The Blanco River/ Onion Creek Water Forum Brings Neighbors Together to Collaborate on Water Issues

The Blanco River/Onion Creek Water Forum held on July 13, 2017, co-sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, the Hill Country Alliance and the Hays Trinity Aquifer Volunteer Advisory Group, had more than 100 local and regional attendees from Hays, Blanco and neighboring counties; specifically, community members of Wimberley, Woodcreek, Blanco, South Austin and Dripping Springs, many of whom live in the 1000 square mile Blanco River/Onion Creek “neighborhood” on the Trinity Aquifer. Representatives of groundwater districts, river authorities, environmental education and research organizations were in attendance, as well as elected officials and staff from multiple state, county and city government agencies.

This forum presented an opportunity for these “neighbors” to meet one another and create a dialogue to resolve and react to current and future water issues. The unprecedented population growth and growing demand for water in this region present challenges and opportunities for water use and reuse. These issues were discussed and potential collaborative efforts were highlighted, including protecting water quality and the aquifer by combating nonpoint source pollution, limiting discharge and point sources of pollution, other considerations for protecting and conserving surface and groundwater and working in concert with neighboring watersheds to ensure regional success.

Presenters included John Ashworth, an expert Hydrologist, Weir Labatt, an expert in solving source, utilization, and reuse issues and Chris Herrington, an expert on watershed management and planning in the Hill Country, among others. A panel in the afternoon made up of these experts, as well as regional and community representatives continued the discussion and answered questions from the audience regarding water resource management.

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