it’s no substitute

‘It’s a start’: Plan to protect Edwards Aquifer surfaces, but experts say it’s no substitute

The agency that regulates pumping of the Edwards Aquifer wants to move ahead with an aquifer protection program similar to the City of San Antonio’s – but starting at a much smaller scale. At its meeting Tuesday, the Edwards Aquifer Authority’s (EAA) board of directors unanimously voted to explore a policy of paying landowners not to build on sensitive land with conduits into the Edwards Aquifer, the main drinking water supply for the San Antonio region. Read more from Brendan…

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Water, Texas: Three thirsty Texas cities are global leaders in water innovation

Water, Texas: Three thirsty Texas cities are global leaders in water innovation

Emily Dickinson once wrote that “water is taught by thirst.” In Texas, a state that knows no bounds of economic ambition but is regularly disciplined by deep droughts, water is indeed taught by thirst. That is especially true in three big Texas cities that are globally significant innovators in water planning, technology, and use. Austin adopted a 100-year water plan in 2018 that essentially calls for conservation and recycling programs so advanced that the city anticipates supplying a healthy share…

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After Willie Nelson and Paul Simon complained, CEO agrees to reroute Hill Country pipeline

After Willie Nelson and Paul Simon complained, CEO agrees to reroute Hill Country pipeline

After a pipeline drilling mishap in March that led to a spill of tens of thousands of gallons of slurry into an underground aquifer in Blanco County, muddying nearby wells, the CEO of a natural gas pipeline company now says he is rerouting the pipeline around — rather than under — the Blanco River. In an opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle this week, Steven Kean, chief executive of Houston-based pipeline company Kinder Morgan, said that “we have decided that…

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