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Water Nonprofit To Begin Work In Texas

Water nonprofit to begin work in Texas

The Water Finance Exchange (WFX) has announced the launch of a new fund to expand its work throughout Texas and address funding shortages of water infrastructure projects. Beginning in early 2022, WFX’s revolving Texas Pre-Development Fund will issue below-market, low interest loans and provide advisory support to communities seeking to fund adequate drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Read more from WaterWorld here.

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2021 Began With A Texas-sized Water Crisis. In 2022, Texas Needs Solutions

2021 began with a Texas-sized water crisis. In 2022, Texas needs solutions

Last February, Texans got a terribly clear view of the fragility of their state’s water infrastructure, as a statewide freeze left millions of Texans without heat or electricity and almost half of the state’s population lost water. This event provided a stark reminder of what’s at stake. The state’s 2022 water plan estimates that more than $80 billion in projects are needed to meet future water demands and build resilience across Texas. Read more from HCA Board President Vanessa Puig-Williams…

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How A Texas Songbird And Its Endangered Status Became The Center Of A Fight Over The Hill Country

How a Texas songbird and its endangered status became the center of a fight over the Hill Country

When a group of researchers at Texas A&M’s Natural Resources Institute published the first peer-reviewed study that surveyed the presence of a brightly colored Texas songbird across a huge swath of Texas, the results were astounding: The population of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler in the state was estimated to be 10 times larger than previously thought. Read more from Erin Douglas with The Texas Tribune here.

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County Vote Helps Pave Way For Lily Ranch Subdivision Near Balcones Creek

County vote helps pave way for Lily Ranch subdivision near Balcones Creek

An unpopular new housing project slightly north of the Bexar-Kendall county line cleared a significant hurdle last month after Kendall County commissioners reluctantly approved a slew of variances. Titled Lily Ranch, the development at full build-out would comprise 500 homes on 120 acres located off Old Fredericksburg Road, right next to Balcones Creek. Downstream, Balcones Creek joins Cibolo Creek, an important recharge stream for the Edwards Aquifer. Blanketing creekside land with new asphalt, concrete, and rooftops will inevitably increase flood…

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Helotes Canyon Watershed’s Future At Stake With Guajolote Tract Decision

Helotes Canyon watershed’s future at stake with Guajolote Tract decision

Helotes Canyon northwest of San Antonio has seen its share of small-scale development, but the water in Helotes Creek still flows clear and plentiful as it makes its way downstream toward the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. But with developer Lennar Homes planning the canyon’s densest development yet — a 3,000-home subdivision on a 1,160-acre property — this could all change in only a few years. Could Helotes Creek become yet another dead Hill Country stream, choked with algae and sediment,…

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‘Careful What We Ask For’: Dripping Springs Battles Major Hill Country Growing Pains, Development Issues

‘Careful what we ask for’: Dripping Springs battles major Hill Country growing pains, development issues

Diane and Chuck McClaferty live and work on a Dripping Springs ranch. It’s been in Chuck McClaferty’s family for 85 years. They raise beef cattle. They keep honeybees. And a proposed four-lane highway would run right through the middle of their land. Read more from Annie Blanks with San Antonio Express-News here.

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The Infrastructure Bill Has Passed. What Now?

The infrastructure bill has passed. What now?

We highly recommend this nuanced take on recent federal infrastructure funding outlined in the article below from Small Towns. While having additional federal infrastructure funding is crucial to the continued success of our changing communities, we also recognize that with big money comes big challenges. - Hill Country Alliance So, the behemoth of an infrastructure bill finally passed over the weekend. And there was much rejoicing… Well, not from us. At Strong Towns, we’ve been skeptical of the current bill…

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All In The Family

All in the Family

Bryan Parras recalls a time in elementary school when he accompanied his dad on a work trip to Nederland, in Texas’ Golden Triangle. The warehouse where his dad organized county workers was “just one open vacant room with a bunch of chairs like you would see in a movie.” Bryan, now 44, remembers running around outside, playing on a mound of sand, while his dad discussed strategy with Jefferson County employees.   Read more by Irene Vázquez from the Texas…

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Developers Going Big In Surging Town

Developers going big in surging town

It’s a trend in Texas’ fastest-growing county: growing pains. The population of Dripping Springs, a bedroom community west of Austin in Hays County, boomed over 175 percent in the last six years to nearly 7,500 people, census figures show. Now it needs to upgrade roads and wastewater treatment. And it doesn’t have enough restaurants or middle-priced housing for all the newcomers.   Read more from Annie Blanks with San Antonio Express-New here.

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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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