Tag Archives: Watershed Protection Department

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

City defends stance on Dripping Springs discharge permit

Chris Herrington, an engineer with the city’s Watershed Protection Department, hopes to dispel the notion that the city of Austin is an “800-pound gorilla” that intimidates surrounding municipalities into submitting to its environmental policy.At the Dec. 7 meeting of the…

Monday, December 5, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Slow response to flood report frustrates some commissioners

The city does not have many options for supporting individuals who suffer loss or damages from flooding caused by a development upstream, based on an exchange at the Nov. 29 joint meeting of the Planning and the Zoning and Platting…

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 by Cate Malek

City works to create more aggressive response to major floods

As Austin adjusts to the reality of major flooding on a regular basis, City Council is working to create a more comprehensive set of policies to respond to the damage caused by heavy rainstorms.Last year, Council created a Flood Mitigation…

Monday, November 21, 2016 by Cate Malek

Broadstone 620 development limited by environmental risks

There are some limits to Austin’s breakneck expansion, and the developers of Broadstone 620 may have stumbled into them on Nov. 16.Austin’s Environmental Commission voted 7-2 not to recommend building a new wastewater system for the development because it would…

Thursday, August 11, 2016 by Cate Malek

Environmental Commission recommends funds for river watchers

The health of Austin’s rivers is carefully monitored on a regular basis by a team of experts. But some of those experts are much younger than many people may realize.Austin Youth River Watch has been training at-risk high school students…

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 by Cate Malek

Austinites to receive incentive for storing rainwater

Property owners who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to store rainwater will start to receive a discount on their drainage fees next year.The Watershed Protection Department has proposed the change in an attempt to create an equitable…

Monday, August 1, 2016 by Cate Malek

Parks and Rec Board questions repairs that could add to downtown gridlock

A routine park repair has triggered pent-up frustration over Austin’s infamously congested downtown traffic.At its meeting on July 26, members of the Parks and Recreation Board recommended a repair project that will force the closure of one lane of Cesar…

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by Jack Craver

Commission OKs drainage discount for rain barrels

The city’s Environmental Commission endorsed a proposed ordinance last week that will give property owners the chance to lower their drainage fees if they make efforts to reduce runoff from their properties.Austin Water utility already provides a one-time rebate to…

Friday, May 27, 2016 by Audrey McGlinchy

Flooding discussions continue at Open Space Committee

With the promise of rain, Upper Onion Creek resident Ken Jacob says his neighbors can be found with their eyes to the creek and the internet — where rain gauge levels are updated. So it’s essential to someone like Jacob,…

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by Audrey McGlinchy

Updated: Task force report on Austin flooding prioritizes ‘life, safety and property’

Update: After our story was originally published, we heard from several members of Flood Mitigation Task Force, who disputed the assertions made by some task force members, including the group’s chairman, who said the final report lacked prioritization.An executive summary…

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by Jo Clifton

More funds needed to finish Waller project

City Council will be considering seven items on Thursday’s agenda with a combined financial impact of $7.5 million for completing the Waller Creek Project, which has been fraught with difficulties since the discovery that the intake tunnel had been designed…

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Staff seeking OK to fix Eliza Spring

Members of the city’s Watershed Protection and Parks and Recreation departments have been planning improvements for Eliza Spring in Zilker Park since at least 2012. The spring, which is home to the largest concentration of the endangered Barton Springs salamander…

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Austin asks TCEQ to change wastewater rules

On Tuesday, the city of Austin formally asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for help in correcting an uptick in permits that allow direct discharge of effluent into the region’s lakes, creeks and streams.In Texas, treated wastewater can be…

Friday, December 4, 2015 by Jack Craver

Committee recommends more home buyouts in floodplain

Property values are rising in Austin, even in areas at high risk of flooding. It’s a challenge that the Watershed Protection Department faces as it seeks to buy properties in the Middle Williamson Creek area threatened by flooding, city staff…

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Li retires from city but not from public service

After more than 20 years with the state of Texas and nearly 10 years with the city of Austin, Watershed Protection Director Victoria Li has retired. She said some of her proudest achievements include introduction of value engineering to the…

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Regional leaders work on wastewater issues

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Dripping Springs Mayor Todd Purcell on Monday convened what Adler called “a pretty unique regional meeting of leaders to address the common challenge of growth and water and wastewater issues – potentially in a way…

Friday, June 26, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Council adopts new drainage fee structure

If all goes according to the city’s plan, Austin residents can expect some significant changes to their monthly drainage fees in October. While City Council has adopted a new underlying methodology for that fee, it still has to decide exactly…

Thursday, June 25, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Council wades deeper into drainage-fee issues

As City Council prepares to take action on restructuring the city’s drainage fee today, it is working through several issues that the current proposal presents for residents and property owners. That conversation continued at a special called meeting Tuesday.Council Member…

Thursday, June 18, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Committee proposes delay on drainage fee

With pressure mounting for City Council to adopt a new drainage-fee structure in the face of legal and budgetary concerns, the Public Utilities Committee took up the issue Wednesday but made no official recommendation to Council.The ordinance that the Watershed…

Friday, June 5, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

Council approves most flood buyouts

Though some members of City Council remain concerned about the implications, yesterday they approved the bulk of the Williamson Creek flood buyouts.Although the previous Council had authorized the funds from the Capital Improvement Projects budget, this Council was asked to appropriate…

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