July 24, 2013

Texas Drought Forecast to Continue, Perhaps For Years

National meteorologists expect the drought to continue or worsen through late summer and early fall in Texas, and ocean patterns are troublingly similar to those during the “drought of record” in the 1950s. More from State Impact.

Texas Community Without Water Still Waiting For a Solution

Early last year, Spicewood Beach became the first Texas town to run out of water during the current drought. Since then, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), which owned and managed the community’s water system, has been trucking approximately 32,500 gallons of water per day to the small community, and an extra 6,500-gallon truckload on weekends. More from State Impact

Aquifer District Seeks Nominations for Groundwater Stewardship Awards

Every other year, BSEACD presents the Groundwater Stewardship Awards to deserving individuals, organizations, companies or agencies that have made exemplary efforts to help protect and conserve water resources in the District’s jurisdictional area. The District is now seeking nominations in these categories: Water Conservation, Education, Research, Water Quality Protection, and Innovation. Learn More

Concerns About a Shrinking River Are Beginning to Heat Up

The struggle over water management of the increasingly dry San Saba may not be new, but the debate over whether the irrigators upstream need to be monitored more closely has heated up this summer. Read more from NY Times.

July 16, 2013

What is our water future? Does that effect our food supply?

What do water resources have to do with food and agriculture? Doesn’t rain provide for most? Yes, often that is true, but far from all production. In ’07 USDA reported that 40 percent of the value of all ag products was from irrigated agriculture. Read more from Mike Mecke in Ranch & Rural Living Magazine.

City of Round Rock: Collect rain water, get paid

For Round Rock resident Sean Barber, the two rain water collection tanks in his backyard are turning out to be his friend. Tired of seeing rain water wasted, Barber joined the city’s harvesting rebate program. Under the city’s program, which began June 1, people who install rain collection tanks like Barber’s will be paid 50 cents per gallon of water collected with a maximum rebate of $250 a year per customer. Learn more from KVUE.

July 10, 2013

Why Should I Care About The Cost Of Tap Water?

Texas faces huge spending decisions to meet water supply challenges. All of us need to be aware of the possible implications of big infrastructure expenditures and ask the right questions to ensure that utilities and decision makers make the best decisions. HCA supports conservative solutions to meet future needs verses expensive plans to create new demand further from our cities and towns. Read Jennifer Walkers most recent blog here.

July 9, 2013

Cibolo Conservancy sets July 31 workshop to help families protect land, receive tax incentives

A workshop exploring how families can legally protect and preserve the legacy of their land – and be eligible for tax relief at the same time – will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm auditorium. Details

Protect bats and the aquifer

Like the bats of Bracken, the Edwards Aquifer is an elegant natural phenomenon that provides incomparable and irreplaceable services to the denizens of our region. The Edwards Aquifer is due all the protection that we can offer in policy and regulation. Read more from Annalisa Peace as published in the SA Express-News. Learn more about Bracken Cave and Bat Conservation from BCI, here.

Learn how to assess lighting in your community

A new program is in place to train volunteers from all over the state to do lighting assessments and help implement best practices for night lighting. While this program was created for TPWD, the training is available to any community group who would like to reduce sky glow and see the stars at night. Learn More

July 8, 2013

A Sustainable Water Plan for Texas

As with any major public policy initiative, the devil is in the details. So, what does HB 4 do and what can we expect to happen over the next few years? More from Texas Center for Policy Studies here.

Drinking Water Infrastructure: Who Pays and How (And for What?)

As Texans consider investments in water infrastructure, this resource from American Rivers is a must read. While consumers, advocates, and water utility leaders may recognize a need to invest in our critical water systems, the question is what sort of infrastructure we should build to meet the needs of present and future generations. The infrastructure of yore—mega projects to convey, store and treat water—is often too inflexible and too expensive to deliver reliable and cost-effective services in this era of extreme weather, climate change, and fiscal austerity. Read more from American Rivers.

Viable LID project properties could change the face of SA development

After more than four months of competition, only eight teams remain in San Antonio’s first-ever Low Impact Development (LID) Design Competition organized by the San Antonio River Authority in partnership with the San Antonio Land/Water Sustainability Forum. The final round of judging will take place at the award ceremony on July 10, and the winning team in each category will be awarded $15,000. Individual seats and corporate tables are currently available for purchase, as are sponsorship opportunities. Learn More

American Farmland Trust’s I Love My Farmers Market Celebration

Many family farmers are struggling to stay financially afloat and face pressure from development that is destroying farmland. Farms closest to America’s cities—often the providers of the delicious local food found at farmers markets—are directly in the path of destruction. AFT’s I Love My Farmers Market Celebration is raising national awareness about local farmers markets and putting money directly in the pockets of family farmers. Check out theFredericksburg Farmer’s Market every Thursday – a fantastic Hill Country example.

USDA and DOI Highlight Successes of Protecting Bird Habitat on Private Lands

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today announced the release of the State of the Birds 2013 Report on Private Lands. A collaborative effort as part of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative, involving federal and state wildlife agencies and scientific and conservation organizations, the report shows how private land conservation incentives positively impact bird habitat. Read More

Water, fishing, wildlife combine to make South Llano River a gem

Texas is blessed with several fine rivers for paddling anglers. But few combine the qualities of a wonderfully scenic waterway, high water quality, an abundant and varied fishery, easy access, diversity of trip lengths and the chance to see an amazing amount and variety of wildlife as the South Llano River. Read more from Chron.com.

Time for Everyone to Get Serious about Conservation

“Sometime around the beginning of August, without a dramatic change in the prevailing weather conditions, the Highland Lakes, our source of water, will hit a record low level. This will trigger mandatory cutbacks in water use across the Colorado River basin that have never before been implemented.” Read more from the Central Texas Water Coalition. Read More

July 3, 2013

Environmental groups want SAWS to deny service to subdivision

San Antonio is hiring experts to study whether the 600-acre buffer around the Bracken Bat Cave is large enough, in light of a developer’s plan to build on the neighboring 1,500 acres, City Manager Sheryl Sculley said Tuesday. If built, the subdivision would be directly under the main flight path of the 10 million to 20 million bats that emerge from the cave in southern Comal County to feed every summer night. Details

Through the river’s eyes

HCA is a proud sponsor of Yakona – “a film told through the eyes of the San Marcos River.” San Marcos film makers capture the beauty and serenity of the San Marcos River in this documentary film project. More from Hays Free Press.

How to Build a Rainwater Harvesting System

AgriLife will be hosting a workshop on rainwater harvesting Aug. 17 in Austin. A comprehensive rainwater harvesting discussion will be led by Ed Parken, Travis County Master Gardener and rainwater harvesting specialist, and Dick Peterson, who served the city of Austin for 14 years as coordinator of xeriscape and rainwater programs. Details

Discounted Rain barrels though CCGCD

If you’ve been wishing for a rain barrel, the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District is having a rain barrel distribution on July 27th at the Kendall County Court House in Boerne. Special discounted prices include shipping to the pick-up site. Learn more and pre-order your barrels here.