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Think about it. Our fearless heroes from WaterDefenders.org have arrived, JUST as Californians and others flood into central Texas, JUST as current Austin residents flee for affordability into eastern counties, JUST as eastern counties' water is mass conveyed to fuel growth along the IH-35 corridor and the Hill Country!
Fifteen years ago, Austin city government was warned and given clear options for turning away from the policies of subsidizing growth by making growth begin to pay for itself. That was when the Austin polical establishment had a shot at doing something to manage growth. Now that the barn door has been wide open for so long, there's no turning back.
Growth is here. Now, what do we do?
The only way this might get resolved is in the water battles unfolding. But it won't likely be pretty especially on the heels of the Texas energy grid collapse.
The collapse of the Texas grid during February's Big Freeze wasn't an accident. It was a direct result of the neglect by our leaders to the warnings to fix it. They still haven't. Today, Gov. Abbott -- aka "King Greg" -- issued this letter to the PUC. But what the Governor is really saying is this:
"Ain't no way we're going to fix the grid in the special session coming up. We're going to deal with MY political emergency -- shoring up one-party rule over state government."
Today, July 7, one day prior to Abbott's special session, he released "the call" (agenda). It's all red meat. Ain't no meat and potatoes for we peons! This is gently referred to as a ram job under one-party rule.
Vista Ridge, a Warning About the Big Squeeze
We reported to you that Vista Ridge is the likely culprit in landowner wells "suckin' air" in Burleson and Lee counties wells within the first year of a 60-year contract for 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year. What are officials doing about it? Two groundwater districts (Lost Pines and Post Oak Savannah, which permitted Vista Ridge) are providing funds to mitigate wells to their credit. But, the $64,000 question is what happens when you can't just dig deeper, including into the pockets of the groundwater districts themselves?
In the midst of all this, the quasi-governmental Lower Colorado River Authority is still pushing for their very own mega-permit of 25,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year from the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (Bastrop & Lee counties).
The final hearing in the LCRA contested case is at 7 pm, Wednesday, July 14th, at the Bastrop Convention Center. Y'all come -- use this Event Page to spread the word.
Desired Future Conditions (DFC) -- Water Defenders ain't just cute. They believe sustainable management is THE way to protect our communities from groundwater over-pumping! (See DFC's 101 here.)
Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA-12) is considering adopting new "desired future conditions" (DFCs) -- something they do every five years. The DFCs are a planning tool used to help groundwater districts balance water development and the conservation of groundwater resources.
But here is the rub. The current proposal for the DFCs appears to be an attempt to accommodate the big pumpers, especially the water-sucking Vista Ridge water pipeline, aka the 'San Antone Hose.'
WaterDefenders.org has done the homework for you in your decision on what to do. Take appropriate action -- attend hearings, send comments and show up at the WaterDefenders Party on July 18th for some fun and tips on how to input on the DFC process. Lots of fun outdoors, live music, under the shade trees, so wear your speedo! 🙂 (Please share the party from its Events Page here.)
If you don't live in any of the GMA-12 districts, you can still weigh in.
Most anyone who lives in Texas knows that our governmental authorities are failing its citizens on the basics needed to live here -- water, energy, transportation, housing, and affordability for all.
The Texas "miracle" has become the Texas nightmare. Let's do something about it, people.
Never, never, never give up!
Thanks so much to Josh McGill for the donation of his terrific comic graphic design of Water Defenders!