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In This Newsletter: No Dumping Sewage Organizations battle numerous wastewater permits, Austin's Environmental Expert warns of the dangers of the PHP, Comment Period ending for Jacobs Well Groundwater Management Zone, & the inspiration of the One Water Summit.

Groups team up to contest the City of Blanco’s wastewater discharge permit

The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association has recently filed a request for a contested case hearing for the City of Blanco’s wastewater permit (#WQ0010549002), which will allow the city to discharge an average of 1.6 million gallons of wastewater daily into the Blanco River. WVWA and our partner organization, Protect Our Blanco, are very concerned about the permit for two primary reasons:

  1. The City of Blanco is proposing to increase its discharge capacity from an average of 225,000 gallons per day to 1.6 million gallons of wastewater per day; a seven fold increase. 
  2. The City is proposing to change its disposal of wastewater from land application to direct discharge, with no provisions or any potential for land application or irrigation of the effluent, as had been previously done. 

Barton Creek needs your help! Our friends at Save Barton Creek Association are busy fighting a proposal to dump treated sewage into Barton Creek. 

We all know the devastation these wastewater plant discharges are causing across the Hill Country. You can help by: 

1) Donate Today to their Go Fund Me Campaign. Any amount helps. If 280 people on this list donated $25, that would get them to their $7,000 goal. Alternatively, it would only take 70 people donating $100 each. Donations are to allow SBCA to hire an organizer and increase their efforts in this campaign.

2) Attend an Event for the Cause! The Texas Brewshed Alliance is teaming up with SBCA and other No Dumping Sewage affiliated groups to throw a Bluegrass and Beer Event on October 11th at 6 pm at Jester King Brewery! This is a free event. Live bluegrass music, beer and food purchase. An informational presentation will begin at 7 pm.    

The Long Branch permit plans to dump 92,000 gallons/day of treated sewage into a tributary into Barton Creek, which is the same as dumping three standard sized pools (20 ft by 40 ft) filled with wastewater into the creek every day. Find Out More Here.

Update from GEAA on Honey Creek Wastewater Fight

On August 20th approximately 90 people came together at a meeting hosted by the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) held in Bulverde, Texas to voice opposition to a plan they believe will cause irreparable harm to two Texas treasures.

Developers of Honey Creek Ranch propose to release up to 500,000/gallons per day of treated sewage effluent from a planned subdivision of 2,396 new homes on 592 acres directly into an unnamed tributary that flows into Honey Creek just upstream of the Honey Creek State Natural Area and Guadalupe River State Park.

Preliminary water quality testing of the receiving water body conducted by the GEAA and the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment indicate that Honey Creek is one of the clearest-flowing streams in the Texas Hill Country. Guadalupe River State Park, immediately downstream of the confluence of Honey Creek and the Guadalupe River, has long been one of our state’s most popular places to toss in a tube and ‘float the Guadalupe.’

This is what happened last year to Barton Springs from the drilling of a nearby well. Imagine the impacts of a 42' pipeline.

City of Austin's Environmental Expert Warns of the Risks involved with the construction and operation of the PHP

On Aug. 28, the city’s Environmental Officer Dr. Christopher Herrington provided a memorandum to City Council regarding the planned Kinder Morgan “Permian Highway Pipeline” intended to transport natural gas from West Texas.

According to the staff report, pipeline excavation will risk damage or contamination to the aquifer, the construction and permanent easements will destroy golden-cheeked warbler habitat, and future operations carry the risk of pollution to Barton Springs

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 soon, but feel free to donate today and spread the news! (All donations will be eligible for a 2-1 match!)

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

Comment Period & Hearing for Jacob's Well Groundwater Management Zone

The Hays Trinity GCD Board of Directors recently proposed rules that would create a special management zone around Jacob's Well to protect flow from the spring. The rules are available here, and the public has 20 days to send written comments.  

The Board has scheduled a rule-making hearing for September 25, 2019. Please plan to attend and voice support, and/or send comments in support of these rules.

The proposed rules prohibit new, non-exempt wells in the Middle Trinity Aquifer within the management zone and create new drought cutbacks for existing non-exempt wells within the management zone. The rules do not impact exempt domestic wells.

To see the proposed management zone and study area, click here to view the map. 

Read Full Press Release on WimberleyWatershed.org

Attendees of the One Water Summit experience an interactive tour of Jacob's Well.

One Water Summit Attendees at Jacob's Well Natural Area.

One Water Summit Attendees line up to taste the difference that water imparts on beer.

Left to Right: Andy Martinec (Black Star), Tim Schwartz (Real Ale), & Kent Killough (Vista) toasting with their co-created "Waters of Central Texas" Brewshed Beers at the One Water Summit.

The National One Water Summit Was a Huge Success

Experts from around the country gathered to learn, share and envision our water future and it was deeply inspiring to all who attended. There were 68 Hill Country delegates in attendance.

2018 US Water Alliance Texas Hill Country Delegation Commitment to Action:
Demonstrate the economic and resource benefits of One Water management strategies to smaller scale utilities.
The Texas Hill Country delegation pledges to leverage the good work of their Eastern friends in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Austin to produce a workshop that demonstrates the economic benefits of One Water management strategies. They will encourage smaller utilities to incorporate One Water as they seek mechanisms to grow their water and wastewater capacities to accommodate future population growth. In municipalities that have already embraced One Water, the delegation will
help them advance their practices.

  • Jacob's Well Tour! WVWA Executive Director David Baker teamed up with County Commissioner Lon Shell, Jacob's Well Natural Area, and Hays County Master Naturalists to lead an interactive tour of Jacob's Well Natural Area and talk about how our groups are working to influence one water strategies in the Hill Country.

Texas Brewshed Alliance Presented A "Waters of Central Texas" Beer Tasting

Delegates and participants of the summit from around the country lined up at the JW Marriot during the Thursday night reception to taste 3 American Lagers made with the same recipe and 3 different water sources.

The Brewshed teamed up with Vista Brewing, Black Star Coop and Real Ale to do this brewing experiment as a conservation conversation starter.

  • Vista Brewing brewed "Wellhead" from our very own Trinity Aquifer.
  • Black Star Coop brewed "Austin Underground" from Austin City Water, (Lake Travis).
  • Real Ale Brewing brewed "Downpour" from Hill Country Rainwater.

These beers can still be tasted at the breweries for a limited time.  Join us for the official release of "Wellhead" at Vista Brewing this Thursday September 26th!

Great beer begins with clean water!

Photo from the Austin American Statesman

STAR Reuse Council's
2nd Annual Texas Reuse Contest

Have you crafted something from recycled or reused materials this year? Now's the time to show it off with the "Texas Reuse Contest." 

This contest is hosted by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (aka STAR). The contest recognizes individuals, artists and businesses who have engineered innovative reuse projects in 2019. 

Entries for the contest are due October 20th. 

Texas Stream Team is Accepting Applications for a new Monitoring Coordinator Position

Watershed Services Division of the Texas Stream Team at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment has opened up a new Monitoring Coordinator Position 

Those who are interested can find out more below.

Please mark your calendars for the Annual Hill Country Leadership Summit, Thursday, September 26, 2019.

We will gather at the Sacred Oaks within Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs, TX. The Leadership Summit is the Hill Country Alliance’s premiere annual gathering, and provides an opportunity for learning, networking, and being inspired among our region’s top community leaders, conservation practitioners, and natural resource managers.

Our program will focus on the challenges we face as a region, the huge successes we have accomplished in the past year, and the emergent opportunities ahead.

Artists For Aquifers October 5th at Aquabrew

A 2/1 Match Benefit to fight the Permian Highway Pipeline from the Environmental Fund of TX

The Edwards Aquifer needs your help now more than ever! Kinder Morgan is planning to build a 42' natural gas pipeline right through the sensitive recharge zone and the karst of the aquifer itself! A spill or explosion could contaminate Jacobs Well, Barton Springs, Blue Hole and Spring Lake and the drinking water source of over 3 million people! So what are we going to do about it? The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association is working to force Kinder Morgan to conduct an environmental impact study under the Endangered Species Act. But, that costs a LOT of money. So how can you help? Buy a raffle ticket or 30, enjoy a beer, and come dance to headlining musical acts from Austin and San Marcos.

Bluegrass & Beer for Barton Creek at Jester King Brewery

The Texas Brewshed Alliance is teaming up with SBCA and other No Dumping Sewage affiliated groups to throw a Bluegrass and Beer Event on October 11th at 6 pm at Jester King Brewery! This is a free event. Live bluegrass music, beer and food purchase. An informational presentation will begin at 7 pm.    

Upcoming Events

September 24
Free Flood Awareness Training San Marcos Fire Station 100 Carlson Circle, San Marcos TX 78666 6-9pm

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

September 26
Brewshed Happy Hour at Vista Brewing for the official release of the Trinity Aquifer Lager "Wellhead" 6-8 PM

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

October 4
Caring for your Land - Incentives for Stewardship and Conservation - Gem of the Hills in Blanco 9:30-1:30

San Marcos River Cleanup - 8:30-11:30am

October 5
Free Family Fun Day at Jacob's Well

October 11
Bluegrass and Beer for Barton Creek with the Save Barton Creek Association 6-9PM

October 15
Workshop: Riparian and Stream Ecosystems- Plum Creek,

October 18
Regional Conservation Partnership Program: Venue TBD, in Llano from 1:30 to 5:15 (snacks provided)



 

 

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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