“The City of Austin plans to buy 611 acres in the heart of the sensitive Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, a deal officials are hailing as a major step in protecting water quality in the aquifer and in area springs, including Barton Springs,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. “The 611 -acre parcel has sinkholes, caves and other porous features through which rainwater filters into the Barton Springs portion of the Edwards Aquifer. The aquifer replenishes Barton Springs Pool and is a source of drinking water for rural areas in Travis and Hays counties.”
This part is particularly awesome:
The tract will help weave together 9,000 acres of contiguous, conserved lands in Travis and Hays counties. Along those properties, the city and two nonprofits — the Austin Parks Foundation and Hill Country Conservancy — plan to create the Violet Crown Trail , a 30-plus-mile regional public trail system that will run from Zilker Park to Hays County.
Faced with a dwindling water supply, a West Texas town has started construction on a $13 million plant to reclaim water from sewage. An Associated Press story in The Washington Post says, “the new system could actually improve the taste of the region’s water by removing the minerals and salt that give it a distinctive briny flavor.”
Here’s how it works:
The wastewater recycling process is long and complex. The first steps remove salt and impurities such as viruses and even traces of medicine. Then the wastewater is channeled into a lake or reservoir, where it’s blended with fresh water and eventually gets pumped into a water-treatment facility. There, it undergoes several more rounds of cleaning, disinfection and testing before finally reaching home faucets.