September News: Thinking like a Watershed, Rainfall & Jacob's Well, Protect Our Blanco, No Dumping Sewage, TESPA Updates, and more.

View in your browser

Click the image to watch a short video from the Theriot Family, who own the Blanco Settlement.

Protect Our Blanco

In response to the City Of Blanco’s application to dump 1.6 million gallons per day of treated sewage into the Blanco River, the WVWA along with a group of concerned residents in Blanco and the Hill Country have formed Protect Our Blanco to fight the permit and encourage the City Of Blanco to reuse their wastewater, rather than dumping it in the river. POB is currently working with professionals and experts to create a feasible, sustainable solution that will allow the City of Blanco to become a model city for the Texas Hill Country. 

Please visit their website, sign their petition, and consider joining the group for a manageable $10 membership fee. We don’t need any more Hill Country waterways ruined by treated sewage discharge!

Click the image to watch a piece from KVUE on wastewater in our waterways.

No Dumping Sewage Petition reaches over 3500 Signatures!

Please consider adding your name to the petition and sharing it with your friends and neighbors to help us reach over 5,000 signatures. Only through proper legislation will we be able to save our Hill Country rivers, streams, and creeks from discharge! No Dumping Sewage advocates for a better way to manage our wastewater effluent through beneficial reuse, decentralized technologies, small scale solutions, and land application.

Click to learn more about the No Dumping Sewage Campaign.
 

Thinking like a Watershed
By: Thomas Waymouth

A few of us from WVWA had the pleasure of attending the Engaged Ecology Summit Conference hosted by the Earth Wisdom Academy on September 8th.  Engaged Ecology is an open discussion group led by Dr. Vince Lopes and Dr. Will Taegel that meets monthly in San Marcos. This gathering asked us to listen and re-examine our relationship with the greater Wimberley Valley Watershed. In times such as these when there is lots of need, a personal connection to the lands and waters is invaluable.

Poetry is an ancient art that escorts us in a profound consideration of life. For me it has always been my way to dig deeper and find truths that speak to us on every level.  I asked myself "Can I imagine what it is like to be the Greater Blanco River Basin?" and this poem was my answer:

Watershed Wisdom

I have been eroded by the storms of the past,
But instead of closing me, they have made me vast,

When asked to take on more, I do so with grace,
I let myself be washed away to make more space,

Place and time and nature refine my contours,
Yet the stony core of my basin endures,

I do not define myself by what I can see and feel today
I define by what I can support, what I can give away,

I am the geological holder of these lands,
Yet my shape, my family, my personality is fluid,

I am a cup that must be filled, emptied, refilled,
I must go dry, overflow and be spilled,

It is when I hold still that my reflections glisten,
Can you give yourself permission to sit long and listen?

Can you let that which does not serve you be carried away?
Can you see that you are bigger than you think you are today?

We are all interconnected,
Together, we make our bed,
We are human, and water, and land,
We are a Watershed.

USGS Spring Flow graph for Jacob's Well. Click for more statistics.

Rain & Jacob's Well

The recent September rains have been a boon for Jacob's Well! Looking at the graph on the left, you can see that there were a few days in August where the Well came close to not flowing, nearing 0.1 cfs (44 gallons per minute). The drought and pumping out of the Aquifer play a huge role in determining how much flow is coming out of the Well on any given day. With all this rain, the Well has been holding strong above 8 cfs (3,500 gallons per minute), during the latter part of this month. Over the course of the last decade, Jacob's Well has only had flow above 4 cfs less than 40% of the time. 

In 2010, the WVWA partnered with other regional partners to create the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan Characterization Report to help us better understand this beautiful watershed that we steward. The Report found, after testing and examining the water quality of Cypress Creek, that Jacob's Well should flow above 4cfs if the aquatic life and the creek are to be considered "healthy."

With this in mind, we hope the rains will continue to recharge our Aquifers and help maintain healthy flows for all of our springs across the Hill Country. We encourage everybody to start thinking thinking about how we can best prepare for our next drought for the good of our watershed. 

The Earth Repair Corps' Spring PDC graduates.

WVWA Scholarship

This last Spring, WVWA offered a scholarship to one of the members of the Texas Conservation Corps to attend a Permaculture Design Course. Autumn Patton was selected to attend the course offered by the Earth Repair Corps.  Read below for what Autumn had to say about her time at the PDC.

The Permaculture Design course that I was able to take in the spring was a catalyst for growth in my life. Kirby, Woody, Elanore, Pete, and Lacy were fantastic mentors and educators, and really cared about teaching us as much as possible. The foundation of the course (i.e. care for earth, care for people, and fair share) has enabled me to make better judgement calls about my conservation work, to look at nature, asses plant growth and land management in a whole new light that is mindful and wholesome. The classmates that I met created a sense of community and open dialogue about life and regenerative and sustainable agriculture. We were sounding boards for one another, facing challenges in our lives that permaculture could help solve.  After my term of service with TXCC, I plan to move into land management and wildlife conservation- in which I will be able to take what I learned and apply it to conservation and restoration land quality. Now, I can go into the work with an understanding that allows me to to work with the land, rather than manipulate it into doing something it wasn't meant to. I hope to work with private and public land owners to teach them simple solutions to their land problems and inform them of the best way to make their property as fertile and as prosperous as it can be. I also hope to one day be able to apply the principals of zoning, and seasonal ground cover and waste water management to my homestead, because I cannot see myself living any other way. I'm so grateful that I was able to make time and attend this course, and, more-so, beyond appreciative that the Wimberly Watershed Association granted me the scholarship to afford me this opportunity for growth. 
 

Thank you for everything,

Autumn Patton

The ERC is now accepting applications for their 2019 Winter/Spring Permaculture Design Course!
Visit their website for more information.

Updates from TESPA on EP

At the preliminary hearing on September 17th, the Administrative Law Judge granted TESPA party status making them an official party in the case. Several other landowners were also admitted; some who had submitted contested cases, others who showed up at the hearing requesting to be parties, and others who have a well within BSEACD's jurisdiction.

TESPA has an immense amount of work beginning to fight this permit. 
Please share the Two Step for TESPA fundraiser invite and invite as many people as possible!

Click for tickets and more info.

Two-Step: October 14th!

Put on your boots and join us for an evening of dancing as the sun sets over beautiful Montesino Ranch, along the Blanco River as we raise money to protect our water rights! With performances by Robyn Ludwick, local BBQ, speciality cocktails, dessert from The Leaning Pear, a Garyweeks furniture raffle, and other fun prizes, you do not want to miss out! Your ticket to the dance includes one raffle ticket worth $25.

Click for more info.

Final Hearing: October 25th!

6:00 - 8:00pm
Manchaca Fire Hall
1310 FM 1626, Manchaca, Texas 78652

TESPA will urge the Board to deny Needmore's permit because Needmore was not eligible to receive a permit in the first place. Needmore will ask the Board to grant its request to pump 289,000,000 gallons of groundwater a year from the Trinity Aquifer. It is our understanding that the Board will take public comments. We need you all to show up in hoards and let your voice be heard. Tell the Board why you think they should deny this permit!

Imagine A Day Without Water: October 10th

WVWA will be participating in this nation-wide campaign to highlight the importance of water, water quality, water infrastructure and water leadership. Follow us on FB & Instagram to stay up-to-date with this campaign! If you'd like to share you water story with us, we'd love to hear from you!

Most Americans take water for granted. They turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. They flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away. Most Americans hardly think twice about the infrastructure that brings water to their homes, and safely returns water to our environment – but they should. The reality is, our water infrastructure is aging and failing. While most Americans cannot imagine a day without water, there are many communities that have lived, and are living, without water because they don’t have access to safe and reliable water systems. As citizens go to the polls this fall to vote in the midterm elections, the next wave of lawmakers from state legislatures to the nation’s capital need to make water a priority so no American has to live or imagine a day without water again.

Click for more info

Hill Country Living Festival: October 20th

10am - 5pm
Dripping Springs Ranch Park
Hosted by the Hill Country Alliance

It’s Free. It’s Fun. It’s for Families and Friends. 

And it’s all focused on living lightly, growing wisely, resource conservation, and good stewardship of our beloved Texas Hill Country.

What You’ll Find.

  • More than 100 vendors, exhibitors and experts — products and demonstrations on better ways to live and grow while respecting our natural resources and neighbors
  • Hill County Marketplace — products from artists, artisans, makers, foodies and fine crafters
  • Speakers’ Stage — an expert every 30-minutes on a broad range of relevant topics throughout the day
  • Music Stage — singers, songwriters, toe tapping, and all acoustic!
  • Raindrop Stop for Kids — a fun, safe place for kids to learn and play; hands-on, interactive activities for a variety of ages
  • Food Trailer Court — a rolling smorgasbord of tastes and treats
  • Hill Country Wine Tour — a one-stop tasting extravaganza with some of the best wineries in Texas, and the world!
  • Tiny Home Showcase — where less is more, see why tiny home developments are taking hold in Central Texas and the Hill Country
  • Hill Country Raffle — a panoply of things to see and do in the Hill Country; you could win; all funds go to the Hill Country Alliance School Grant Program
  • Chickens and the Wimberley Chicken Boy are back!

Click for more info

Barton Springs University: October 23rd

Barton Springs University is a year-round series of educational events and classroom presentations, highlighted by a full day of outdoor learning and fun at Barton Springs Pool on October 23rd. The Barton Springs University day is designed primarily for high school students but includes college students and the general public. It features lectures, hands on activities, an interactive community fair and training by leading academics, professionals, and policy makers on central Texas water science, public policy, history and sustainable living.

The WVWA will be out at BSU - be sure to swing by our table and listen to a presentation by our Executive Director, David Baker. 

Click here for BSU's full schedule.

TWDB: Flood Assessment

Your information and thoughts on flood mitigation in our state are vital to this first comprehensive assessment on flooding in Texas. As such, please consider taking part in the public review and comment period on the Draft State Flood Assessment.

The public review and comment period begins September 17, 2018, and ends at 5:00 p.m. on October 3, 2018. There are three options for providing comments:

  1. Email comments to PUBLIC-COMMENT@twdb.texas.gov
  2. Provide public testimony at the October 3, 2018, Board meeting
  3. Submit written comments to the following postal mail address: 
    State Flood Assessment Public Comments
    Texas Water Development Board
    1700 North Congress Avenue
    P.O. Box 13231
    Austin, TX 78711-3231

 

We encourage you to participate in this final opportunity to contribute to the flood assessment. All comments received by the deadline will be considered. Please contact Mindy Conyers, State Flood Assessment Coordinator, at 512-463-5102 or Mindy.Conyers@twdb.texas.gov, with any questions.

Renewable Energy Rider

Great news! If you're with PEC (Pedernales Electric), you can give them a ring and request that your home or business use 100% renewable energy. "At the cost of just $0.00043 per kilowatt-hour more, this added fee, or adder, ensures that energy billed to you is from a facility that relies exclusively on energy that is naturally generated, such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, tidal, biomass or biomass-based waste products."

Click here for more information.

Photo of a Great Blue Heron in the Blanco River by Thomas Waymouth.

Your support matters! Donate to WVWA today!

Share With Your Friends & Family

Contact Us

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

Connect with Us

Manage Subscription