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New Spring Monitoring Program Assesses The Health Of The State’s Aquifers

New spring monitoring program assesses the health of the state’s aquifers

Several aquifers across the state are experiencing historic levels of decline; we need to keep track of this so we can ensure that there's enough water for future Texans. This year, we began a new initiative to monitor a network of springs across the state on an annual basis. In this program, staff will collect water quality samples and flow rate measurements from every spring to determine the amount of water flowing from the aquifer and to verify the source…

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Imperiled Central Texas Mussels Bring Conservation Focus To The San Saba River

Imperiled Central Texas mussels bring conservation focus to the San Saba River

Miles down an easy-to-miss dirt road just outside San Saba, Texas, a group of university, non-profit, state and federal researchers has converged on a remote stretch of the San Saba River. A biologist walking along the bank points out empty freshwater mussel shells with quirky names – pimpleback, pistolgrip, papershell – casualties of stranding during a time when the water ran too low. Pointing just a few yards downstream, he indicates a spot where one of their populations washed away…

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TESPA Newsletter – Fall 2020

TESPA Newsletter – Fall 2020

In the many decades I have lived in Hays County, the reaction to the multiple threats we face involving our water, aquifers and natural resources is unprecedented. In the past few years, the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP), the Electro Purification (EP), and Needmore groundwater pumping plans have generated immense concern and insecurity among the people who rely on this primary source of drinking water. TESPA is working and collaborating with area landowners, businesses, civic organizations, elected officials and…

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As Concrete Sprawls, Fort Worth Plans To Spend Millions To Save Land From Development

As concrete sprawls, Fort Worth plans to spend millions to save land from development

The land development boom in North Texas has shown no signs of slowing down, even with the significant economic challenges posed by COVID-19. That’s why Fort Worth officials are moving forward with plans to identify and potentially acquire natural areas for preservation before developers buy up the land for housing and retail projects. “We want to really protect these key areas for our future generations, since once it’s gone, you can’t get it back,” said Jennifer Dyke, a city stormwater…

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Opinion: Vote For Hays Proposition A, Reap Benefits For Generations To Come

Opinion: Vote for Hays Proposition A, reap benefits for generations to come

Despite the intense attention races at the top of the ballot have received—and despite the massive voter turnout those races are driving—some of the most important decisions can be found at the bottom of the Hays County ballot. This year, Proposition A seeks to issue $75 million in bonds over the next 10 years to support local parks and green spaces. Proposition A can only benefit the people—and the plants and animals—that call Hays County home. Read more from Toni…

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Utility Puts Off Settling Lawsuit Amid Uproar

Utility puts off settling lawsuit amid uproar

After hearing complaints from environmentalists and residents of Hamilton Pool Road at their meeting Thursday, the board of directors of the West Travis County Public Utility Agency decided to postpone a formal settlement of a lawsuit filed against the board of the utility by the developer Provence and two property owners. News of the proposed settlement was first reported in The Austin Independent. Read more from Jo Clifton with Austin Monitor here.

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Invasive Zebra Mussels Are Infesting Texas Lakes, TPWD Says

Invasive zebra mussels are infesting Texas lakes, TPWD says

A north Texas lake is fully infested with zebra mussels and reproducing, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The species has been found in 30 Texas reservoirs across five river basins and in rivers that branch off of infested lakes, including the Richland Chambers Reservoir, just southeast of Dallas. Despite efforts to eradicate the species, evidence suggests the population is growing in the body of water. Read more from Taylor Pettaway with Houston Chronicle here.

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SwRI Researchers Evaluate Impact Of Wastewater Systems On Edwards Aquifer

SwRI researchers evaluate impact of wastewater systems on Edwards Aquifer

Southwest Research Institute developed an integrated hydrologic computer model to evaluate the impact of different types of wastewater disposal facilities on the Edwards Aquifer, the primary water source for San Antonio and its surrounding communities. The research results will guide authorities on what actions to take to protect the quality and quantity of water entering the aquifer. Read more from Southwest Research Institute here.

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Blue Hole Primary School Begins Collecting Awards

Blue Hole Primary School begins collecting awards

Blue Hole Primary School in Wimberley has just been open since August, and the honors have already begun to roll in. The architecture firm of O’Connell Robertson and engineering firm MEP say it has won the 2020 Rain Catcher Award from the Texas Water Development Board and the school, the first One Water School in Texas, has already inspired more One Water initiatives within the region. Read more from Anita Miller with Hays Free Press News-Dispatch here.

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Lawmaker Hears From A Concerned Public

Lawmaker hears from a concerned public

The town hall meeting concept took on a new form and focus on October 1st when Texas state Rep. Terry Wilson hosted a Zoom video conference to take public comment on Aggregate Production Operations (APOs). As Chair of the House Interim Committee on APOs, Wilson wanted to hear from the public on this final day of a three-day event. The two previous days were taken up by speakers representing the industry and community groups. APOs can include quarries, rock crushers…

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