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In This Newsletter: Protect Our Blanco & TESPA EP Updates, Jacob's Well Groundwater Management Zone Report, Natural Flood Solutions, The Texas Coastal Exchange, Permian Highway Pipeline Update & Help Commissioners Creek.

Awards for properties in Blanco County exponentially exceed Kinder Morgan's appraisals. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Courtesy Blanco STP

Photo Courtesy Travis Audobon Society

Permian Highway Pipeline Updates

Exciting News! With the help of the Environmental Fund of Texas, (EFT), we are amping up the fight against Kinder Morgan and the Permian Highway Pipeline. Together with EFT and our generous donors, we officially have a 2 to 1 match on funds raised during this next period! We will be launching an official crowdfunding campaign through the month of September, but feel free to donate today and spread the news! (All donations starting today, 08/26 will be eligible for a 2-1 match!)

Donate today and help us make a stand for the Hill Country!

Kinder Morgan was recently ordered by a special commission in Blanco County to pay Hill Country landowners 2.7 million! This is approx. 81% over what they were offering the landowners to begin with. Find out more at Community Impact.

Hays County, Travis Audubon Society and several private plaintiffs filed a notice of intent July 17 to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Kinder Morgan. The challenge follows months of discussion among elected officials and residents over the impact that the proposed natural gas pipeline could have on the environmentally sensitive region.

“Basically the suit is saying: We need you to do an environmental impact study,” said Christy Esmahan, a Travis Audubon board member and chair of the advocacy committee. Find out more at Community Impact.

 

Scientific Report Released On Jacob's Well Groundwater Management Zone

WIMBERLEY, TX – The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District just released a scientific report about the new Groundwater Management Zone that has been proposed to protect sustainable spring flow from Jacob’s Well into Cypress Creek, often called the lifeblood of Wimberley, (Link to Report Below).

The JWGMZ is located in the upper Cypress Creek Watershed and would cover approximately 32 square miles located around and north of Jacob’s Well – a major part of the Well’s recharge zone – and would apply a series of “best practices” to ensure Jacob’s Well, the source of Cypress Creek, will continue to flow even in drought or heavy usage conditions.

"Maintaining spring flow into Cypress Creek and the Blanco River is essential for our local economy and for the health of our regional ecosystems,” said Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) Executive Director David Baker, a member of the stakeholder group that developed the GMZ.

Please join us on Tuesday, August 27th at 6pm at the Sunset Canyon Baptist Church in Dripping Springs to hear the full GMZ rules and show your support for this progressive program to help keep Jacob's Well flowing year round. 

Read Full Press Release on WimberleyWatershed.org

 

Update From Protect Our Blanco

It’s been almost a year since Protect Our Blanco was formed to prevent the discharge of 1.6 million gallons of wastewater a day from being dumped into the Blanco River.

TCEQ has finally released their responses to the over 700 comments that were submitted during the comment period last summer and the organization is ready to move forward with a contested case hearing.

Please read their most recent update for a full background on the topic and the next steps moving forward. The fight is far from over and we hope that you’ll take a moment to learn more and join their efforts.

EP ON THE HUNT FOR MORE CUSTOMERS!


Through discovery, TESPA has obtained solicitation letters that Electro Purification has recently sent to water suppliers in Hays County.  They also sent a letter to GoForth SUD explaining to GoForth why they are reaching out to other utilities (in case GoForth terminates its contract with EP).  Under EP's proposed permit recommended by BSEACD staff, if GoForth terminates the contract with EP, then the permit expires without notice and hearing.  Click here to read the letters.

It is extremely important that local water suppliers understand that this project is not sustainable, that the Hays County government opposes the permit in its current form, and that the project will cause severe drawdown in Hays County. 

Click here to read the expert testimony of TESPA's witness discussing the impacts this permit will cause. Click here to see drawdown maps.  In BSEACD staff's prefiled testimony, they indicate that a volume of 250,000 gallons per day will not cause unreasonable impacts to wells in the area (as opposed to the 2.5 million gallon a day permit they are proposing be issued with special conditions).  TESPA urges staff to reconsider issuing the permit for 250,000 gallons per day since, according to staff, this amount will not cause unreasonable impacts.  TESPA has never argued that EP is not entitled to pump any water, but we do believe they should not be given a permit for a volume of water that BSEACD staff knows will cause unreasonable impacts.  

Photo from the Austin American Statesman

MoPac construction at Slaughter and La Crosse faces delays because of karst features

Construction along a stretch of MoPac Boulevard is facing delays after crews discovered dozens of fissures and holes in the ground along the freeway that help recharge the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs.

The discovery of 72 so-called karst features has forced the Texas Department of Transportation to redesign the La Crosse Avenue bridge over MoPac (Loop 1) and push its opening to late this year at the earliest. TxDOT has not given a firm timeline on how much of a delay the finding will have on its overall plans to upgrade the highway’s intersections with Slaughter Lane and La Crosse Avenue.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint and Help the Texas Coast at the Same Time

The Texas Coastal Exchange (TCX), a Texas non-profit organization, is up and running and ready to hear from you if you are interested in doing something about climate change that will also help the Texas Coast.

For years, they have been working on a system to help Texas coastal landowners keep their land natural so that it can be flooded without great damage when big storms hit the coast. Given that regulation is not an option in Texas, they figured out that we needed to find an economic solution that worked for Texas landowners. To do this, they focused on the idea that coastal ecosystems – our marshes, our bottomlands, our prairies – take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in either the soil or the wood of trees. 

They are now able to offer you the opportunity to make a donation and store your carbon footprint in the soil and timber of the Texas coast. They have developed a web site that is powered by the Topl blockchain that will keep up with our carbon inventory and allow you to store your footprint in coastal lands. In order to store your footprint, they are requesting a donation of $20 per ton. If you are interested in this system, you can learn more at: https://www.texascoastalexchange.org/.

 

Tell the Water Development Board to Invest in Natural Flood Control Solutions!

Structural controls like damns, levies and pipes certainly have a role to play in flood control. But buyouts of property that flood frequently, preservation of open space and recharge areas, and restoration of wetlands, prairies and riparian corridors can blunt the impacts of flooding and remove people and property from harm's way. They can also help bring nature back into urban areas and revitalize habitat. 

Please send an email to the Texas Water Development Board TODAY and urge them to prioritize proven, nature-based strategies in our long-range flood control plan!

Photo of the Blanco River showing the effects of dumping effluent.

Photo by John Brown of Big Ingen Media

Help Stop Dumping into Commissioners Creek!

A local camp wants to build an activated sludge wastewater treatment plant on the edge of their property in Tarpley that will discharge up to 49,000 gallons of treated waste water directly into Commissioner’s Creek. This would effect Commissioners Creek, Hondo Creek, and the Nueces River!

We are just days away from the Official Monday night TCEQ Public Meeting. This is the last chance to log public opposition to this permit. It is critical that every one of us attends. Wear yellow to show support!

The regulators do a head count at the beginning of these meetings, so we want every chair filled. The meeting begins promptly at 7:00pm, so plan to be there early so you’re there when the proceedings begin. Don’t be discouraged if we overfill the room – we will have fans and water for you if you need to wait outside. Plan to stay until the end and participate – it is the last change for the general public to make comments on this pollutant discharge
permit.

TCEQ Official Public Meeting
Monday, August 26, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Mansfield Park Recreation Hall
2886 Hwy 16 N.
Bandera, Texas 78003

Jacob's Well Community Garden Update

They have had a very productive Summer so far, with weekly donations of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and herbs to The Crisis Breadbasket.

They are still watering with rainwater, although our tanks are getting low.

They are about to transition to our Fall season, and it is time for the gardeners to recommit, or give up their beds.

As of Sept 1st, we will have 3 beds available for the Fall gardening season. If anyone is interested, they can contact Shiila@CreativityinNature.com.

 

Earth Repair Corps Fall Permaculture Design Course

 
Interested in creating a food system that's actually beneficial to people, animals,  and the planet? Want to learn how to do it right here in central Texas? 

Then the  Earth Repair Corps'  "Permaculture Design Course" is just the thing for you! 

During the  six-weekend intensive course, participants will be introduced to the ethics, principles, and methods of permaculture while learning how to design, create, and maintain agriculturally productive ecosystems and sustainable human settlements. 
 

Barton Springs University is September 17th 

Join us Tuesday, September 17th  at Barton Springs University, a day of outdoor learning and fun at Barton Springs Pool.   

Get wet and water wise with this full day of outdoor learning sessions, snorkel tours, and hands-on activities, 9:30 am - 4 pm.

High school and college students from the Austin area will be attending. The event is free and also open to the general public.  High schools are pre-registered but the general public and college students can check in at the SOS info tent outside of the south gate. 

Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop Oct. 4-6th

The Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop is centered on the collection, processing, analysis and evaluation of hydrologic and geologic field data. It serves as an excellent introduction for aspiring geology, hydrology, and environmental science students, as well as a refresher for seasoned professionals.

The Workshop was created to bring students and professionals together in a field setting for a hands-on learning experience. This is a special opportunity to work with leading researchers and practitioners from across the state and nation. 

The Workshop will take place at and around Cave Without a Name near Boerne, Texas. Most activities will be centered at the campsite and pavilion.

Upcoming Events

August 26th
Texas Landowner Workshop - Laws You Need To Know - Cat Spring Ag. Hall

August 27th
Free Feral Hog Webinar 3:00-3:30PM

August 29th
Wild and Scenic Film Festival - Star Cinema Grill in Spring Texas 6:00-9:30PM

September 13
Hill Country Nights - Hill Country Conservancy - Moody Theatre

September 18-20
One Water Summit - US Water Alliance - JW Marriot Austin

September 20th
"Waters of Central Texas" Beer Tasting - Texas Brewshed Alliance Event at Craft Pride in Austin  6:00 - 9:00PM

September 26th
Hill Country Leadership Summit at Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs, TX - Hill Country Alliance

October 4th - 6th
Hydro-Geo Workshop - Cave Without a Name - Boerne Texas

The Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt (GOSH!)
Texas Parks and Wildlife is kicking off their first-ever statewide scavenger hunt for the summer of 2019! Find Out more..

 

Wimberley Valley Watershed Association

The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association works to create a greater understanding community-wide of the many benefits that flow from a respectful relationship with the land: human health, ecological health, economic sustainability, enriched community life, and the renewal of the human spirit.

The W.V.W.A. is a registered nonprofit organization, under the section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and therefore all charitable donations are deductible to the full extent allowed by law.


PO Box 2534
Wimberley, Texas 78676
512-722-3390
admin@wimberleywatershed.org

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