March 31, 2009

Statewide Poll Finds a High-Quality Park System is Deeply Valued Among Nearly All Texans

A new poll shows that Texans deeply value parks and conservation efforts, and are widely supportive of measures to fund state parks via the existing state sales tax on outdoor sporting goods. The survey also shows solid support for a modest increase in hunting and fishing license fees to fund vital outdoor recreation and natural resources conservation programs. The results of the survey consistently demonstrate that Texas parks and conservation issues have strong support across partisan, demographic and geographic lines. Read the full TCC press release here.

March 25, 2009

Travis County approves $2.1 million for Hamilton Pool cleanup

Travis County will receive $2.1 million to clean up Hamilton Pool and the 4-mile stretch of creek feeding it as part of a settlement in a lawsuit against a development company and an excavation company accused of allowing large amounts of construction runoff to flow into the Hill Country pool. Travis Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt said the settlement amount was “unprecedented for an environmental disaster like this in the state.” Read the full story here.

March 16, 2009

Buda-area project rouses water protest

The City of Austin, the Lower Colorado River Authority, Hays County and Save our Springs Alliance joined forces to oppose the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s granting of a draft Texas Land Application Permit (TLAP) for a proposed 1,300 home development west of Buda- Read the full Newstreamz story here

March 15, 2009

Rep. Bolton: Why counties should be allowed to regulate growth

“Currently, counties lack almost all authority to regulate even the most rudimentary aspects of growth,” writes State Rep. Valinda Bolton in the Austin American-Statesman. “It might sound like a boring issue, but it can affect your health, safety and property rights…Texas is operating under laws that might have worked in the 1800s when most counties were rural, but today those statutes leave fast growing counties without the planning tools they need to manage growth and development.” Read Rep. Bolton’s full column here.

March 14, 2009

LCRA to start powerline project in Hill Country

From the Lower Colorado River Authority: “LCRA TSC proposes to construct two new double-circuit, bundled conductor, 345-kilovolt transmission lines. The first transmission line will connect either the proposed Westwind Station, to be located in northern Kerr or southern Gillespie counties, or the existing Kendall Station located in western Kendall County, to the expanded Gillespie Station in central Gillespie County. The first transmission line may be located in portions of Kerr, Gillespie, and Kendall counties.” Read the full story and find more information here.

Groups oppose and question the Uvalde pipeline

Cities, counties, chambers and local organizations have passed resolutions opposing what’s known as the Western Edwards Aquifer Pipeline. Legislation would be required to facilitate the project however a recent review of the project questions the science and potential impact of the project. Read more and find helpful documents on this topic here.

March 10, 2009

Water 2.0: New Ideas for a Secure Water Future

From the National Wildlife Federation: “Please join the Environmental Defense Fund in Austin on Friday, April 17th for our 9th Annual and LAST statewide water conference. In true grand finale form, this one is shaping up to be our most exciting. We’re entering a new era–an era in which our pressing natural resource issues will require pioneering technical and societal innovations. As the competing demands on our water supply intensify, business as usual, based on old-school methodologies, is not an option.” Read the full press release here.

March 7, 2009

Recycled water in recharge zone plan

“In a move that runs counter to water reuse practice in San Antonio, San Marcos is considering a request by a developer of a proposed 2,400-acre residential community to use recycled water for a golf course over a section of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone,” writes Jerry Needham for the San Antonio Express-News. “San Marcos water officials are supporting the measure as a way to save drinking water… Not everyone agrees it’s a good idea, including experts at the Edwards Aquifer Authority.” Read the full Express-News story here.

LCRA announces public meeting of Region K water authority

From LCRA: “The Lower Colorado Regional Water Planning Group (Region K) will receive suggestions and recommendations from the public on its proposed population and water demand projections for the 2011 Region K Water Plan. The opportunity to submit written and/or oral comments(not to exceed five (5) minutes per speaker) on the proposed population and water demand projections will be provided during the Region K Population and Water Demand Committee Meeting at LCRA’s Board Room; Hancock Building, 3700 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin, Texas, on Thursday, March 19, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. Read the full press release here.

EDF’s “Down to the Last Drop” groundwater report ready for viewing

From the Environmental Defense Fund: “EDF’s latest report on Groundwater is now available online.Click here to view it. “Down to the Last Drop” spotlights three major issues: 1) The connection between groundwater and surface water and the lack of consideration this receives in current groundwater management and policy. 2) Flaws in the current Groundwater Management Area process, which sets goals for how healthy groundwater resources should be in the future. 3) Modernizing groundwater management to handle increasing pressures.

March 2, 2009

New survey shows smart growth in transportation helps build communities

“An overwhelming majority of Americans believe restoring existing roads and bridges and expanding transportation options should take precedence over building new roads, according to a survey sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and Transportation for America,” reports NAR. “To accommodate future U.S. population growth, which is expected to increase by 100 million by 2050, Americans favor improving intercity rail and transit, walking and biking over building new highways.” Read the full story here.

March 1, 2009

Hydrologist concerned about effect of drought on Llano’s water supply

“In a called meeting following Monday’s Presidents’ Day holiday, the Llano City Council on Tuesday heard a report from local hydrologist Tyson Broad on how the current drought will continue to adversely affect the city’s water supply unless we receive more rain,” writes Dale Fry for the Bandera Bulletin. “Citing current stream flow figures, Broad expressed concern for the future of Llano’s water supply and recommended that the city begin now to determine at what point it should take steps to conserve its supply of the precious liquid.” Read the full Bulletin story here.