November 27, 2009

Developing Stories: Driving in Two Directions

Are Central Texans ready to drive less so that we can become a more sustainable region? Well, about half of us are, suggests a recent survey by the Capital Area Metro­pol­itan Planning Organization. Read full Austin Chronicle article here.

November 21, 2009

A vulnerable landscape

A look at the ongoing evolution of the Trinity Aquifer by Boerne Star Staff Writer, Elena Tucker. Click here to read.

November 20, 2009

Can’t let it come down to the last straw

It may not be readily apparent in all the gloomy talk about the state of the Central Texas economy, but the region will continue to grow, and that growth will intensify aggressive competition for water. Read full editorial here.

November 19, 2009

LCRA reopens the tap as drought wanes

In another signal of how much the Central Texas drought has eased, the Lower Colorado River Authority on Wednesday released customers from mandatory watering restrictions in place since August. Read full article here.

State environmental agency rejects request to repeal discharge ban

The state environmental office Wednesday denied a request to repeal a ban on the discharge of treated wastewater into the Highland Lakes, which serve as the prime recreation and water supply reservoirs in Central Texas. The decision, made at a meeting of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, ends a public policy discussion that boiled down to water quality versus water quantity. Read full article here.

“Sustaining the Hill Country – Now and for future generations”, forum Scheduled February 26th and 27th in Fredericksburg

Central Texas is all about the Hill Country — rolling vistas, dramatic bluffs, seeps and springs, and diverse wildlife. But the character of the Hill Country is changing due to explosive growth. On February 26th and 27th, 2010, the Bexar Audubon Society, Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas, the Hill Country Alliance, the Texas Wildlife Association, and the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service will focus on this challenge at the 7th Farm & Range Forum, “Sustaining the Hill Country — Now and for Future Generations.” See full media release here.

November 18, 2009

LCRA Board Approves Drought Measures – Turns focus to planning for future

At its meetingWednesday, Nov. 18, the LCRA Board approved drought measures aimed at managing the ongoing Colorado River Basin Drought. The Board’s approval followed weeks of expert staff analysis, public input from customers and stakeholders and deliberation among Board members. Read full media release here.

November 17, 2009

Catch the Water Issue Symposium on Texas Public Radio

Water Issue Symposium will air on Texas Public Radio this Friday at 7:00pm – The room at UTSA was full last Thursday as our distinguished panel of experts moderated by Dr. Robert Mace of the Texas Water Development Board, explained and discussed the “Desired Future Conditions” process. Learn about how our finite groundwater supply is being managed for future generations. Catch the recording Friday on the Newsmaker Hour series. For more information, click here.

Balancing water needs of aquifer’s many users

Water restrictions put in place during this year’s drought are nothing compared with those of the future if management of the Edwards Aquifer is not changed, scientists say in a new report. Read full San Antonio Express – News article here.

November 12, 2009

Public Hearing for Hays County RHCP

Hays County will conduct a public hearing to discuss the County’s application for a Endangered Species Act incidental take permit and possible adoption of the RHCP and related items. The hearing will include an open house/exhibits, brief presentations about the project, and an opportunity for public comment – Details

November 11, 2009

Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program

EARIP stakeholders met Thursday and took the first of many steps in the process of establishing a plan to protect federally listed endangered species while balancing the region’s need for water. Read full media release here.

November 10, 2009

Llano County opposes Granite Shoals petition

The Llano County Commissioners’ Court voted to refund a portion of its bonds and save the county an estimated $130,000 on Monday and unanimously opposed a petition from the cities of Leander and Granite Shoals, which asked for support in convincing the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality to change its rules against releasing discharge from wastewater treatment plants into the watershed. Read full Highlander article here.

Marble Falls not jeopardized by LCRA proposal

The Marble Falls City Council withdrew a resolution on Monday that strongly opposed the Lower Colorado River Authority’s suggested halt on new water contracts, in light of recent talks with the agency, said officials at the public meeting. Read full Highlander article here.

LCRA Board Considers Drought Actions

At a specially called meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10, the LCRA Board discussed revised staff recommendations to manage the ongoing Colorado River Basin Drought and listened to public comment about the potential economic impact of reduced water supplies. Read full media release here.

Final Central Texas Greenprint for Growth Report Available Now

The Central Texas Greenprint for Growth (the “Greenprint”) is a tool for balancing sustainable conservation goals with the infrastructure needs of our rapidly urbanizing region. Expanding on the Travis County Greenprint for Growth completed during the fall of 2006, the Central Texas Greenprint was conducted between the spring of 2008 and the summer of 2009 with stakeholders from Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays Counties. Read full Envision Central Texas newsletter here.

County Favors More Say In Power Line Planning

In hopes of getting Gillespie County government more involved in an ongoing discussion over planned routing of transmission power lines through this part of the Texas Hill Country, Gillespie County Commissioners on Monday discussed forming a regional planning commission. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.

November 9, 2009

LCRA Board To Consider Drought Plans

The LCRA is considering revised drought strategies, public input opportunity tomorrow, November 10th, LCRA Board meeting November 18th. More on this issue and also the consideration of direct discharge into Lake Travis from PLTA here.

November 6, 2009

CAPCOG Releases Report On County Land Use Authority In Texas

This report highlights the current state of counties’ ability to manage growth, detailing the specific chapters in Texas Code that grant counties the ability to regulate land use while pointing out innovations that some counties have made in the exercise of their authority. Read full CAPCOG media release here.

TWDB hears latest round in regional water spat

Another round in a battle between Hill Country water planners was fought in Kerrville Monday at a Texas Water Development Board hearing. The conflict centers on a decision about “desired future conditions” made on Aug. 29, 2008, by the executive committee of Groundwater Management Area 9, which is made up of one representative from each of the groundwater districts in Kendall, Bandera, Blanco, Comal, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Travis and northern Bexar counties. Read full Boerne Star article here.

November 4, 2009

Join River Systems Institute at the Land Water People Conference November 16-18

Join over 75 expert presenters in exploring the potential to more effectively manage and protect water resources on both a local and regional scale. –Details

November 2, 2009

Get involved in the Austin Comprehensive Plan

November 9 – 12, Austin Comprehensive Plan Forums click here for dates, times and locations

Scenic Hill Country News

Check out the latest Scenic Hill Country news from SOS Hill Country based in Gillespie County, remember the annual meeting is set for November 10th. SOSHCE updates here, annual meeting details here.

Diligence Required to Protect Hill Country from Ill-planned Energy Sprawl

For months, the Clear View Alliance (CVA) has worked diligently to protect the Texas Hill Country from the effects of ill-planned energy sprawl. The first step was convincing the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to take the time required to expand the study area for siting high-voltage transmission lines. Read full media release here.