News

TWDB to hold work session in San Antonio on July 24July 23, 2014 10:12


TWDB Board to hold work session in San Antonio on SWIFT draftrules
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold a work session to provide information on the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and State Water Implementation Revenue Fund (SWIRFT) rule development process.
The agency is encouraging interested stakeholders to attend and provide comments on the draft rules for the SWIFT and SWIRFT.
The meeting will be held at the Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus, One University Way, Senator Frank L. Madla Building, on July 24, 2014, at 1:00 p.m...



The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold a work session to provide information on the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and State Water Implementation Revenue Fund (SWIRFT) rule development process.

The agency is encouraging interested stakeholders to attend and provide comments on the draft rules for the SWIFT and SWIRFT.

The meeting will be held at the Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus, One University Way, Senator Frank L. Madla Building, on July 24, 2014, at 1:00 p.m.

In addition, the Board will hear a presentation on drought conditions across the state and consider financial assistance for local water projects. 

For participants traveling by public bus, please consult the  VIA Metropolitan Transit website for route options. Bus route 520, stop #26183, is the drop off location for A&M's campus.

Posted: July 23, 2014 10:12   Go to blog
To protect aquifer, limit SAWS service area Annalisa Peace, For the Express-News : July 18, 2014 : Updated: July 18, 2014 2:18pJuly 23, 2014 10:09
Annalisa Peace is the executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance.SAN ANTONIO — Now that SAWS is considering acquisition of new water supplies from the Vista Ridge project, the prospect that these supplies will be used to expand development over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone looms large.

Since January, the consent agendas at SAWS board meetings have featured 26 requests for water and sewer utility service agreements on the Edwards watershed. Most were approved with no discussion...
Annalisa Peace is the executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance.
SAN ANTONIO — Now that SAWS is considering acquisition of new water supplies from the Vista Ridge project, the prospect that these supplies will be used to expand development over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone looms large.

Since January, the consent agendas at SAWS board meetings have featured 26 requests for water and sewer utility service agreements on the Edwards watershed. Most were approved with no discussion.
By approving these utility service agreements, SAWS opens new areas of highly sensitive aquifer lands to high-density development.

Gene Dawson, president of Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc., sums up the issue quite succinctly in an April 9 article in the San Antonio Express-News, “Business in, waste out,” stating, “Organized wastewater collection is what drives development.”

When SAWS provides water and sewer service, it enables much higher density, usually as high as four to six lots per acre. Housing developments of this density bring increased traffic, thoroughfare construction, sewage infrastructure installed within streams that recharge the aquifer and other related impacts, all leading to pollution of the aquifer.

For this reason, the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, or GEAA, has consistently opposed SAWS wastewater service contracts over the Edwards Aquifer recharge and transitions zones, and the contiguous contributing zone.

At the April 21 meeting of the SAWS board's Policy and Planning Committee, SAWS staff made a presentation regarding SAWS' role in land development.
The question: “Should SAWS oversize infrastructure to tracts over the Edwards Aquifer recharge or contributing zones?”

SAWS staff listed several reasons why they should expand infrastructure to new developments. The sole reason provided by staff against doing so was that “some developments are over recharge or contributing zones.”

To make a decision on this very important issue, we think the SAWS board should be aware of the following facts:

There are a host of expensive regulatory requirements involved with expanding development over the recharge zone, including regular camera testing of sewage lines and inspection of stormwater filtration basins.

None of these measures is required for development that is not over the recharge zone, and these expenses are currently borne by all SAWS ratepayers.
So it appears that SAWS ratepayers are subsidizing development in our most environmentally sensitive area.

In 2007, GEAA and San Geronimo Valley Alliance successfully contested SAWS' permit applications to the state for designation as the sole provider of water and sewer service for large areas of the recharge zone.

Unfortunately, we did not have funds to protect the entire recharge zone in San Antonio's extraterritorial jurisdiction from SAWS' misguided permit applications.

Consequently, SAWS was later required to issue water and wastewater service contracts to Crescent Hills, the controversial high-density development next to the Bracken Cave and preserve.

Acquisition of SAWS service had the effect of driving up the purchase price of this land — making it more expensive for San Antonio to protect this unique part of the recharge zone.

GEAA is calling on SAWS to amend state permits to exclude the entire recharge zone from the area where it is required by law to provide service.

Monitoring conducted by the Edwards Aquifer Authority routinely detects anthropogenic contaminants such as unmetabolized drugs at Comal and Hueco springs. Presence of these pollutants indicates that urbanization of the recharge zone is affecting water quality, as these constituents could only have come from the wastewater stream.

We suspect that the high incidence of SAWS sewage leaks on the recharge zone is contributing to the degradation of our water supplies.

Developments outside of the city of San Antonio's extraterritorial jurisdiction are not subject to San Antonio's water quality ordinances. Nor do they benefit the residents of San Antonio by contributing sales or property taxes. SAWS should not be serving these areas.

These are just a few of the reasons we have for urging the members of the SAWS board to set policy that is consistent with protecting the Edwards Aquifer.

We thank the one board member who has met with us so we could raise some of our concerns during the deliberations that followed the staff presentation.

It is our hope that all the SAWS board members take the opportunity to meet with us prior to adopting a policy regarding service on the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. And we urge all concerned citizens of San Antonio to contact SAWS board members to let them know you favor enhancing protection of the Edwards Aquifer by curtailing SAWS utility service agreements within this region.

SAWS does an excellent job for the residents of San Antonio in so many aspects of its operations. In our opinion, protecting the Edwards Aquifer is not one of them.
Since SAWS is the agency empowered by the city to enforce San Antonio's water quality ordinances, we hope the board will move forward with a well-informed discussion of these issues in the near future.

We need SAWS to become part of the solution in protecting the Edwards Aquifer, not part of the problem.

Posted: July 23, 2014 10:09   Go to blog
Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter OneJuly 16, 2014 10:56


Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One
http://www.texastribune.org/2014/07/14/state-only-planning-bigger-texas-not-hotter-one/
by Neena Satija
July 14, 2014

After Texans overwhelmingly approved spending $2 billion in public funds on new water infrastructure projects last November, Republicans and Democrats alike hailed the state’s ability to solve its water woes in the wake of explosive growth and debilitating drought...


Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One
http://www.texastribune.org/2014/07/14/state-only-planning-bigger-texas-not-hotter-one/
by Neena Satija
July 14, 2014

After Texans overwhelmingly approved spending $2 billion in public funds on new water infrastructure projects last November, Republicans and Democrats alike hailed the state’s ability to solve its water woes in the wake of explosive growth and debilitating drought.

But as state water planners prepare to spend that money and address Texas’ water needs in the coming decades, they are only planning for a bigger Texas — not a hotter one. Scientists say Texas Republican leaders’ aversion to reducing the state's economic dependency on carbon-polluting fossil fuels — and their reluctance to acknowledge climate change — prevent the state from properly planning for the impacts of a warming planet on natural resources crucial to its growing population.

“Climate change will affect water supply by 5 to 15 percent in the next 50 years,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist and a professor at Texas A&M University. “I don’t think [the effects] are small enough to ignore.”

Nielsen-Gammon and other scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin and San Antonio, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.

The Texas Water Development Board “does not have an official position on climate change,” said Robert Mace, deputy executive administrator of the agency. Nor does it consult with climate scientists on their long-term projections. Instead, the agency plans for how a larger population might deal with a repeat of the worst drought recorded in Texas history — considered the multiyear drought of the 1950s.

That means the water board does not take into account that the state is at least one degree Fahrenheit hotter on average than it was 20 years ago, significantly exacerbating the drought gripping Texas. Because of higher temperatures, soil is often so dry it sucks up excess rainfall before that water runs off into rivers and reservoirs, and more water evaporates into the atmosphere. That trend is expected to continue, climate scientists say, and needs to be a part of the conversation when planning for the state’s water future.

Asked why the state’s chief water planning agency does not take climate change projections into account, Mace said, “You’d have to talk to the Legislature to answer that question.”

State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, who is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, said the Legislature has no plans to direct the agency to incorporate climate change projections into its water planning in the future.

"It's not a parameter that we've requested they look at," he said, adding that "there is a disagreement within the people of Texas on the science of greenhouse gases."

Austin’s Diminishing Water Resources

When Perry held up a skateboard to mark the beginning of the “X Games” sports competition in Austin last month, his message was clear: Texas’ capital city is booming, like the rest of the state, thanks to Texas Republicans’ fiscally conservative and business-friendly policies. Between 2011 and 2016, Forbes projects, Austin’s economy will grow more than 6 percent. In the last decade, the city has added 155,000 people.

An hour-and-a-half northwest of Austin, there is a different picture. Lake Buchanan, one of two water-supply reservoirs for much of Central Texas, is so low that lakeside residents regularly drive their Jeeps in what should be 20 to 30 feet of water. Cracked culverts and foundations of old houses that were flooded to make room for the reservoirs more than 70 years ago are now easily visible where the lake once stood. Low levels on the second reservoir, Lake Travis, have caused some Central Texas cities to spend millions of dollars extending their pipes further into the lake to take in needed municipal water supplies. Other towns have had to truck in water.

There’s little doubt in climate scientists’ mind that warmer temperatures have played at least some part in the extensive drought. 2011 was the hottest summer ever on record in Texas, and the following summer broke the record again. In a 16-month period, the lakes lost 130 billion gallons of water, or about one-fifth of their capacity. Officials called that rate “staggering” and suggested the hydrology of the lakes was significantly different than in the past. In the last three years, evaporation has claimed as much or more water from the lakes as the city of Austin uses annually.

Even as some significant rainfall has taken place in recent months, the lakes havenot recovered, due in part to higher temperatures that dried out the soil, water officials and scientists say. “The soil just sucked up any rain that came in and it didn’t run off [into the reservoirs],” said Karen Bondy, senior vice president of water resources for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), which manages the reservoir system.

To point out the impact of hotter temperatures on an already severe drought, LCRA officials have noted that even though up to seven inches of rain fell on some parts of the lakes’ watershed last September, the lakes gained only one percent of their capacity. By contrast, less than half the rain fell in similar areas in 2007, but added four times as much water to the lakes.

What’s happening to Austin’s water supply, and that of all the fast-growing cities outside of it, rings eerily true to a climate change study that the LCRA commissioned a decade ago. CH2M Hill, an engineering firm, conducted the study and evaluated a large body of climate research at the time.

“The analysis that we were seeing was telling us [that] the one thing we are going to see is higher temperatures,” said James Kowis, who was the LCRA’s director of water planning at the time. That would mean drier soils, less runoff and more evaporation. In other words, population increases and more economic activity — “demand-side” water issues — were not the only ones that would affect Texas’ water supply in the future. 'Supply-side’ issues could have a large impact too, Kowis said.

The study also found that while there was no clear consensus on rainfall projections, Texas should expect to see more weather extremes and shifts in climate that are even more sudden than is already common in the state.

While the public has "assumed that human societies can adapt to gradual climate change,” the study’s authors wrote, "... recent climate research has uncovered a disturbing feature of Earth’s climate system: it is capable of sudden, violent shifts.”

A 2010 article in the Texas Water Journal by 12 scientists, including some at the University of Texas, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University, had similarly dire predictions for the state’s water resources. “Under essentially all climate model projections, Texas is susceptible to significant climate change in the future … and has the strong potential of extreme stress on its water resources.”

Today, models also strongly indicate that the dividing line between Texas’ rainier eastern portion and its drier western portion, which is roughly at Interstate 35, will move farther to the east. That has major implications for the water supplies of all the booming cities along I-35 — namely Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

But while Bondy said the LCRA is taking some climate projections into account while planning, the state is not, though Texas’ 2012 State Water Plan does note: “Climate scientists have developed models to project what the Earth’s climate may be like in the future under certain assumptions, including the composition of the atmosphere.” Attempts in 2009 by some lawmakers to establish a climate advisory committee for the Texas Water Development Board were unsuccessful.

The state’s 16 regional planning groups can make their own tweaks to anticipate fewer water supplies in the future, and some have done so. But Texas has not funded a single study on the impacts of climate change on water resources.

“We look at demographic projections, we look at financial projections,” to plan for water resources, said Mark Shafer, a University of Oklahoma-based climate scientist and the author of a portion of the federal government-sponsored National Climate Assessment. “Climate’s just another piece of that … climate should be just like any other information. We can pretend that this stuff doesn’t exist, and then be surprised when it does happen.”

Getting hit the hardest

Bruce McCarl, an agricultural economist whose work on climate change impacts won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 (he shared the prize with Al Gore and other scientists), believes climate change will affect water resources far more than just a 15-percent reduction, as the state climatologist projects. McCarl has spent much of his life studying the impacts of global warming on agriculture. That’s where he says the effects will be the most severe in Texas.

“There may need to be some sort of farmer assistance, at least with enhanced education, about how to cope,” McCarl said.

While some Texas cities are making their own plans for a hotter and drier climate, Texans who make their living in agriculture and reside in more remote areas of the state might not have time on their side. Scientists say smaller towns in West Texas and the Panhandle will be the hardest hit, as will rapidly growing and urbanizing South Texas.

South and West Texas are already more arid than much of the state. But they are also expected to see less rainfall on average than they have historically as temperatures continue to climb and warm air dominates the state, pushing the typical “meeting point” between cold and warm air — which causes precipitation — further to the north and east. That means it could get too hot and too dry to grow many commodity crops in Texas, and farmers would be forced to move northward.

Barry Goldsmith, a warming coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said temperatures in the Rio Grande Valley could be up to 10 degrees higher in 50 years than they are today, potentially prompting a reversal of the explosive growth occurring in the region.

“Everybody’s [going] to flee the southland because there’s not enough water for all the people that are here,” Goldsmith said.

South and West Texas rely heavily on underground aquifers for their water supplies, which means rain needs to be able to fall over a large area and seep into the ground to “recharge” those aquifers. A major portion of the Rio Grande River’s flow comes from groundwater-fed rivers, streams and springs in West Texas, for instance. Less rainfall puts that at risk.

“The expectation is that recharge is threatened by climate change,” said Ron Green, a hydrologist at the Southwest Research Institute, a private, independent research organization in San Antonio. “It’s those areas that rely on a good rain every few years to replenish their system that are going to suffer.”

While the state is not consulting scientists regularly on any of this data, another conservative, Republican-led neighbor is: Oklahoma. The state has used climate change modeling in its water plan for almost 10 years, said Shafer, the University of Oklahoma-based climate scientist. As a result, the state is considering measuring the potential yield of reservoirs in a “drought of record” using not just historical data, but also taking into account the effects of higher temperatures on evaporation rates and soil moisture.

The Texas Water Development Board says Texas' 16 regional water planning groups have the option to do the same — but fewer than half have done it.

Oklahoma’s approach, meanwhile, is the result of funding appropriated by that state’s legislature more than a decade ago, when the politics of climate change were very different.

“A lot has changed since then,” Shafer said, and today, “I don’t know if they would get a similar authorization through."
Posted: July 16, 2014 10:56   Go to blog
Texas Tribune + Water Q&A with Karen FordJuly 16, 2014 10:40



 The Q&A: Karen Fordby John ReynoldsJuly 15, 2014

With each issue, Trib+Water brings you an interview with experts on water-related issues. 
Here is this week's subject:

EnlargeKaren Ford is the manager of client and creative services and WaterPR.Karen Ford is managing director at WaterPR in Austin, a broad service communication firm with a singular focus on water issues in Texas...



 The Q&A: Karen Ford



With each issue, Trib+Water brings you an interview with experts on water-related issues. 
Here is this week's subject:

Karen Ford is the manager of client and creative services and WaterPR.
Karen Ford is the manager of client and creative services and WaterPR.
Karen Ford is managing director at WaterPR in Austin, a broad service communication firm with a singular focus on water issues in Texas. With more than 20 years of communicating on water, environment and other social issues, her daily work now involves water conservation, desalination, ag water efficiency, resource stewardship, and water planning and policy. As a Hays County commissioner from 2007 to 2010, she founded the Hays County Water Conservation Working Group and produced the area's first-ever rainwater harvesting public education event. She is a founding and current board member of Hill Country Alliance.
Editor's note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Trib+Water: Could you tell me a little bit about some of the clients you work with?

Karen Ford: One is the Texas Desalination Association, and we put together their annual conference and help them with their communication tools. … That’s coming up in September, so we’re in the throes of that right now.  For the past two and a half years, we have been working with the Harlingen irrigation district in the Rio Grande Valley. They have a Water Development Board grant, and are doing on-farm demonstrations with different types of irrigation methodologies looking for ways to be most efficient with water.

We’ve just gotten very involved in water issues down there, following not only irrigation stuff but also the 1944 treaty with Mexico and that whole issue because it does affect growers. … We’ve branded the program for the Texas Project for Ag Water Efficiency, or the Texas Project for AWE, with a website, texasawe.org.

Basically, we’re trying to communicate not only to growers some irrigation efficient techniques but also to other irrigation districts. There’s, I think, 26, 27 irrigation districts in the Valley. They all use water from the Rio Grande. There’s just efficient ways to move water around in canals and pipes and things like that.

Trib+Water: If you had to present the story on Texas water conservation efforts, what would be the broad, overarching themes of the effort in this state?

Ford: I don’t think there’s been a huge, broad, overarching effort in the state. There has been a campaign developed. I’ve worked with EnviroMedia, which is an ad agency, years ago. And we had funding from the state and did statewide research on water back in 2004. What do Texans think about water? What do they know about their water? And the big “ah ha” was they don’t know where their water comes from.

I’m hoping that’s changed somewhat, but I’m guessing it hasn’t. But I think there’s been so much more focus on water right now. People are probably more aware of what their sources of water are.
We’ve developed a Water IQ program and some messages behind that. And that has never been funded by the state. The state has not funded an overarching water conservation campaign for the public.

Trib+Water: So it sounds like this might be a good time to push for that…

Ford: The Texas Water Development Board did just give grants, totaling close to $1 million, for various water conservation and education programs. We hope there will be more money coming from the state for that and that some of these projects that come under SWIFT will have conservation components as part of them.

The criteria for funding the goals that they’re setting, the rules that they’re making for giving the SWIFT money away will have a rating system that gives a higher score to projects that have a conservation component. We were happy to see that. The conservation component of 20 percent is a floor, not a ceiling. I expect we’ll see projects coming in that have some good conservation components to them.

Trib+Water: Are more people entering your particular field? Is this area becoming more competitive?

Ford: I don’t know that I see it all that more competitive in terms of specialty PR companies, but I do see general PR companies entering the water field. It’s interesting to see the types of organizations that applied for grants for the Texas water conservation grants. Some of them were for-profit and some of them were nonprofit. And some of them were government. I think it’s good to see a lot of focus on water conservation from all different groups and different parts of our state.

Trib+Water: I would imagine it keeps you on your toes as well…

Ford: Yeah, we do. The phone isn’t ringing all the time with people just desiring our business. But there’s certainly a lot of opportunity out there if you can look at the kind of work that you want to do. We have some government work and some association work. We also work for some nonprofits and for a river authority. There’s a lot of work for the conservation end of it and looking at stewardship and natural resource protection.
I’m also on the board of the Hill Country Alliance and have been on that board for 10 years. Our focus is on bringing folks together around the issues of resource protection. That’s kind of what I do in my day job, too.

Trib+Water: Water is something Texans are much more conscious about because of the drought. What should Texans know long term about the challenges facing the state?

Ford: There are two schools of thought. One is we are not going to build our way out of this, and I’ve heard other people say we’re not going to conserve our way out of this. I have to take issue. I think we really are going to have to adopt as a citizenry a new water ethic in the way we think about and use water. And the way we look at our landscapes. And the way we value our large landscapes and understanding the role that they play in our water supply.

Our water in our urban areas comes from our rural landscapes. There’s going to have to be a bridge and an understanding of the connection between our urban needs and our rural landscapes. That’s kind of a big one for me. Are we pouring expensive, treated water out on our lawns that are filled with plants that don’t belong in this state?

Something that has been an issue and needs to be resolved in our state is this disconnection between the way we manage our surface waters and manage our groundwater. It’s as if there are two separate systems and they are not connected and one is private and the other is public. And they are all connected. I think this understanding of the interconnection of our groundwater and surface water is something that needs to be really driven home for Texans. But as long as we have two separate systems and two agencies and two sets of rules for managing, we’re going to be behind the ball.
Posted: July 16, 2014 10:40   Go to blog
New Day for Austin Water ~ Yoga ~ Full Moon ScreeningJuly 16, 2014 10:25
New Day for Austin Water; Yoga; Full Moon Screening at Barton Springs
This week the Austin Water Resources Planning Task Force released their final report to City Council recommending a new course for Austin's water future. The Task Force's 21-page report is a must read for anyone interested in water issues.

The Austin City Council created the Task Force in March, spurred by ongoing drought, a changing climate, and continued mismanagement of the Water Utility and it's ill-advised head-long rush to build Water Treatment Plant No...
New Day for Austin Water; Yoga; Full Moon Screening at Barton Springs

This week the Austin Water Resources Planning Task Force
 released their final report to City Council recommending a new course for Austin's water future. The Task Force's 21-page report is a must read for anyone interested in water issues.

The Austin City Council created the Task Force in March, spurred by ongoing drought, a changing climate, and continued mismanagement of the Water Utility and it's ill-advised head-long rush to build Water Treatment Plant No. 4 (aka the Billion Dollar Mistake on the Lake).

  
The Task Force was led by Sharlene Leurig, water expert for Ceres, and former LCRA General Manager Tom Mason, along with Dr. Lauren Ross, environmental engineer; Jennifer Walker of the Lone Star Sierra Club; Austin water and energy activist Paul Robbins; attorney Marisa Perales; Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger and others. Collectively, Task Force members represented many decades of technical, policy, and legal experience in water resource management.   The City (and all of us) is extremely fortunate to have the benefit of the Task Force's work. Read more here.  

Yoga at the Springs Tomorrow  
   
Join us for Yoga Saturday morning, 9:30 am   
We will gather under the large Mother Pecan at the back gate area. on Robert E. Lee Rd.

Our instructor for Saturday is Pam Brewer.  
July 19th & 26th sessions by Core Power Yoga. 
Please bring your own yoga mat and water.  See you there!

Living Springs Full Moon Showing Saturday Night
Join us at the July 12th, Living Springs full moon screening on the south side of Barton Springs pool. The screening will begin at 9-ish. Producer Karen Kocher will screen profiles of Springs swimmers, past and present--including Bill Bunch, Omid Laridjani and Beverly Sheffield.  
 
For more information on this documentary click

JOIN SOS ALLIANCE!
Summer membership special 
Student/Individual $10  Family $15 
Save Our Springs Alliance is the only watchdog organization working full time with scientists, lawyers, and educators to protect the land, water and wildlife of the Hill Country and the Edwards Aquifer Ecosystem.  We simply cannot do this work without the continued support of donors like you.   Please consider becoming a member today!  Thank you for your consideration. Click HERE to make your donation online or mail to: SOS, 905 W. Oltorf, Ste A, Austin, Tx  78704.  
Posted: July 16, 2014 10:25   Go to blog
Neighbor to Neighbor - News and EventsJuly 09, 2014 10:35

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                     July 9, 2014
Hill Country News
HCC Ruby Ranch – A Conservation Success
The Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) announces a new conservation easement. 747-acre Ruby Ranch, a historical property in Hays County, is the final piece of the puzzle that will result in over 10,000 acres of contiguous open space. As rapid development continues in the region, it has become harder and harder for families to keep lands together and intact...

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                    
July 9, 2014

Hill Country News

HCC Ruby Ranch – A Conservation Success
The Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) announces a new conservation easement. 747-acre Ruby Ranch, a historical property in Hays County, is the final piece of the puzzle that will result in over 10,000 acres of contiguous open space. As rapid development continues in the region, it has become harder and harder for families to keep lands together and intact. Like many ranching families, the Ruby’s felt the burden of these pressures. This property has been in the Ruby family since the 1930s. Read more from HCC.

Taller billboards could be coming to Texas
Billboards designed to get people’s attention could be getting taller. In a proposal the Texas Department of Transportation has rolled out, drivers on interstates, major roadways and rural areas could see signs as high as 65 feet tall. “It may seem like a small thing coming from a city, but it’s really a big deal and can really negatively impact your experience of Texas Hill Country,” said Katherine Romans with the Hill Country Alliance. Comments can be submitted through July 14th. Read the full story from KXAN. Learn more about Billboards in the Hill Country from HCA here.
Travis County attempts to guide surging growth in unincorporated areas
"One difficulty is that the county has little say in what ultimately gets built on unincorporated land." This issue is felt in Bexar, Kendall, Comal, Hays, Burnet, Bandera and all of the rapidly urbanizing counties throughout the Hill Country. Read the full story in the Austin American Statesman. Learn more about the County Authority issue here.

GEAA making a difference in and around San Antonio
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) has consistently opposed utility service contracts for new developments in the Edwards Aquifer watershed. Of particular concern are contracts for sewer service, which allow for much higher density development and have the potential to pollute the Aquifer with high volume sewage leaks. Find out how you can get involved and influence the upcoming SAWS board agenda, July 17th. Learn more from GEAA.

Who Stole the Water?
As the water crisis in Texas continues to escalate, it is becoming a topic of national interest. This article illustrates that the prospect of dried up springs, streams, and lakes in our Hill Country and the bays of Texas is provoking anger far and wide. One thing to note, “waste” is NOT permitted under the rule of capture, although the article alludes that it is. The author Paul Solotaroff, holds back nothing; ecology, water rights, politics, greed, all part of the story. Read more from Men’s Journal.

Rainwater harvesting communities find fertile ground in Hill Country

While traditional developers scramble for scarce water resources, sustainable development in the Hill Country is happening right under our noses. Several water-neutral projects incorporating rainwater harvesting systems are in progress and more are in the planning stages. With proper consideration and non-invasive infrastructure, the Hill Country gets enough rain even - in the worst drought year - to supply a home’s water needs. Local builder and The Hill Country Alliance’s own Paul Sumrall is featured in the following Austin American Statesman news story written by Andra Lin. Click here to read.

Here’s 5 Challenges to Texas Water That Might Surprise You
"Beyond those two big-ticket items — how to pay for water supplies and how to regulate water underground — there are some other smaller challenges the state faces when it comes to water. At a hearing by the House Natural Resources Committee Thursday, several state agencies told lawmakers about the water challenges they’re dealing with." Read more from State Impact.

Green Spaces Alliance Hires New Executive Director
Julia Murphy has been tapped as the next Executive Director of Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas. As the creator of the San Antonio Bikes program at the City of San Antonio's Office of Sustainability, Julia has managed a number of important initiatives as the city is changing its image from a fat city to a fit city and a stronger environmental conscience. Read more

Ensuring sufficient water supplies in Texas
As the current drought sweeping Texas and the Southwest continues, state leaders work to create rules and procedures for wisely administering the $2 billion in water infrastructure loan funds approved overwhelmingly by legislators and voters in 2013. Investments made through this program are critical to the future of Texas and will come none too soon, particularly those investments related to water conservation. Read more from the Houston Chronicle.

Comprehensive rating system released for developing sustainable landscapes
The most comprehensive system for developing sustainable landscapes, the SITES v2 Rating System, has been released by the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ program for use by landscape practitioners, developers, policy-makers and others that work in land design and development. Learn more

TPWD announces wildlife management area seminars
The Kerr and Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Areas are planning on opening their doors for a series of workshops on a wide range of wildlife topics. The three-part series will be organized with a combination of lectures and outdoor field-trips. These outings are free and open to the public, though a reservation is appreciated. Workshops run August through October. More details can be found here

Much of the water that recharges our aquifers, feeds our springs and maintains our rivers is filtered through deep rooted native plants. By working together to restore native vegitation, we can all help maintain an adequate supply of fresh, quality groundwater for our future.

Upcoming Events

July

July 11 in Boerne - 2014 New Landowner Series: Back to Basics, Home Gardening, Chickens, Natural vs. Organic - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

July 12 in San Antonio - Living off the Land: Exploring Generations of Survival - Presented by Land Heritage Institute and the Witte Museum - Details
July 17 in Dripping Springs - Texas Watershed Steward Workshop - Presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Details

July 19 in Kerrville - Water Conservation: Best Practices at the Riverside Nature Center - Details
July 23 in Spring Branch - Comal County Land & Water Expo - Hosted by the Central Texas Conservation Partnership - Details
Posted: July 09, 2014 10:35   Go to blog
Scenic Texas: Last call for TxDOT comments by July 14th July 09, 2014 10:17




TxDOT Proposes Taller BillboardsLAST REMINDER: Tell TxDOT you oppose by Monday, July 14

If you have already commented, thank you!  If not, please do so today and forward this to others who may be interested.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has announced proposed rule changes that would permit the height of billboards along federal highways to be increased 35%, from 42.5 feet to 65 feet, unless they are located inside a city having stricter standards...




TxDOT Proposes Taller Billboards


If you have already commented, thank you!  If not, please do so today and forward this to others who may be interested.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has announced proposed rule changes that would permit the height of billboards along federal highways to be increased 35%, from 42.5 feet to 65 feet, unless they are located inside a city having stricter standards. 

Raising the height of Texas billboards serves no public purpose. Taller and more valuable billboards will mean higher condemnation awards for billboard companies against the state at the same time the state is in desperate need of highway construction funding. Billboards create visual pollution, spoil scenic views and degrade taxpayers' investment in public highways. Scenic Texas' proposal for a 30 foot height limit would mitigate all these problems. 





TAKE ACTION! 

Written comments must be submitted 
before 5:00 p.m., Monday, July 14th.

Click here to comment.


The proposed rules and comment details can be found at:  





Thank you for
TAKING ACTION!

Please consider a contribution to Scenic Texas.

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs090/1102647740796/img/65.pnghttp://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001xijDN5xHzqCbwvTEKzZmBwX1jnR09gxtIvBvnUf8Kqyc3QBhtHuPRUcmvyZh_HNXZI_IIU5boNumc18d9LjAWPko8POHxmYrQEj-iWp-L-oPpoRcJy0kUi37rwWxy17OgcF7j91qANmLTNVgN5-4PiElOO0z6CUJLVi3BOMUJEMqV-oCeT78lq_vhLVEx17Y&c=8EHyL8EXda7UtJGgEnnoOLZ3vHJ7nPUpqCUVj29jslP7ys9wltDCHA==&ch=d3Fph_GLkaCuwYfdLYraOfpgLwFYMY80AGKJAKrpsljTLA6viVRXKA==

   

Contact:  
Margaret Lloyd, 713-898-2819 or  margaretlloyd@sbcglobal.net 
Anne Culver, 713-629-0481 or anne@scenictexas.org 






Our Mission: Scenic Texas, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to preserve and enhance the visual character of Texas. 


Posted: July 09, 2014 10:17   Go to blog
CARDtalk: Announcing Community Water Meeting September 11July 09, 2014 10:16

CARD Hosts a Community Water Meeting September 11Ask any forward-looking Texan to list the most crucial community issues facing our state and he or she is sure to put "water" near the top. Ongoing drought, record-low lake levels and failing water wells have every informed person concerned for our state's near future. Elected officials, cities, farmers, businesses, parents and involved citizens are seeking solutions. But will we find realistic answers - and soon enough?Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD) believes meaningful results begin on a local level through individual awareness and effort...

CARD Hosts a Community Water Meeting September 11
Ask any forward-looking Texan to list the most crucial community issues facing our state and he or she is sure to put "water" near the top. Ongoing drought, record-low lake levels and failing water wells have every informed person concerned for our state's near future. Elected officials, cities, farmers, businesses, parents and involved citizens are seeking solutions. But will we find realistic answers - and soon enough?
Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD) believes meaningful results begin on a local level through individual awareness and effort. To help us all learn more about the risks facing our community and our future, CARD will host a free Community Meeting
WATER CRISIS: Time to Get Serious!
6-9:30 p.m. Thursday, September 11th,
Wimberley Community Center
14068 Ranch Road 12
We hope you will mark the date and come join the conversation on why water is an increasingly critical issue, and how we can all be part of improving the outlook. We'll have great speakers, useful tips, free refreshments and the rare and special opportunity to talk and work together as a community.
Join us at 6 pm to informally "Chat with the Experts" on ways to enhance your family's personal water plan. There will be several tables, all non-commercial, each with a specialist ready to discuss: Lawns, Household Water, Xeriscaping (low-water landscaping and gardening), Rainwater Collection, and the critical relationship between water and energy.
At 7 p.m., we'll move to the BIG water picture, with five outstanding speakers, starting with one of Texas' most respected water experts, Dr. Andy Sansom, Executive Director of Texas State University's Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Dr. Sansom will introduce the key issues and set the stage for the evening's discussions.
Our speakers will focus on past, present, and future water issues as well as innovative water solutions. On the program: Steve Clouse, Chief Operating Officer of San Antonio Water Systems, Ray Whisenant, Hays County Commissioner and a past president of the Texas Ground Water Association, Peter Newell, Water Resources Engineer at HDR Engineering, a veteran of relief and water development program assessment in stressed nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and Bech Bruun of the Texas Water Development Board and a member of the Texas Environmental Flows Advisory Group.
As a bonus, at 9 p.m. the five key speakers, along with County Commissioner Will Conley, will join in a 30-minute panel discussion to answer audience questions.
CARD cordially invites you to join us for this community meeting as we learn first-hand more about the water crisis threatening our community and state, and consider plans and ideas to successfully weather the growing emergency.
 CARD - Citizen's Alliance for Responsible Development (hayscard.org) | PO Box 2905 | Wimberley | TX | 78676
Posted: July 09, 2014 10:16   Go to blog
The Plateau Post Issue # 7July 02, 2014 13:03



How Wasted Gas From Drilling Could Save Millions of Gallons of Texas Water
Millions of gallons of water from hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," could be treated and reused without extra energy costs using gas that is typically burned off at drilling sites, according to a new study by a team of scientists at the University of Texas at Austin...



How Wasted Gas From Drilling Could Save Millions of Gallons of Texas Water

Millions of gallons of water from hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," could be treated and reused without extra energy costs using gas that is typically burned off at drilling sites, according to a new study by a team of scientists at the University of Texas at Austin. Enough natural gas is burnt on site to fuel energy-intensive treatment for highly-contaminated water, making for a handy 'Two Birds, One Stone' opportunity, the study by UT's Webber Energy Group finds. 
Read More


18th Annual Great Texas Birding Classic Breaks Records

The results are in and organizers of the 18th annual Great Texas Birding Classic have something to squawk about. The statewide birding tournament attracted a record-breaking 81 teams composed of more than 400 competitors who set an all-time record by recording 425 species of birds during the competition held from April 15 through May 15, according to tournament director Shelly Plante, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department nature tourism manager. 
Read More

Proposed New Rules Shed Light on Future Water Projects

The Texas Water Development Board's release of draft rules Tuesday afternoon offered Texans a clearer sense of how the board will prioritize and fund competing water supply projects. Though some potential issues remain unaddressed, the proposal provides guidelines for the point system by which the board will rank projects applying for an initial pool of $2 billion - funding approved by Texas voters in November. 
Read More
Plateau 
News & Events 
  • The Comal County Land & Water Expo will take place on Wednesday, July 23, from 8:30 am-5:30 pm. For more information click HERE
  • Plateau Land and Wildlife Management is hiring. For further information on the available positions, please visit the websites at www.plateauwildlife.com 
Posted: July 02, 2014 13:03   Go to blog


Great News! Historic Ruby Ranch is now protected open space FOREVER!

Thanks to the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the City of Austin, and the Ruby family, our latest conservation easement project is a monumental one! The permanent conservation of the 747-acre Ruby Ranch, a historical property in Hays County, is the final piece of the puzzle that will result in over 10,000 acres of contiguous open space!

Now, Peggy and Jim’s children, including son Cecil Ruby and daughter Jessie Ruby, see value in not only protecting the land, but also their family heritage. In working with HCC, the Ruby family decided a partnership with a land trust was a way to accomplish these goals and in a sense, save part of their family history.

“Adding our property to a network of thousands of acres of contiguous preserved open space is really exciting,” said Cecil Ruby. “We have a strong connection to this land and we believe its best use is to remain in a natural state, providing much needed protection for the Onion Creek watershed and the native wildlife inhabiting the ranch. The protection of Ruby Ranch will also preserve the history of our family and the heritage of this ranch for future generations.”

This project is particularly important as it provides high quality water run-off and recharge to the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer (BSEA). The BSEA provides water for thousands of central Texans as well as several wildlife populations also dependent on nesting habitat and food sources found in the Onion Creek corridor and watershed. The easement will also protect native rangeland, which provides habitat for a variety of native birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other native wildlife by ensuring that it remains in a natural state.

The properties around Ruby Ranch remain mostly rural, including Dahlstrom Ranch, which borders the eastern portion of the property. Dahlstrom Ranch, a 2,252-acre working ranch, is also protected by a conservation easement held by Hill Country Conservancy – as well as the City of Austin and Hays County - purchased in part with funds from the NRCS Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program (FRPP).

See more photos of Ruby Ranch on our facebook page
As rapid development continues in the region, it has become harder

and harder for families to keep lands together and intact. Like many ranching families, the Ruby’s felt the burden of these pressures. This property has been in the Ruby family since the 1930s. The ranch was used for a combination of livestock operation and hunting. Jim Ruby grew up on this ranch and was very much involved in the day-to-day operations required to raise goats, sheep, cattle, and horses. Jim and his wife Peggy took great pride in teaching their children and grandchildren how to ride horses and work with cattle and goats.

From left to right, Clark Cornwell – City of Austin; Frank Davis - Hill Country Conservancy;
Junie Plummer - City of Austin; Jessie Ruby; Cecil Ruby; Susan Armstrong – Ruby attorney

DONATEMEMBERSHIPUPCOMING EVENTS
Austin Earth Day Campaign
Posted: July 02, 2014 11:47   Go to blog
Conservation News and Info from TLTC July 2, 2014July 02, 2014 10:56

Conservation related news from Texas and beyond...
TLTC Op-Ed Runs in the Fort Worth Star Telegram Conservation easements help preserve some of the best of Texas while keeping private lands privateBy Lori Olson
Special to the Star-Telegram
Texas is a beautiful and ecologically diverse state with miles of beaches, tall pine forests, vast open prairies and beautiful, rolling hills. And many of our state’s residents have been closely tied to the land for generations, making their living from farming and ranching...

Conservation related news from Texas and beyond...

TLTC Op-Ed Runs in the Fort Worth Star Telegram 

Conservation easements help preserve some of the best of Texas while keeping private lands private

By Lori Olson
Special to the Star-Telegram
Texas is a beautiful and ecologically diverse state with miles of beaches, tall pine forests, vast open prairies and beautiful, rolling hills. And many of our state’s residents have been closely tied to the land for generations, making their living from farming and ranching. But the face of rural Texas has changed dramatically, with scenic hilltops and once fertile farmlands and valleys being sold and divided into smaller and smaller tracks.

Protecting the natural state of Texas has become increasingly important: one useful tool in doing this is conservation easement.

A landowner can use this voluntary, flexible, negotiated tool to protect their land for future generations by agreeing to restrict certain uses of the property to protect its natural, productive or cultural features. In exchange for this donation, the landowner receives limited tax benefits.  (To read the FULL article, click HERE.)


Encourage your US Representative to Support HR 2807- the Enhanced Tax Incentive for Conservation Easements 
This important bill was recently passed out of the House Ways & Means Committee. We now have a great opportunity to put this important legislation on the House floor for a vote! For ways to get involved and contact your representative visit: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/policy

TX House Natural Resources Committee Discusses
Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program

On June 25th, the House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP) and its role in conserving Texas' water resources. Later this summer, the Committee will make recommendations for possible legislative action in 2015.
TFRLCP is a state program that makes grants to non-profit land trusts to purchase conservation easements from willing landowners. State funding for this program would dramatically increase the rate of land conservation in Texas, opening up many opportunities for Texas to leverage significant federal Farm Bill conservation funding. Over $1 Billion dollars will be available for agricultural conservation easements over the next 4 years and without a reliable source for matching funds, Texas simply cannot take full advantage of this opportunity.
If Texas were to fund the TFRLCP, land trusts across the state would have the ability to work in partnership with landowners to purchase conservation easements that protect our state's vital land and water resources. With over 90% of Texas land in private hands, landowners across our great state play a critical role in determining the health of our water supply. We need to provide financial incentives that allow Texas landowners and families to place conservation easements on their lands. The public benefits are many....clean water, open space, wildlife habitat.
Let your Texas representatives know how private lands provide these essential benefits and that you support incentives for conservation in Texas.
Follow TLTC on Twitter       @TexasLandTrusts
Copyright © 2014, Texas Land Trust Council, All rights reserved.
Posted: July 02, 2014 10:56   Go to blog
Texas TMDL News: In the Know, With the FlowJune 28, 2014 9:52


In the Know, With the Flow
Working for a Trash-Free Guadalupe RiverThe Upper Guadalupe River Authority has scheduled its 11th annual River Clean Up for Saturday, July 26, 2014.  The Clean Up is part of the GBRA's "Trash Free" initiative, which has been getting people and communities involved ... More »
TSSWCB requests comments from the publicon the State Water Supply Enhancement Plan, formerly the Brush Control Plan ... More »
...


In the Know, With the Flow

Working for a Trash-Free Guadalupe River
The Upper Guadalupe River Authority has scheduled its 11th annual River Clean Up for Saturday, July 26, 2014.  The Clean Up is part of the GBRA's "Trash Free" initiative, which has been getting people and communities involved

TSSWCB requests comments from the public
on the State Water Supply Enhancement Plan, formerly the Brush Control Plan ... More »



Water Resource Training Opportunities
Learn how to promote community involvement in watershed projects, how to use ArcGIS models, and ... More »
Communities Working Together
to Keep our Rivers, Lakes, and Bays Clean




Posted: June 28, 2014 9:52   Go to blog
Lawmakers discuss groundwater options amid concerns about drought, local control | Dallas Morning NewsJune 28, 2014 9:41
By MARISSA BARNETT Austin Bureaumbarnett@dallasnews.comPublished: 25 June 2014 08:24 PM Updated: 25 June 2014 10:28 PM







AUSTIN — Lawmakers are considering new options for conserving underground water, a divisive topic that includes concerns about property rights and local control even as the state’s drought crisis deepens.
Russell Johnson, a water attorney who represents landowners and “water marketers,” called on a House committee Wednesday to adopt a uniform standard for groundwater regulation, including the creation of a central state agency...
Posted: June 28, 2014 9:41   Go to blog
Neighbor to Neighbor News June 23, 2014June 25, 2014 10:19

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                     June 23, 2014


Hill Country News

The Ebb and Flow of a Sustainable Water Plan
As the drought in Texas has intensified over the last several years, the water plan has taken on new prominence. A new report from the Texas Center for Policy Studies examines whether the planning process is producing useful results, and, if not, how it can be improved. Read more from Mary Kelly...

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                    
June 23, 2014



Hill Country News

The Ebb and Flow of a Sustainable Water Plan
As the drought in Texas has intensified over the last several years, the water plan has taken on new prominence. A new report from the Texas Center for Policy Studies examines whether the planning process is producing useful results, and, if not, how it can be improved. Read more from Mary Kelly.

TxDOT considers new heights for billboards – public hearing Tuesday
“There [are] two big areas that are going to be impacted, all areas that are outside of cities because counties don't have any regulatory authority over signage... and cities who have not adopted a height regulation,” Lloyd said. “There are many cities in Texas that have no height regulation on billboards because the state is the controlling entity.” Read more from Impact News. The public hearing will be held at 9am on Tuesday, June 24th at 125 E. 11th in Austin. Scenic Comal County, a group formed to advocate for local billboard control is urging Hill Country residents to speak up. Read more from the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. More links and references about Hill Country billboards can be found here.

Keeping Rivers Flowing, final webinar this Wednesday, June 25
“Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers,” is a 3-part webinar series designed to inform people about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas’ rivers, bays and estuaries. If you missed session one and two, you can find them posted on the Texas Living Waters website. Mark your calendars and register now for the final session on Wednesday, June 25th. Great work by our friends at Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation and the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.

Texas Watershed Steward Workshop, July 17 in Dripping Springs
The AgriLife Extension will be hosting a free, one-day educational workshop designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by getting involved in local watershed protection and management activities. Learn more

First Home Powered by the Sun in Mason
Mason County Habitat for Humanity completed the first Solar PV (photovoltaic) system powered home in the city of Mason. The house was constructed to the latest green building standards and to the 2102 building code energy requirements. Read more from Mason County News.

Rainwater harvesting: simple idea, big benefits
Installing a rainwater collection system costs about the same or less than drilling a well but offers multiple advantages, making it the more economical and environmentally-friendly choice in the long run. Most importantly, rainwater collection systems do not deplete underlying aquifers the way wells do, making them much more reliable sources of water. Read more from the Hondo Anvil Herald.

Don't count your El Niño before it hatches
Much has been said in recent weeks and months about the development of an El Niño system this fall that could bring a "wetter than average" season to Texas and the Hill Country, possibly ending our region's recent drought. The latest satellite images have led some to urge caution in an overly optimistic El Niño forecast. Find more details in this AgriLife article.

Better Lights for Better Nights Conference
The City of Dripping Springs, in partnership with the International Dark Sky Association Texas (IDA Texas), will host the Better Lights for Better Nights Conference on Friday, August 15, 2014 at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park Events Center. Details

Outdoor lighting has carelessly, and often unintentionally, increased light pollution. The trend goes hand in hand with population growth and land fragmentation. The undesirable effects of light pollution make our region less attractive to visitors who play an important role in many local economies

Upcoming Events

June
June 23 in Kerrville - Hill Country Master Naturalist Meeting, Topic: Hill Country Native Plants We Need to Conserve, Speaker: Botanist Bill Carr - Free and open to the public - Details
June 25 - Keeping Rivers Flowing Webinar Series #3: The Historic Murray-Darling Basin - Details
June 28 - 10th Annual Great American Backyard Campout - Details
July

July 11 in Boerne - 2014 New Landowner Series: Back to Basics, Home Gardening, Chickens, Natural vs. Organic - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

July 17 in Dripping Springs - Texas Watershed Steward Workshop - Presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Details

July 19 in Kerrville - Water Conservation: Best Practices at the Riverside Nature Center - Details
July 23 in Spring Branch - Comal County Land & Water Expo - Hosted by the Central Texas Conservation Partnership - Details

Pass it on:
Posted: June 25, 2014 10:19   Go to blog
San Antonio River Authority Inaugural Environmental Film FestJune 17, 2014 15:13

When: Thursday, June 19Time: 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.mWhere: Santikos Bijou Cinema Bistro4522 Fredericksburg Rd., San Antonio, TX FREE ADMISSION (due to theater capacity, seating is limited to the first 200 attendees).   The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) is proud to announce the inaugural Environmental Film Fest in honor of National Rivers Month. SARA is partnering with the South Yuba River Citizens League Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival to feature national and international short films about topics such as nature, adventure, wildlife, environmental justice, and conservation...

When: Thursday, June 19
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m
Where: Santikos Bijou Cinema Bistro
4522 Fredericksburg Rd., San Antonio, TX 
FREE ADMISSION (due to theater capacity, seating is limited to the first 200 attendees).

  The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) is proud to announce the inaugural Environmental Film Fest in honor of National Rivers Month. SARA is partnering with the South Yuba River Citizens League Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival to feature national and international short films about topics such as nature, adventure, wildlife, environmental justice, and conservation.  

 In addition to the film screenings, the public will get a chance to visit informational tables during the festival to learn about SARA and the Wild & Scenic® Film Festival sponsors as well as other local environmental groups including Alamo Area Master Naturalists, Alamo Group of the Sierra Club, Bat Conservation International, Edwards Aquifer, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Hill Country Alliance, and the San Antonio River Foundation.



Click image to enlarge 

For more information about the film festival contact Yviand Serbones at (210) 302-3244 or click here.
Posted: June 17, 2014 15:13   Go to blog
Neighbor to Neighbor - News and Events-June 16, 2014June 17, 2014 10:12

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                    

June 16, 2014  

Hill Country NewsTWDB Board to approve financial assistance at Board meeting on June 18
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold a Board meeting to approve financial assistance for numerous water projects across the state. Projects to be considered for financial assistance include emergency water supply and water supply projects, wastewater treatment plant improvements, a new wastewater treatment plant and an agricultural conservation center...

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                    


June 16, 2014
 

Hill Country News
TWDB Board to approve financial assistance at Board meeting on June 18
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold a Board meeting to approve financial assistance for numerous water projects across the state. Projects to be considered for financial assistance include emergency water supply and water supply projects, wastewater treatment plant improvements, a new wastewater treatment plant and an agricultural conservation center. Learn more

Hill Country Alliance Urges Texas Water Development Board to Make Conservation Priority in Funding State Water Projects

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) soon will announce draft rules and priorities for how SWIFT funds will be spent. In advance of that announcement, the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) convened a roundtable discussion in Blanco on June 4th where HCA board, advisory team and other water and land stewardship experts discussed a range of solutions that could save money and provide water to see the state through future severe droughts. Read more

Rainwater Revival call for sponsors and exhibitors
HCA is currently accepting sponsor and exhibitor applications for the 5th annual Rainwater Revival to be held October 25th in Dripping Springs. Help HCA promote rainwater harvesting as a viable Hill Country water supply. Rainwater collection professionals and enthusiasts will gather for this “edufest” designed to teach and inspire the practice of rainwater collection. This event will be open to the public and free to attend. Learn more and get involved.

Smart Growth Online
Around the county, communities are choosing healthy solutions for how our cities and towns respond to population growth. Smart Growth Online is a great resource for the latest trends in green infrastructure, urban agriculture, walkable and transit oriented developments and innovative development practices. The next generation is demanding a better way than traditional sprawl patterns. Find helpful articles, events and resources here.
TWA On-Demand Webinar Previews on iTunes U
The Texas Wildlife Association has collaborated with the Texas Education Agency to create On-demand youth webinars. This educational tool for teachers and parents is a great resource for teaching our next generation about taking care of the natural world. Learn more

HCA Issue Paper: Healthy Riparian Areas
The values we appreciate about hill country streams - namely clean flowing water, fish and wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge, recreational and scenic enjoyment are the result of healthy functioning riparian areas.

Upcoming Events

June
June 19 in San Antonio - San Antonio River Authority Environmental Film Fest - Details
June 20-22 in Hunt - Get close-up to nature, Field Macro Photography Workshop at the historic MO Ranch - Details

June 23 in Kerrville - Hill Country Master Naturalist Meeting, Topic: Hill Country Native Plants We Need to Conserve, Speaker: Botanist Bill Carr - Free and open to the public - Details
June 25 - Keeping Rivers Flowing Webinar Series #3: The Historic Murray-Darling Basin - Details
June 28 - 10th Annual Great American Backyard Campout - Details
July

July 11 in Boerne - 2014 New Landowner Series: Back to Basics, Home Gardening, Chickens, Natural vs. Organic - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

July 23 in Spring Branch - Comal County Land & Water Expo - Hosted by the Central Texas Conservation Partnership - Details
Posted: June 17, 2014 10:12   Go to blog
TLTC Webinar on Ag Land Easement ProgramMay 14, 2014 10:16



Join us for a Webinar on May 20
The Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill, created the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) to provide financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. 
NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland, ranch or grassland protection programs...



Join us for a Webinar on May 20

The Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill, created the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) to provide financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. 

NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland, ranch or grassland protection programs.

Claude Ross, Natural Resources Specialist with the Texas NRCS, will discuss the Agricultural Land Easement program and the newly released application process for projects to be considered for funding in 2014. Webinar attendees will be able to ask specific questions regarding the application process and project eligibility.

Title:      Farm Bill & Ag Land Easement Program in Texas
Date:     Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Time:     10:00 AM - 11:30 PM CDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the 
Webinar.


System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet


Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/165892071


Posted: May 14, 2014 10:16   Go to blog
Tomorrow: Grand Opening of Jacob's Well Natural Area, Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 09, 2014 11:42
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Jacob’s Well Natural Area, the first Hays County-owned nature preserve, will celebrate its grand opening Tomorrow Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 221 Woodacre Drive, Wimberley. The public is invited to special events, tours and family fun.
Jacob’s Well is a perpetual artesian spring and is the main source for Cypress Creek, which forms the Blue Hole swimming area downstream and then flows through Wimberley into the Blanco River...
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Jacob’s Well Natural Area, the first Hays County-owned nature preserve, will celebrate its grand opening Tomorrow Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 221 Woodacre Drive, Wimberley. The public is invited to special events, tours and family fun.

Jacob’s Well is a perpetual artesian spring and is the main source for Cypress Creek, which forms the Blue Hole swimming area downstream and then flows through Wimberley into the Blanco River. The County purchased the property in 2010 with voter-approved park bond funds to preserve the natural area and protect it from future development. Now, the public is invited to experience this natural wonder and learn more about the importance of preserving it for future generations.
“This preserve is a good investment by the taxpayers of Hays County,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley. “It’s a wonderful recreational area for families to enjoy some of our natural assets. It serves as an educational facility for current and future generations to learn about the Wimberley Valley ecosystem and the importance of our natural resources. And, it helps our business climate by encouraging tourism which is our area’s largest economic asset.”
The County has completed several restoration projects on the 81.5-acre preserve. In May 2013 the former Woodcreek North Property Owners Association building and eight condo units were demolished and removed from the floodplain, a new cedar post fence installed at the main entrance and remnants – asphalt streets, utilities and concrete pads – of a mobile home park were removed.
A new interpretive garden at the Nature Center has been planted with the help of Hays County Master Naturalists, who volunteer their time to educate the public through free tours offered each Saturday at 10 a.m. The Nature Center building is being updated to provide a more enjoyable meeting space. Trails have been added to allow the public access to 40-plus acres in the upland areas for additional recreational activities such as hiking, birding and geocaching.
The Natural Area is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, free of charge. Come out, learn more and enjoy the preserve!
For information about grand opening events or the Natural Area, please contact the Hays County Parks Department at 512-847-2140 or look for updates on www.co.hays.tx.us.
Posted: May 09, 2014 11:42   Go to blog
New Report on Texas Water PlanningMay 09, 2014 11:41



TCPS issues report: Learning from Drought  New Report on Texas Water PlanningA report issued today by the non-profit Texas Center for Policy Studies (TCPS) finds that the current water planning process in Texas tends to over-estimate future water demand and under-estimate the potential for making better use of existing supplies...



TCPS issues report: Learning from Drought  
New Report on Texas Water Planning
A report issued today by the non-profit Texas Center for Policy Studies (TCPS) finds that the current water planning process in Texas tends to over-estimate future water demand and under-estimate the potential for making better use of existing supplies.  Richard Lowerre, TCPS Executive Director, said “This report shows that, with more reasonable demand projections and better use of conservation and drought management, the demand/supply gap in 2060 is less than one-half that predicted by the current 2012 State Water Plan issued by the Texas Water Development Board. That is, rather than an 8.3 million acre-feet/year gap between demand and supply in 2060, a more realistic gap is about 3.3 million acre-feet/year.”

The report, Learning from Drought: Next Generation Water Planning for Texas, analyzes the methods used by the state and the 16 regional water planning groups to develop demand and supply projections.  “The region-based Texas water planning process was groundbreaking when it first got off the ground 15 years ago.  But, times and technologies have changed, and it’s appropriate to look at how the planning process can evolve to give us a better sense of real priorities,” said Mary Kelly, a consultant with Parula, LLC and one of the report’s co-authors.  “This is particularly important as the state begins to look at how to spend the new $ 2 billion water infrastructure fund authorized by voters in November 2013,” she added.

The report makes a number of recommendations for the future of water planning in Texas.  For example, it recommends moving away from current “single scenario” forecasts to an approach that looks at a range of future scenarios.  “A multiple scenario approach would allow a much more comprehensive look at the kind of choices we make about how water is used and the expense of building new infrastructure versus more efficiently using existing supplies,” said Joe Trungale, an water resources engineer and co-author of the report.

Other recommendations include:
  • More reasonable assumptions about the need for water for future steam electric generation;
  • Enhanced consideration of drought contingency planning as a supply strategy;
  • More thorough consideration of brackish groundwater desalination as a supply strategy;
  • Gathering and using more accurate data on current water use;
  • Making healthy rivers and bays and vibrant rural economies co-equal with other goals of the water planning process.
“The drought has provided new insights into the vulnerability of communities whose needs have been ignored and into the willingness of Texans to adopt innovative and far-reaching water conservation practices.  Combined with the developments in state water financing, a more prominent role for the Texas Water Development Board and heightened public interest in water, now is the time to examine whether we have a planning process that is up to the task,” added Mr. Lowerre.

The Texas Center for Policy Studies is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, founded in 1983.  The report is available on the TCPS website at www.texascenter.org
Copyright © 2014 Texas Center for Policy Studies, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a friend of Texas Center for Policy Studies.

Our mailing address is:
Texas Center for Policy Studies
707 Rio Grande, Ste. 200
Austin, TX 78701


Posted: May 09, 2014 11:41   Go to blog
2nd Annual Growing Circles Benefit Concert and Dinner to benefit The Global Youth Peace Summit in Wimberley. May 09, 2014 11:41
The WVWA has been working in partnership with The Amala Foundation to create youth and adult retreats here at the Retreat over the last year and a half.  If you are curious about the Amala Foundation and the Global Youth Peace Summit, which has been held here in Wimberley at John Knox Ranch for the last 7 years, I encourage you to read the message about their upcoming event and watch the video at the link provided...
The WVWA has been working in partnership with The Amala Foundation to create youth and adult retreats here at the Retreat over the last year and a half.  If you are curious about the Amala Foundation and the Global Youth Peace Summit, which has been held here in Wimberley at John Knox Ranch for the last 7 years, I encourage you to read the message about their upcoming event and watch the video at the link provided.


The Amala Foundation has confirmed the date for the 2nd Annual Growing Circles Benefit Concert and Dinner to benefit The Global Youth Peace Summit in Wimberley.  It will take place June 10th, 7pm-9:30pm, at Vuka in Austin.
We're excited to announce that Gina Chavez, Phoebe Hunt, Mohinya (a classical music duo) and youth from the One Village Music Project will be performing.  Dinner will be catered by El Locavore Catering.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit this year's Global Youth Peace Summit (August 9th-15th). 
Our goal for the evening is to raise enough funds to sponsor 20 youth to attend this year's Summit.  

We would love for you to join us for this experience and help us support these incredible youth in their attempts to transform the wounds of war and violence into sustainable peace, inspiration and hope.

Here is a video we recently created with some of our youth and volunteers: http://vimeo.com/80283214.

You can purchase tickets and/or a table (for 10) here.

Click here for the Event Flyer

Can't make it but want to contribute?  Please visit www.amalafoundation.org/donate.
Posted: May 09, 2014 11:41   Go to blog
Conservation News and Info from TLTC May 06, 2014 10:44
Conservation related news from Texas and beyond... View this email in your browser
  TLTC Recieves $50,000 from the Knobloch Family FoundationTo Fund Transaction Cost Matching Grant Program

The Texas Land Trust Council (TLTC) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Knobloch Family Foundation to create a pilot program that will provide matching grants to member land trusts for transaction costs for conservation easement projects that meet certain criteria...
Conservation related news from Texas and beyond...
View this email in your browser
 

TLTC Recieves $50,000 from the Knobloch Family Foundation

To Fund Transaction Cost Matching Grant Program

The Texas Land Trust Council (TLTC) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Knobloch Family Foundation to create a pilot program that will provide matching grants to member land trusts for transaction costs for conservation easement projects that meet certain criteria. The goal is to encourage strategic conservation, while providing transaction cost assistance in order to reach conservation easement donors for whom these costs have presented a terminal barrier.

This is a pilot program and through it, TLTC hope to demonstrate great financial leverage and on-the-ground conservation success. With these funds, TLTC will be able to award matching grants of up to $10,000 for at least 5 easement projects that reflect strategic conservation priorities.

We look forward to working with our land trust partners in the coming year on this exciting new program!

2014 Texas Land Conservation Conference Videos are Now Online!

Were you unable to attend the conference this year? Or perhaps you were there, but want to check out some of the concurrent sessions that you missed?  Our new 2014 conference session and keynote videos are now up on the TLTC YouTube channel! You can view selected workshops and keynote sessions including our keynote address by Bob Phillips of the Texas Country Reporter, our endangered species panel, our session on water policy in Texas, and our inspirational Lone Star Land Stewards panel.
Check it out!
https://www.youtube.com/user/TXLandTrustCouncil

Don't miss another opportunity to be there...
2015 Texas Land Conservation Conference
20th Anniversary, March 4-6, 2015, Austin
 
Land and water conservation inspired education, workshops, and networking. For more information on our 2015 event, visit: www.texaslandconservationconference.org 

News Feed


Thank you for sponsoring HR 2807 and for supporting land and water conservation!
Lone Star Land Steward Awards Announced | Lone Star Outdoor News
Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans
Thank you for supporting land and water conservation in Texas!!
Want to work for a TX Land Trust? Openings NOW in San Antonio and Houston!
Senate Finance Committee Approves Tax Extenders Bill that Includes Conservation Easement Incentive

Follow TLTC on Twitter       @TexasLandTrusts
Posted: May 06, 2014 10:44   Go to blog
RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, MAY 16th. - EXPLORING CONSERVATION DESIGN IN CENTRAL TEXASMay 03, 2014 9:56
EXPLORING CONSERVATION DESIGN IN CENTRAL TEXAS
** THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, MAY 16th. **
 
Two of last century’s most compelling design innovations are “new urbanism” and conservation design, both of which built upon earlier traditions of land use planning.  Renowned author and speaker, Randall Arendt, will present recent research and examples of conservation design conducted for the upcoming revision of Rural by Design.  This program shows how conservation
...
EXPLORING CONSERVATION DESIGN IN CENTRAL TEXAS

** THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, MAY 16th. **
 
Two of last century’s most compelling design innovations are “new urbanism” and conservation design, both of which built upon earlier traditions of land use planning.  Renowned author and speaker, Randall Arendt, will present recent research and examples of conservation design conducted for the upcoming revision of Rural by Design.  This program shows how conservation

design techniques can be readily combined with traditional neighborhood design principles to create walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, utilizing time-tested principles of community greenway design.  Join local planners, land developers, landscape architects, and land conservationists to further explore Conservation Design in Central Texas.
The morning session will include a presentation and workshop with Randall Arendt.  In the afternoon, registrants have the option of attending one of two tracks: (1) a hands-on design exercise with Mr. Arendt (limited space) or (2) a panel discussion of opportunities and challenges of implementing Conservation Design in Central Texas.  The day will wrap-up with a Low Impact Design presentation by Karen Bishop of the San Antonio River Authority.
Click here for a detailed program guide.
REGISTRATION DETAILS: Click here to Register
Regular and on-site registration - $65 (cash and checks available on-site)
Must register by May 14th to reserve a lunch.
CONTINUING EDUCATION:
5 AICP CM credits approved
5 ASLA CEUs approved
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THIS EVENT'S SPONSORS:
American Planning Association, Central Texas Section

American Society of Landscape Architects, Austin Chapter

Hill Country Alliance
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
American Planning Association, Southwest Section

























Posted: May 03, 2014 9:56   Go to blog
HCA Press Release - CASE CLOSED: Disappointment for Hill Country Aquifer ProtectionApril 24, 2014 11:20

Contact:                                                                                                     For Immediate ReleaseChristy Muse, Executive Director Hill Country Alliance christy@hillcountryalliance.org512.560.3135
CASE CLOSED:  Disappointment for Hill Country Aquifer Protection
(April 23, 2014) - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) recently halted a process that could have created groundwater conservation districts (GCDs) in some of the fasted growing areas of the Hill Country. TCEQ Executive Director Richard Hyde successfully petitioned the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) with a motion to dismiss the case that had been underway since 2010 to create GCDs in Western Travis and Western Comal counties...

Contact:                                                                                                     For Immediate Release
Christy Muse, Executive Director
Hill Country Alliance

CASE CLOSED:  Disappointment for Hill Country Aquifer Protection

(April 23, 2014) - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) recently halted a process that could have created groundwater conservation districts (GCDs) in some of the fasted growing areas of the Hill Country. TCEQ Executive Director Richard Hyde successfully petitioned the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) with a motion to dismiss the case that had been underway since 2010 to create GCDs in Western Travis and Western Comal counties. The request was granted January 27, 2014, and the case is now closed.

It was not clear why the leadership of TCEQ brought forth a motion to dismiss the ongoing case and process for putting GCDs in place. Many of those involved in the proceedings expressed surprise by the abrupt decision. “The completion of this process appears to be caught in an endless political loop,” said longtime observer and former Travis County Commissioner Karen Huber.

Back in 1990 the Hill Country area was studied by the Texas Water Commission. A determination was made that the area was already experiencing and likely to experience more “critical groundwater problems” in the next 20 years. The report concluded that groundwater demand would exceed availability and that groundwater conservation districts should be created throughout the “Hill Country Priority Groundwater Management Area” to locally manage the resource.

In the summer of 2010, TCEQ recommended the creation of a multi-county groundwater conservation district covering western portions of Hays, Comal and Travis Counties to provide effective management of the Trinity Aquifer. The area described is outlined in red on the attached map below. At that time the commissioner’s courts for all three counties passed resolutions of support for the regional district. In 2011, the board of the Hays Trinity GCD in western Hays County responded with a resolution firmly opposing the idea.

Thus, TCEQ revised this recommendation to suggest the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer District annex Western Travis and the Trinity Glen Rose District annex Western Comal. Then, in January of 2014, TCEQ recommended dismissal of the process altogether.

As background, it is important to note that the Trinity Aquifer is the major source of well water west of I-35 covering all or portions of Bandera, Blanco, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Comal, Hays, Travis, and Bexar Counties. Nine GCDs have been established by willing landowners, voting citizens and local governments in most of these counties. Western Comal and Southwestern Travis Counties are seeing explosive population growth, widespread development, and increasing demand on groundwater resources; yet they are the only remaining areas in the Hill Country not managing their water resources through a GCD.

Ron Fieseler, General Manager of the Blanco-Pedernales GCD has been looking forward to seeing southwestern Travis County and western Comal County become part of the GCD community for years. “These counties are technically part of the Hill Country Groundwater Management Area 9, where GCDs work across boundaries to coordinate and plan jointly. But because GCDs don’t exist in Travis and Comal counties, they are not at the table. It is disappointing that these areas still do not have groundwater governance, despite many years of effort to overcome either real or imagined problems,” stated Fieseler.

Groundwater is strongly protected as a private-property right under the Texas water code’s Rule of Capture, or the “law of the biggest pump.”  Regulation through GCDs with locally elected boards is currently the only option in Texas for landowners to protect their water from a neighbor’s bigger pump. GCDs issue permits for large volume producing wells, also known as non-exempt wells. GCDs also implement drought management plans, monitor the aquifer levels, study the science of their aquifer, and deliver public education about groundwater and water conservation. Individual household wells are generally exempt.

Unfortunately most GCDs have been formed along county lines and county lines are political boundaries rather than natural boundaries. Underground water flows freely from county to county and it is impossible to effectively manage groundwater without addressing this issue. Managing water resources within natural systems such as aquifers and watersheds is a step in the right direction for the Hill Country. The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) recommends a regional, three county GCD as the most science based, and economically stable option.  

The lack of GCD governance in a fast growing region could have detrimental impacts to neighboring regions whose groundwater is managed by a GCD. Without GCD management, the future of plentiful groundwater and a healthy aquifer in southwest Travis and western Comal counties is in jeopardy. But for now, it appears that TCEQ has abdicated the issue to the 2015 legislature. Stay tuned.

The Hill Country Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the Central Texas Hill Country. 


Posted: April 24, 2014 11:20   Go to blog
Webinar Invitation: Join us for "Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers"April 16, 2014 9:36


Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers
Join us for a Webinar on April 30

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/832319351
"Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers" is a free three-part webinar series designed to inform interested persons about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries...


Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers

Join us for a Webinar on April 30


Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/832319351

"Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers" is a free three-part webinar series designed to inform interested persons about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries.

Drawing on practical experience from here in Texas and around the world, speakers will discuss innovative approaches for ensuring that rivers, bays and estuaries continue to get the flow needed to protect water quality and support healthy fish and wildlife populations. Without affirmative strategies to protect flows, the natural heritage embodied in Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries is at risk.

The first webinar will provide an international perspective from Brian Richter on the state of rivers and what is being done to protect and/or restore these vital resources.  Texas water policy experts Myron Hess and Andy Sansom will highlight why this issue is important in Texas, what is at stake, and what types of approaches might be taken to keep Texas rivers flowing all the water to the coast.  

Presenters:
Myron Hess, National Wildlife Federation
Brian Richter, The Nature Conservancy
Andy Sansom, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

This webinar series is presented by the Sierra Club - Lone Star Chapter, National Wildlife Federation and The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.
Title: Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers
Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet


Posted: April 16, 2014 9:36   Go to blog
Invitation to the Texas Desal 2014 Best Practices & Emerging TechnologyApril 11, 2014 11:24

SAVE THE DATE. Or better yet, register now!

Please join us for the 2nd annual Texas Desalination Association conference as we continue to move desal forward as a water supply solution for today -- and for the future of Texas.

WHEN: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Friday, September 12, 2014
WHERE: Hilton Austin Airport
WHAT: View Event Summary
HOW MUCH: View Event Fees
BE A SPONSOR: View Sponsor Info or Contact WaterPR.

Please respond by clicking one of the options below:YES, I want to register for TexasDesal2014...

SAVE THE DATE. Or better yet, register now!

Please join us for the 2nd annual Texas Desalination Association conference as we continue to move desal forward as a water supply solution for today -- and for the future of Texas.

WHEN: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Friday, September 12, 2014
WHERE: Hilton Austin Airport
WHAT: View Event Summary
HOW MUCH: View Event Fees
BE A SPONSOR: View Sponsor Info or Contact WaterPR.

Please respond by clicking one of the options below:
Texas Desal 2014 is an annual conference event of the
Texas Desalination Association.
Produced by WaterPR
Invitation Bottom Banner
Posted: April 11, 2014 11:24   Go to blog

Contact Us

Wimberley Valley Watershed Association   
P. O. Box 2534
Wimberley, TX 78676
512 722-3390   mail@wimberleywatershed.org

Links

Follow us on    Blog Twitter Facebook

Stay Informed

Subscribe to our e-news. You recieve all the latest info, straight to your inbox.