Author Archive

Williamson County Explores Impact of Salamanders’ Status

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the Jollyville Plateau salamander as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Jollyville Plateau salamander lives in springs in southwestern Williamson County and in Travis County. The USFWS also granted a six month extension on any listing action for the Georgetown and Salado salamanders, also affecting Williamson County. A 30-day comment period has been opened (closing September 19, 2013) for submission of additional information on the Georgetown and Salado salamanders.

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Clearwater UWCD Expresses Concerns

“Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District has continued their very cautious position on remaining at the current Stage 2 Drought Status Declaration.” says Dirk Aaron, General Manager. Aaron stressed, “The District wants those businesses and utilities that have permitted wells to be supportive of this very conservative position. We are asking for a 20% reduction”. The permit holders and exempt well owners of the wells in the Edwards Aquifer are encouraged to remain actively conserving under this “Concern” Stage 2 Declaration Level. Both groundwater and surface water are limited at this time.

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Stakeholders OK Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan

Stakeholders in the Lampasas watershed district gave their resounding approval of the Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan at a meeting hosted Thursday by Texas A&M AgriLife Research. About 15 stakeholders attended the meeting to discuss details of the plan, which was released in January and open for review and comments.

Although a quorum of the steering committee was not present, the group decided to move forward to explore outreach programs and funding opportunities, said Lisa Prcin, Texas AgriLife research associate at the Blackland Research & Extension Center in Temple.

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Trinity Aquifer in Bell County Being Over Used!

Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District General Manager, Dirk Aaron, is concerned about the Trinity Aquifer and the considerable drawdown being experienced in three significant regions of Bell County. Those rural areas that count on the Middle (Hensell) Trinity Aquifer as their sole source of household water are the River Ridge Ranch Development, Hidden Springs Development, and the Stillman Valley Community that includes parts of Youngsport.

District staff completed the quarterly static water level measurements of monitor wells this past month and has found some very disturbing facts relative to the Trinity Aquifer. Aaron said, “Couple these disturbing drawdowns of the Trinity Aquifer and the fact that we are moving into the driest season of the year, confirms the need for rural well owners to take action and stop their excessive use of groundwater for extreme landscapes. Keep in mind the Trinity Aquifer does not have a recharge zone that could quickly replenish the aquifer and that area of recharge is farther to the west and northwest of Bell County than most people realize. We know most regions of Texas, because of the epic drought, have not received enough rainfall in the last three years to replenish the aquifer. When adequate rainfall returns, it will be years before that rainfall makes its way to the Middle Trinity Aquifer. Currently, Clearwater has registered over 1946 domestic wells in the Trinity Aquifer, and a majority of these wells are the sole source water for most parts of West and Southwest portions of Bell County.

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Commissioner Staples Launches New Online Tool to Connect Texans to Statewide Water, Drought Resources

AUSTIN — Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has launched “The Water Source,” a new online tool to serve as a one-stop information portal for Texans to learn various facts about the ongoing drought, statewide water resources and disaster assistance.

“‘The Water Source’ is a comprehensive site that compiles helpful data and facts on water resources from various agencies and organizations,” Commissioner Staples said. “With so many valuable resources for water information, bringing many of them together in one place will help Texans easily access the specifics about our water situation.”

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