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Why Are Austin’s Trees Having Such A Colorful Autumn?

Why are Austin’s trees having such a colorful autumn?

Austin is known for a lot of things, but fall foliage is not one of them. That is, until this year. Local trees are putting on an incredible color show lately. It seems like it came out of nowhere, but it didn’t. “This is my 24th fall in Austin, and I've never seen the tree color as varied and vibrant as it is this year,” Doug Addison wrote to KUT's ATXplained project, asking: "Why? Or is it my imagination?" It's…

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Water Forward Plan Including Artificial Aquifers, Graywater Reuse Gets Council Nod

Water Forward plan including artificial aquifers, graywater reuse gets council nod

A 100-year water resiliency plan that calls for massive underground reservoirs and reuse of wastewater is now city policy after gaining the approval of the Austin City Council. The plan, dubbed Water Forward, has been in the works since 2014, when years of drought led council members to call for a look at the city’s long-term water future. It proposes creating artificial aquifers that could store billions of gallons of potable water. Crucially for environmentalists, it promotes reusing water from…

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Sen. Campbell Files Bill To Address Quarries, Concrete Plants In Texas Hill Country

Sen. Campbell files bill to address quarries, concrete plants in Texas Hill Country

AUSTIN – State Senator Donna Campbell filed Senate Bill 208 today to extend requirements for setbacks, or buffer zones, around aggregate facilities. If passed, the bill would double the current 440 yard requirement between concrete plants or quarries and existing residences, schools, and churches to 880 yards, or a half mile. The proposed change is the result of multiple discussions with Kendall and Comal County residents after Vulcan Materials proposed expanding their operations in the Hill Country, including opening a…

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State Judge Sides With Dripping Springs In Wastewater Permit Hearing

State judge sides with Dripping Springs in wastewater permit hearing

The city of Dripping Springs will proceed with its wastewater permit application after a state judge sided with the city on all 12 issues raised by Save Our Springs Alliance—an Austin-area environmental nonprofit. The State Office of Administrative Hearings conducted the contested case hearing and concluded that the city’s application for a wastewater permit should be granted, according to a Nov. 26 news release. The ruling concluded that the draft permit: • Contains provisions to protect wildlife in the area…

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Meyer Ranch To Add 1,600 Homes In Rural Northwest

Meyer Ranch to add 1,600 homes in rural northwest

With projects in Georgetown, Liberty Hill and Round Rock, developers Todd McCullough and Randy Rollo of Randolph Todd Development said they had an interest in expanding to the south end of the Austin-San Antonio corridor. Three years ago the Austin-based developers purchased property at Hwy. 46 and South Cranes Mill Road, nestled northwest of New Braunfels on the cusp of Canyon Lake. The project, Meyer Ranch, takes its name from the previous landowner, and the developers say they intend to…

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Will Sewage Treatment Plants Spoil The Hill Country?

Will sewage treatment plants spoil the Hill Country?

The picturesque town of Blanco; a planned Christian recreational adventure camp in Bandera County; a Kerr County alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation center hoping to treat more patients; a proposed subdivision in Comal County, just upstream of a state natural area — all these corners of the Hill Country, and others, have proposed building sewage treatment plants. In each case, downstream neighbors have organized, determined to thwart, limit or transform the proposals as they worry that nutrientrich effluent will lead…

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Water Symposium Addresses The Future Of Flooding In Texas

Water symposium addresses the future of flooding in Texas

One month after the destructive flooding of Texas Hill Country rivers led to multiple deaths and tens of millions of dollars in property damage, scientists, regional water management leaders, and academics are still weighing the consequences and the prospect of future severe weather events in Texas. The frequency and severity of weather events ranging from the recent flooding along the Llano, Colorado, Trinity, and Blanco rivers, as well as devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey, have left communities ill-prepared, with experts…

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In Bandera County, Neighbors Fight Plans To Discharge Wastewater From Youth Camp

In Bandera County, neighbors fight plans to discharge wastewater from youth camp

TARPLEY – Charles and John Blackwell stood at the edge of their property with their neighbor Margo Denke Griffin and pointed out the clear water pouring across their land in Commissioners Creek. “You can always see the bottom,” Charles Blackwell said of the creek, which in several spots teemed with minnows darting among aquatic plants. Commissioners Creek is vital to the Blackwells, two brothers who raise around 18 cattle on property that’s been in their family for more than 100…

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Making The Connection: Watersheds And Our Water Supplies

Making the connection: Watersheds and our water supplies

The heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding Central Texas faced a few weeks ago broke records and served as an important reminder about the connection between land and water. After experiencing one of the wettest Septembers on the state’s record, followed by catastrophic flooding from the Llano River, Lake Travis — designed to hold back floodwaters for the City of Austin and its downstream communities — reached its highest level since 1997, forcing the Lower Colorado River Authority to open four floodgates…

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Canadian Utility Company EPCOR Tapped To Operate SAWS’ Vista Ridge Pipeline

Canadian utility company EPCOR tapped to operate SAWS’ Vista Ridge Pipeline

A utility owned by the Canadian city of Edmonton has been chosen to operate the San Antonio Water System’s Vista Ridge pipeline, creating a business relationship that will last at least 30 years. SAWS’ board of trustees on Tuesday passed a resolution consenting to EPCOR Services, a division of EPCOR Utilities, as the operating service provider for Vista Ridge. Stretching from Burleson County to San Antonio, the 142-mile water pipeline that can deliver up to 16.3 billion gallons per year…

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