Today is one worth celebrating as we take a step forward in protecting our invaluable watershed. The Austin City Council voted on the acquisition of a 490-acre conservation easement on Onion Creek near Driftwood, a move that aligns with our ongoing efforts to protect the areas most vulnerable to urban runoff and development. The Onion Creek watershed is the largest source of recharge waters that feed Barton Springs.
As Onion Creek flows across the fractured, cave-forming Edwards limestone, its waters plunge into the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Once inside the Edwards, those waters flow rapidly to the north through open channels in the rock before emerging at Barton Springs. Along the way, Kyle, Buda, and other smaller water providers pump this beautiful, clear Edwards water for their municipal water supplies.
Hays County is contributing $1 million towards the easement, and we thank the Hays County Commissioners Court for joining in with the City of Austin to protect as much of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer watershed as we can. Let's take a moment to acknowledge the momentum this brings towards our bigger goals. Last November, voters overwhelmingly approved a $400 million bond for parks and conservation lands. Now, we need the City Council to follow suit and ask voters to approve $800 million this year for comprehensive land, water, and climate protection, as outlined in Austin's Climate Equity Plan.
This is a landmark decision in the RIGHT direction. Send emails, make calls, and thank Council for protecting this 490 acres and urge them to move now to place more funds on the ballot for permanent protection of open spaces all around Austin.