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Residents Struggle To Coexist With Quarries

Residents struggle to coexist with quarries

Growing up in the Texas Hill Country, Mark Friesenhahn often would run barefoot through the countryside with his younger brother — but only if their father, “a 150-pound, mean little banty rooster German, full of the culture and work ethic,” hadn’t assigned them a task on the family farm. Occasionally, the boys would hear a siren warning of an imminent blast at the Servtex Quarry Plant 3 miles away.   Read more from Brian Chasnoff with the San Antonio Express-News…

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Opinion: Unconscionable If Lawmakers Were To Ignore Water Infrastructure

Opinion: Unconscionable if lawmakers were to ignore water infrastructure

Less than a year ago, at the end of a particularly vicious peak in the pandemic, half of Texas was without drinking water. Some neighborhoods went dry for weeks. COVID-19 in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri was a public health emergency that should never be repeated. Yet this week, despite billions of federal funds available to fix the problem, the Texas Legislature could decide to turn a blind eye to the most essential of all health systems — our…

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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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Little Cypress Creek/Krause Springs Study Stakeholder Meeting

Little Cypress Creek/Krause Springs Study stakeholder meeting

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District will hold a public meeting on October 12, 2021 to receive community input and participation on a study that seeks to better understand how Krause Springs and the Little Cypress Creek watershed interact with the underlying aquifers. The meeting will be held at the Spicewood Community Center (7901 County Road 404, Spicewood, TX 78669) from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It…

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Commentary: This Session, Make Water A Priority

Commentary: This session, make water a priority

More than half of all Texans lost water during last February’s deadly winter storm. It was a warning of trouble to come. Our state’s water infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and it is aging and fragile. Just one week before the storm knocked out water and power service, the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Texas’ huge network of water pipes and treatment plants a C grade. Further, the 2022 State Water Plan projects…

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Water Reuse Is Helping Meet Needs. But We Can Do Better.

Water reuse is helping meet needs. But we can do better.

With the state’s population soaring, water resources limited and the climate getting warmer, water reuse is a growing but still underutilized solution to ensure that Texas has clean, abundant water supplies long into the future. The state’s latest water plan projects that direct non-potable water reuse could yield as much as 180,000 acre-feet of water – enough to fill nearly 90,000 Olympic-sized pools – every year by 2030. Austin’s 100-year water plan estimates that nearly a third of the city’s future water supplies could be achieved with water reuse.   Read more from Sharlene Leurig and Jennifer Walker with the Austin…

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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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5 Principles For Resilient Groundwater Management In Texas

5 principles for resilient groundwater management in Texas

Although Texas has a solid foundation for managing groundwater, this foundation is cracking under the combined pressures of increasing demand and decreasing supply. These pressures are pitting rural areas against urban areas and landowners against each other, with groundwater conservation districts caught in the middle. To overcome these challenges and ensure resilient water supplies, Texas leaders must improve the state’s framework for managing groundwater. That means finding common ground among diverse stakeholders on how to best sustain supplies.   Read…

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