‘No Land No Water’ campaign promotes conservation

‘No Land No Water’ campaign promotes conservation

When it rains in Texas, it falls predominantly on a privately-owned farm, ranch or timberland. How that land is managed will have consequences for the future of Texas water. That’s a cornerstone message of “No Land No Water,” a new public awareness campaign of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT). The campaign promotes conservation of private working lands is key to protecting the state’s water resources. Social media sites, billboards and a new website are bringing attention to the campaign and…

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Three Bills Aim to Ensure Clean Water Recharges the Edwards Aquifer

Three Bills Aim to Ensure Clean Water Recharges the Edwards Aquifer

State Sen. José Menéndez (D-26) and State Reps. Donna Howard (D-48), and Tracy O. King (D-80) have filed bills that many believe are needed to protect the quality of the water in the Edwards Aquifer. Senate Bill 1796 (Menéndez)/House Bill 3036 (King) and House Bill 3467 (Howard) would prohibit discharge of sewage effluent into waterways in the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone. “Protecting the pristine streams in the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone for all landowners [and users] is of the utmost importance, and…

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Conversations on Water Heating up at 85th Legislative Session

Conversations on Water Heating up at 85th Legislative Session

We’ve been tracking the latest in water news from the pink dome in Austin. This compilation of some of the most recent developments include conversations around a Hays County ranch looking to skirt groundwater pumping restrictions, a proposed law that would ban developers from piping treated wastewater into streams that recharge the Edwards Aquifer, and a commentary on the importance of protecting our state’s water resources. Bills that would impact a Hays County ranch hoping to skirt groundwater pumping restrictions: Water war boils back up:…

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New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory

New USGS assessment provides fresh insights into nation’s brackish groundwater inventory

A new nationwide assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that the nation’s brackish groundwater could help stretch limited freshwater supplies. This study, the first of its kind in more than 50 years, found that the amount of brackish groundwater underlying the country is more than 800 times the amount currently used each year. With issues like drought, groundwater depletion, dwindling freshwater supplies, and demand for groundwater expected to continue to rise, understanding brackish groundwater supplies can help determine whether…

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Austin environmental report: SH 45 SW construction could harm cave, aquifer

Austin environmental report: SH 45 SW construction could harm cave, aquifer

The environment in Austin remains preserved and protected despite its tremendous growth over the past few decades, said Chuck Lesniak, the city’s environmental officer, in the annual State of Our Environment report published on Thursday. The city’s environmental policies often stand in contrast to the state’s and now the federal government’s as regulations begin to be rolled back, Lesniak’s foreword in the report states. “Austin has made environmental protection a community priority for well over 30 years,” he said. “That ongoing…

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A milestone in Edwards recharge protection

A milestone in Edwards recharge protection

Thursday, the San Antonio City Council considers purchase of a conservation easement on the 2,800-acre Middle Verde Ranch in Medina County. If approved, this will effectively mark the final expenditure from the $90 million Edwards Aquifer Protection Program fund ratified by voters in 2010. That was the third of four ballot measures dedicating a portion of city sales tax revenue to conserving parcels over the aquifer’s recharge and contributing zones. Voters approved $45 million in 2000, $90 million in 2005,…

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Jacob’s Well: An Endangered Species?

Jacob’s Well: An Endangered Species?

In 1996 David Baker, an area landowner, formed a 501(c)3 called Wimberley Valley Watershed Association to preserve the area for future generations. The preservation efforts have been significant, acquiring land around the well to allow for less development and for rainwater to continue to feed the aquifer below. The Well has gone dry numerous times in the last 15 years, and at times the water quality has been poor. The problem, according to David, is that urbanites value this rural…

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Sengelmann: Water is not a commodity to be pumped to depletion

Sengelmann: Water is not a commodity to be pumped to depletion

A recent commentary in the Express-News by Simon Sequeira, the CEO of Quadvest Water & Sewer Utility in Magnolia, attempts to blame all of the state’s water issues on groundwater conservation districts, or GCDs. The commentary (“The next generation of water wars; Governmental greed siphoning dollars, future from Texans,” March 5) states, “Many of these districts were created to prevent the big cities like Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio from coming into their county and taking their water.”  I can…

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Cities unconvinced by Workman’s groundwater bill

Cities unconvinced by Workman’s groundwater bill

Though a bill has been filed by state Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) to create a groundwater conservation district in southwestern Travis County with the goal of monitoring and protecting the area’s supply of ground water, few stakeholders if any are satisfied with the shape and power of the proposed district . But the proposed Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District differs from the existing districts in some notable ways. While other groundwater districts provide for some exemptions for regulated wells,…

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