August Watershed News - updates!
Topics: Action Needed: Hays Co. Parks and Open Spaces | Permian Highway Pipeline Video | Blanco River Healing | Hays Trinity GCD declares drought for Jacob's Well GMZ |

Parks and Open Space Advisory Commission Recommended Projects
Please, voice your support!

PLEASE NOTE: On Sunday, County Judge Ruben Becerra posted a video to Facebook asking citizens to email public comments to be read in Court on Aug 11: BEFORE 9am. Comments must be 3 minutes (400 words) or less. If you value land and water in Hays County, let your Commissioner and the Judge know directly, too, and offer public comments in person, if you can.

Contacts for Hays County:

In this pandemic, as in the floods of 2015, Hays County residents have pulled together for the greater good of our community. We plan ahead and provide for times of need and for future generations. In that spirit, we must take action today to protect and increase parks, natural areas, and water quality for all our tomorrows. In two well-attended Zoom webinars last week, Hays County’s Parks & Open Space Advisory Commission presented its recommended projects after a thorough proposal process. Both the List of Recommendations and the Webinar Presentation are available online.

If you haven't already, please send a message to the Judge and Commissioners in support of a Parks and Open Space Bond for the ballot in November. The time is now!

Suggested email topics for Hays County contacts:

  • Need and Opportunity: The last five months have uncovered strong need and great opportunity, and an appetite for this type of bond – all during heightened concern in the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Positive Public Poll:  A scientifically executed citizen poll in June showed strong support for a $75 million bond – especially when the County tax rate is not affected.

  • Population Growth: Hays County’s strong record of population growth will continue—the tax revenue from that growth will pay back much, if not most, of the bonds.

  • Vision and Legacy: The Court has shown vision to create a positive legacy by bringing this proposal forward now, to protect so much for so many.

  • Conservative Fiscal Management: Because bonds can be sold in phases, the Court can judiciously roll out the project package over years, satisfying urgent needs yet taking advantage of matching funds and beneficial market conditions.

If you would like to submit a public comment to be read in Court on Aug 11, email it to: BEFORE 9am on that day. Comments must be 3-minutes or less. 

Wimberley Valley Watershed Association proposed Coleman’s Canyon Preserve and a Regional Conservation Fund. WVWA is pleased that Coleman’s Canyon Preserve project ranked top of the committee’s list of recommendations, and supports the quality and range of the tiered proposals.

Without affecting the County tax rate, these projects will add parks, trails, open spaces, natural areas, and habitat, and improve water quality and flood mitigation. Hays County’s economy depends on hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, many of them drawn by County parks, trails, and natural areas. Now, more than ever, the benefits of outdoor recreation for health and well-being are worthy investments.

It’s a good time to preserve our natural heritage and build well-considered recreational facilities, with clear eyes on flood mitigation and anticipating a growing population. Hays County voters last passed a parks bond in 2007, so we're overdue for another investment in natural resources. With population growth, groundwater and habitat protection are critical to protect the high quality of life here in Hays County. The time is now.

The parks and open space recommendations cannot vote; they need your voice to make them happen.
Views and Viewpoints:
Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline
Kinder Morgan's drilling fluid from the attempted boring under the Blanco River in late March continues to affect nearby well owners. The above video was compiled from a recent press event, and includes statements from the legal team, well owners, and WVWA Executive Director, David Baker.
The Blanco River is Healing!
[Editor’s note: This article has been updated with further Protect Our Blanco Board and Blanco City Council information.]

It has been over seven months since the City reported its last Blanco Wastewater Treatment Plant direct discharge into the Blanco River, and the water conditions show it! Downstream of the discharge point, the algae blooms have cleared.

The WVWA and Protect Our Blanco (POB) have also seen some very positive signs for our anticipated negotiations with the City of Blanco:

  • This week, our legal team discovered that the City of Blanco wastewater discharge permit has been remanded – that means it is removed from the court’s docket and the draft permit will be sent back to TCEQ for changes! The City’s filing indicated they plan to make changes to the permit request that may include issuing new notice and starting the TCEQ permit process over again. This potentially opens up another round of public comments and opportunities to refine the permit details to be more protective of water quality.

  • In recent months, the City replaced its previous legal counsel and its prior waste water engineering firm. We are hopeful this change signals a shift towards a better direction for the City’s wastewater future.

  • The City FINALLY allowed two POB Board Members to tour the water treatment facility. POB has asked that a second tour be scheduled for our consultants to have a firsthand view.

  • The Engineering Firm that POB retained has identified millions of dollars in unfunded infrastructure that the City would need in order to utilize its current Wastewater Treatment Center outside the current City Limits.  This adds a very strong incentive for the City to give real consideration to the alternatives we are proposing.

  • The City has not discharged wastewater into the Blanco in over seven months, and the river is clearing up and algae-free!


Please contact the Blanco City Council members and ask them to work with POB and other affected parties before amending the permit application to agree to:

  1. Eliminate the possibility of discharge in to the Blanco River forever by adopting a Texas Land Application Permit and reuse permit (TLAP);
  2. Lower the overall permit capacity to an amount based on reasonable growth projections and land available for irrigation; and
  3. Appoint a One Water Planning task force to create a sustainable land use, water and wastewater plan for the future of the City of Blanco. 

Send an email to the Blanco City Council HERE.

POB continues to test water quality monthly. These reports can be utilized for our negotiations and planning efforts, and if it becomes necessary, a Contested Case Hearing or any other lawsuit.

As you can imagine, the cost of consultants and testing are substantial and we are asking that all of our members make a tax deductible donation.  If you prefer to send a check, it should be made payable to Protect our Blanco and sent to P O Box 520, Blanco, Texas 78606. If you have friends and neighbors who care and who can help us financially, please ask them to join this fight.

Hays Trinity GCD declares drought for Jacob's Well GMZ

Flow at Jacob's Well has dropped below the drought threshold triggering a drought declaration by the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District at the August 6 Board Meeting. With the Jacob's Well Groundwater Management Zone (GMZ) drought...

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