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Low lake levels at Mason Mountain WMA - photo courtesy of Marisa Bruno

Water Program Updates - January 2023

2022 was a big water year for the Hill Country: we faced one of the biggest droughts on record, saw huge investments in land conservation to protect precious recharge zones, and pushed for protections of our pristine streams at TCEQ.  The challenge to conserve and preserve our aquifers and streams continues, but– thanks to the help of supporters and fellow water advocates– we’re making progress.

In 2023, we’re continuing to support locally-led efforts to conserve water resources, championing water infrastructure investments across the region, and advancing policies that protect our surface and ground water resources. 
To this end, we'll be co-hosting a webinar on “Navigating the TCEQ Wastewater Permitting Process,” promoting a new paper that highlights why now is a great time to be applying for water and wastewater infrastructure funding, and spending more time at the capital advancing some of our legislative priorities. For more updates. events, and resources, read on below!


NEW Mural Project: Hill Country Runs on Water

It’s official! The first Hill Country Runs on Water mural in the Hill Country will be launching this spring in Junction as part of the Texas Runs on Water campaign! Thanks to the efforts of the Llano River Watershed Alliance and local residents, who are driving this project forward through a mural committee, and the support of Kerrville-based Big Seed, a site has been chosen and community brainstorming is underway. 

If you're interested in bringing a Hill Country Runs on Water mural to your community, get in touch with
Image: The new mural will be on the wall of the community thrift shop on Main Street.

Announcing the 2023 April Spring Water Revival

Mark your calendars and get planning for the second annual Spring Water Revival – a month-long, springtime celebration of water in the Hill Country.

In April of 2023, we will dive into the many ways water revives our communities, spirits, and our hope for the future through programming that focuses on education, outreach, and action. HCA will be working with partners across the region to encourage grassroots action in local communities, sharing graphic resources, and helping to make this year even bigger.

If you are interested in hosting or supporting a Spring Water Revival event, please contact HCA’s Water Program Manager, Marisa Bruno at
Image: Click to learn more about the Spring Water Revival.

Volunteer Opportunity: Groundwater Conservation District Advocacy in Williamson County 

Groundwater concerns in western Williamson County are taking center stage as a large group of landowners has taken it upon themselves to petition Bell County's groundwater conservation district, Clearwater UGWCD, to annex the western half of the county into their district. Volunteers are organized under a group called the Aquifer Conservation Alliance and they are looking for neighborhood coordinators, volunteers with campaign, marketing, or corporate sponsorship experience to help build a marketing program and plan to raise support for the anticipated vote in November. If you'd like to get involved with this effort as a volunteer, please contact their team

Upcoming Events

Navigating the TCEQ Wastewater Permitting Process

Wednesday, February 1 |  12:00PM-1:00PM
Join HCA, Save Barton Creek Association, and Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance for a webinar as we learn from attorney Lauren Ice during an interactive conversation on how to navigate the TCEQ wastewater permitting process - from accessing the permit application materials to requesting a public meeting and contested case hearing. 

Learn more and register here.

2023 Central Texas Water Conservation Symposium

Wednesday, February 22 |  8:00AM-3:30PM
Join our partners at Central Texas Water Efficiency Network for a symposium that provides water utilities with the information needed to implement successful water conservation programs, effectively engage customers, and plan for the future.

Learn more and register here.

2023 Urban Riparian Symposium

Wednesday-Friday | February 8-10 
Join Texas Riparian Association and Texas Water Resources Institute for an informative, urban riparian symposium in San Marcos on February 8-10. Learn from presentations, poster sessions, and keynote speakers - including HCA Director Katherine Romans - and explore more in immersive field trips.

Learn more and register here.


Seizing the Moment - Investing in Water Infrastructure

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has an additional $2.9 billion to invest in water infrastructure across the state thanks for special federal legislation that passed in 2021. HCA co-wrote a paper with Texas Living Waters Project on what that means for Hill Country communities seeking investments in their water infrastructure. 

The application window closes soon! Project Information Forms are due March 3rd. If you work with city staff or elected officials, please take the time to talk to them about this unique opportunity. 

Learn more at or by watching the 2-minute highlight video below. 
Click above to watch a 2-minute video with 5 key takeaways on this historic opportunity for water infrastructure improvements.

Nature-based Solutions Funding Database

National Wildlife Federation just launched a new online tool for navigating federal funding and/or technical assistance for nature-based solutions. You can use filters to search for nature-based solutions funding and technical assistance resources that fit your needs.

Click here to access. 

One Water Guidebook

It may not be brand-new, but the One Water Guidebook has proven to be an effective tool for conversations with elected officials and school districts about investing in water conservation technology - like rainwater harvesting and xeriscaping, for publicly funded buildings.

Click here to access a PDF. Learn more at If you want copies, please email

What We're Reading

We're hoping to share more frequent Water Program updates in 2023. If there's anything we can do to make this newsletter more helpful, please don't hesitate to let me know. 
Thanks for reading!
Marisa Bruno, Water Program Manager
Hill Country Alliance
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