With collaboration, creativity, and grit, 2020 is a year marked with accomplishments! We’re celebrating the wild 2020 ride with a look at our proudest accomplishments. Help build a legacy of resilience and sustainability with a tax-deductible contribution. Donate now!
Data collected from November 2018 to November 2020 provides a valuable snapshot of how wastewater discharges impact water quality of low nutrient Hill Country Streams. Together with Protect Our Blanco, the WVWA funded two new Clean Rivers Program monitoring sites on the upper Blanco. With monthly data collection by Meadows Center staff, this quality-assured data documents nutrient and basic water quality each month upstream and downstream from a direct wastewater discharge site. Wastewater can be put to beneficial use and can provide a water supply where water supplies are stressed. We’re proud to be able to help communities measure, modify and adapt to the changing demands to reach a peaceful balance. Working together, this effort aims to identify and investigate alternatives to direct discharge that will allow the City of Blanco to grow while protecting water quality, water supplies, and habitat. MORE INFO
This Spring, the Water Funders Initiative selected the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network collaborative grant. The collective grant funds several partners’ projects. WVWA match funding enhances and expands our efforts supporting sustainable groundwater management, land conservation, and One Water projects. Through connections we strive to extend program areas beyond traditional audiences to elevate and include diverse participants to better protect the Hill Country’s limited natural resources and leverage innovative solutions to address universally applicable problems.
A big win for the Cypress Creek Protection Plan, groundwater users, and fans of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River: On March 5, 2020, the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors passed Rule 15, creating the Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone. With frequent and intense droughts, increasing population, and the importance of Cypress Creek to the identity and economy of Wimberley, this is a groundwater tool that helps the whole community. Currently, groundwater levels and spring flow are exceptionally low. The pumping restrictions in place help preserve the groundwater stored in the aquifer. Still, Jacob’s Well flow fluctuates daily between 0.5 to 1.5 cfs–that’s very close to no flow. Water conservation is imperative to protect water supplies and keep Jacob’s Well and Cypress Creek clean, clear, and flowing. MORE INFO
In May, Texas Water Trade announced the recipients of their technical assistance grant – Texas Water Market Makers Program. During recent droughts, Jacob’s Well has stopped flowing due to increased groundwater pumping during dry periods. As a Market Maker, WVWA will work with Texas Water Trade and other partners to implement market-based strategies to reduce groundwater pumping to better protect Jacob’s Well springflow, especially during times of drought. MORE INFO
This August Wimberley ISD opened Blue Hole Primary to students. They are immersed in STEM principles that link the water cycle and leverage it to minimize water use and maximize onsite reuse. The school was designed and constructed by Wimberley ISD with strong support from the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, Texas State’s Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and the community. The major accomplishments are celebrated by all through winning the 2020 TWDB Rain Catcher Award. MORE INFO
In September, the City of Blanco created the Blanco Water Reclamation Task Force to identify and investigate alternatives to direct discharge that will allow the City of Blanco to grow while protecting water quality, water supplies, and habitat. Population in Hill Country communities like Blanco are increasing. There is a clear need for robust science, innovative solutions, thoughtful policies, and collaboration. The WVWA is proud and grateful for the opportunity to work with Protect Our Blanco, the Meadows Center For Water and the Environment and the City of Blanco. MORE INFO
WVWA directly manages over 100 acres, but none are as bountiful as the Jacob’s Well Community Garden. There are 30 individual garden plots, three of which are grown to support the Crisis Bread Basket. We are proud to support the volunteer-run garden and hope to expand and grow the garden to extend the reach and teaching opportunities associated with playing with dirt, respecting water, incorporating innovation, and seeding ideas and plants at the same time! MORE INFO
This November, Hays County voters overwhelmingly approved the $75 Parks and Open Spaces Bond. This investment in source water protection, land conservation, and access to nature will help safeguard the future of our land and water. The WVWA submitted two projects for consideration to the Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission: Coleman’s Canyon Preserve and the Regional Conservation Fund. Water is increasingly scarce and habitat is disappearing to development. This bond and land conservation efforts are effective tools to protect our Hill Country and our quality of life now and for generations to come. MORE INFO
Coleman’s Canyon was the top pick of the Hays County Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission. With the passage of Prop A, Hays County will be able to extend the Jacob’s Well Natural Area trail system, protect critical recharge features, and enhance groundwater recharge. We continue collaboration with area agencies like the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, Edwards Aquifer Authority, Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, and Hays County to support groundwater monitoring and modelling efforts. MORE INFO
The WVWA holds conservation easements on several parcels that enhance groundwater, recharge, water quality, and habitat. Each December, annual assessments document land management activities and ecosystem services. We’re proud of our partnerships and incredibly impressed with the collective impacts of the land restoration, habitat enhancements, riparian restoration, soil building, and water quality protections these lands provide. MORE INFO
We are grateful for incredible partners, land owners, volunteers, policy makers, and professionals we interact with everyday. 2020 limited in-person contact, but it didn’t hinder collaboration. Working to better protect and prepare the Hill Country for a sustainable and bright future is a collective effort. We’re honored to contribute our talents, knowledge, and creativity for such a worthy cause.. Thank YOU for all you’ve done! We’re stronger together!