A pause for energy developers threatening Texas Big Bend Region

A pause for energy developers threatening Texas Big Bend Region

Three years ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture counted 80,000 head of cattle grazing the sea of golden grass across Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis counties in dry, open and captivating West Texas. That’s more than four times the number of people living in a region as big as Maryland… It’s hard country, too. Household incomes are low. Droughts are an episodic hazard. Ranching is a tough business. The tourist trade is a six-month deal. The three counties, according to…

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All droughts are not created equal

All droughts are not created equal

Texas is better prepared for drought now than it was in the 1990s; however, the state is less ready for a repeat of the drought of record—or worse—than it was 20 plus years ago. If that sounds counterintuitive, it’s because all droughts are not created equal. Before the mid-‘90s, two decades of cooler and wetter weather lulled Texas into complacency, turning the Dust Bowl and the Drought of the 1950s into hazy, distant memories. The drought of 1996 was an…

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Meadows Center, Wimberley Library District announce partnership, plan for ‘One Water’ in library renovation

Meadows Center, Wimberley Library District announce partnership, plan for ‘One Water’ in library renovation

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and the Wimberley Village Library District Board of Trustees have teamed up to launch a new One Water project for the Wimberley Valley community. With technical support from the Meadows Center, the planned 15,000-square-foot library expansion and a 3.8-acre lot will be designed for both water conservation and water quality protection while serving as a community laboratory and educational resource for natural resource protection. Read more from San…

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San Antonio Water System denies claims by Central Texas water district that Vista Ridge water was wasted in Bexar County

San Antonio Water System denies claims by Central Texas water district that Vista Ridge water was wasted in Bexar County

A Central Texas groundwater conservation district that oversees pumping of water through a 142-mile pipeline has voiced concern about potential “waste” by the San Antonio Water System. But SAWS officials maintain the roughly 580 million gallons discharged into local creek beds from mid-April to June 12 was put to “beneficial use” for testing and flushing of water mains and other equipment for the massive Vista Ridge pipeline, which began operating this year. Read more from Scott Huddleston with San Antonio…

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Opinion: More concrete ditches and paved-over prairies? Houston must pivot to nature-based flood mitigation

Opinion: More concrete ditches and paved-over prairies? Houston must pivot to nature-based flood mitigation

With damage already felt from Hurricane Hanna on the middle and lower Texas coast, and the potential for a devastating hurricane season upon us, the fear of a repeat Hurricane Harvey is top of mind for Houston-area residents and local elected leaders alike. However, many are unaware that leaders in the region have an unprecedented opportunity to set Houston and Harris County on a more resilient and equitable path when it comes to mitigating the impact of future flooding events.…

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Water, Texas: When it rains, Texas forgets drought and worsening water scarcity

Water, Texas: When it rains, Texas forgets drought and worsening water scarcity

Among the famed springs that distinguish the Texas Hill Country as a region of crystal-clear water and iconic swimming holes, Jacob’s Well stands out. The spring’s water source is rain that falls on the thin soils of Hays County and filters through porous limestone before filling a network of deep, ancient caves… When it’s wet in Hays County and the 16 other counties that form the Hill Country, Jacob’s Well pours about 900 gallons a minute into Cypress Creek, more…

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Springs that form Headwaters of San Antonio River protected forever

Springs that form Headwaters of San Antonio River protected forever

The springs that form the headwaters of the San Antonio river will be forever protected from development, thanks to an agreement involving the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and Green Spaces Alliance. On Friday, leaders of the Headwaters Preserve at Incarnate Word told the Rivard Report they had placed the 53-acre preserve north of downtown under a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a restrictive covenant that permanently bars construction, paving over natural surfaces, mining, or drilling on…

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Hays County aims at enhancing connectivity, recreation options with Cape’s Pond Project

Hays County aims at enhancing connectivity, recreation options with Cape’s Pond Project

Hays County is aiming at enhancing and expanding regional connectivity and recreation options for county residents with the acquisition of 28.7 acres of property near the San Marcos River… Hays County General Counsel Mark Kennedy said in a press release that the project was discussed as a “key land acquisition to provide multi-modal transportation connectivity between currently disconnected areas of San Marcos and local hike and bike trail systems, including those that are in the planning stages.” Read more from…

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Thrown under the bus? Tax deal leaves future of aquifer, trails programs unsettled

Thrown under the bus? Tax deal leaves future of aquifer, trails programs unsettled

Nirenberg and VIA Metropolitan Transit have agreed on a proposal to temporarily fund the City’s coronavirus response, then shift that funding to VIA Metropolitan Transit. The funding would come from a one-eighth-cent sales tax that currently pays for the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program(EAPP) and the Howard W. Peak Linear Greenway Trail system. The compromise seemingly put an end to weeks of arguments between Nirenberg and San Antonio’s transportation authority. But the agreement didn’t address alternative means of funding the EAPP…

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New Mexico town, oil companies in fight over water use

New Mexico town, oil companies in fight over water use

“I don’t want to call it a war, but we’re fighting for our lives down here,” Jal Mayor Stephen Aldridge said, standing under the scorching, 100-degree sun on a recent afternoon. The dispute is over who gets to control water in this parched corner of southeastern New Mexico: Should the oil industry have access to tens of millions of barrels a year for operations like hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, or should the aquifer be conserved for local residents who…

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