News Digest - April 18, 2022

  • As the U.S. enters year three of the pandemic, more and more cities are trying to stay one step ahead of the virus through wastewater surveillance.
  • The Great Springs Project aims to preserve 50,000 acres of land over the Edwards Aquifer by connecting Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comal Springs, and San Antonio Springs through a hundred-mile network of public hike and bike trails connecting Austin to San Antonio. The project is still in its early stages, but has already garnered several strong endorsements.
  • The EPA is seeking to change ozone violation designations for Houston and Dallas, which would classify them as “severe” violators of the 2008 federal ozone pollution standards. The new designations will trigger more aggressive pollution control requirements for businesses. The San Antonio metro region will be designated a “moderate” violator of the more recent 2015 ozone standard.
  • As federal agencies are focusing their funding on infrastructure spending to improve pipes, drains, and stormwater systems, scientists are also pushing for more green infrastructure. Green infrastructure can often be overlooked because it requires ongoing maintenance and coordination between city departments.
  • This week's TWDB Drought Watch shows exceptional drought affecting 14% of the state, while extreme or worse drought is impacting almost half the state.

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