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Blast Zone: Quarries Are Expanding In The Texas Hill Country, And Rivers, Streams And Once-pristine Landscapes Are Paying The Price. Regulators Can’t Keep Up.

Blast Zone: Quarries are expanding in the Texas Hill Country, and rivers, streams and once-pristine landscapes are paying the price. Regulators can’t keep up.

Flat Creek had always been translucent, flowing clear and cold through Kathleen Wilson’s 15-acre spread in the Texas Hill Country. Then something changed. The dust was the first sign. “That was really the first noticeable thing, was the whole surface was covered with dust,” said Wilson, 63, who runs an eco-friendly bed and breakfast on the Blanco County property. “You’d stick your hand in and it would, like, stick to you.”   Read more from Brian Chasnoff with San Antonio…

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Results From Well Visits – Trinity Aquifers

Results from Well Visits – Trinity Aquifers

This summer the Watershed Association teamed up with the Comal Trinity Groundwater Conservation District and the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District and visited over 60 private wells in northern Comal County and western Hays County. Many thanks to all participating well owners! It is our hope that the measurements made during the site visits were useful to individual well owners. The data collected allow for a comprehensive regional snapshot of aquifer conditions in both the Middle and Lower Trinity Aquifers.…

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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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EPA Recognizes Austin Water For Efforts To Restore Ecosystems

EPA recognizes Austin Water for efforts to restore ecosystems

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Austin Water in this year’s Outstanding Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development Competition. Austin Water’s Wildlands Conservation Division received First Place in the People’s Choice Category for a project that manages stormwater runoff in sensitive habitat areas in its Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. This work connects forest fragments, restores diverse native flora and fauna, and recharges karst features on critical conservation lands.   Read more in the press release from the City of…

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Scientists Seek Ways To Help Nature Safeguard Aquifer Amid Development

Scientists seek ways to help nature safeguard aquifer amid development

On a four-wheeler at the edge of the Hill Country, geologist Mark Hamilton rolls and bumps across a 151-acre property at the Edwards Aquifer Conservancy Field Research Park. He pulls up to the end of a steep hill and points out a sunken, marshy spot along the bottom. With several recently planted trees and bushes of native plants nearby, the spot is among many that Hamilton and his team have resculpted by hand.   Read more from Elena Bruess with…

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Texas Parks And Wildlife Votes Preservation Over Development For Honey Creek Ranch

Texas Parks and Wildlife votes preservation over development for Honey Creek Ranch

The future of a Comal County freshwater creek is looking fresher today. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to acquire and prevent development at Honey Creek, one of the most iconic streams in the Texas Hill Country. The commission, which has worked closely with other environmental groups on this deal, seeks to preserve a roughly 515-acre tract just south of Honey Creek State Natural Area and the Guadalupe State Park in Comal County. The owners of the land…

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If You Live Within The Guadalupe Blanco Watershed And Have Had Problems With Flooding, We Need To Hear From You.

If you live within the Guadalupe Blanco watershed and have had problems with flooding, we need to hear from you.

Do you live in the Guadalupe River’s flood planning region? If so, we want to hear from you! Help the Guadalupe Regional Flood Planning Group identify areas with potential flood risk by filling out this interactive survey map by September 3. Your feedback is crucial to building a regional flood plan and gaining funding support through the TWDB Flood Infrastructure Fund. Click here to fill out the survey or click here to learn more about Region 11 Guadalupe Regional Flood Planning…

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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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Why A Chinese Billionaire Bought 140,000 Acres Of Land In Texas

Why a Chinese billionaire bought 140,000 acres of land in Texas

On June 7, Texas governor Greg Abbott sat down at a desk in the state capitol and, flanked by a half-dozen lawmakers, put pen to paper for a ceremonial signing of the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act. “As far as I know this is the first law of its kind by any state in the United States of America,” he boasted. The bill’s purpose: Prevent business entities associated with “hostile nations” from accessing the Texas electricity grid and other pieces…

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