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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The stars at night are big and bright

The stars at night are big and bright

The stars may be big and bright deep in the Heart of Texas, but they’re only visible when there are sky is dark. Whether you’re in Texas or anywhere else in the world, light pollution continues to distort our ability to enjoy the night sky, and it wreaks havoc on the natural world. We talk with Cliff Kaplan with the Hill Country Alliance and Chloe Crumley with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to learn about the importance of dark…

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Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects

Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects

In a draft law seen by AFP, the country’s environment ministry has drawn up a number of new measures to protect insects, ranging from partially outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats. “Insects play an important role in the ecosystem…but in Germany, their numbers and their diversity has severely declined in recent years,” reads the draft law, for which the ministry hopes to get cabinet approval by October. Read more from Kit Holden from Phys.org here. 

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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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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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Texas Hill Country pipeline project moves forward, despite pleas from Willie Nelson and Paul Simon

Texas Hill Country pipeline project moves forward, despite pleas from Willie Nelson and Paul Simon

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan moved forward on a controversial natural gas pipeline through the Texas Hill Country the same day that legendary musicians Willie Nelson and Paul Simon issued a public plea for the company to halt the project. Nelson, also known as the Red-Headed Stranger, and Simon on Tuesday voiced their opposition to the Permian Highway Pipeline in op-ed in the Houston Chronicle. The pipeline is a $2 billion project to move 2 billion cubic feet of natural…

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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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