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December PROPS: SOS Alliance

For the fourth year in a row, our PROPS partner this holiday season is Save Our Springs Alliance! Pick up your order on Wednesdays this month and support one of the best organized environmental non-profits in Austin!


The Save Our Springs Alliance works to protect the Edwards Aquifer, its springs and contributing streams, and the natural and cultural heritage of the Hill Country region and its watersheds, with special emphasis on Barton Springs. 

The Save Our Springs Alliance sprung to life in 1990 as a loose coalition of citizens fighting a massive development proposal for the Barton Creek watershed. On June 7, 1990, more than 1000 citizens signed up to speak to Austin city council in opposition to the planned 4,000-acre Barton Creek PUD. After an all-night meeting, council unanimously rejected the PUD, and a movement began to strengthen the 1986 Comprehensive Watersheds ordinance under the acronym SOS: “Save Our Springs”.

Organized in 1992 as the Save Our Springs Coalition, the group wrote and petitioned for the Save Our Springs Ordinance to protect the quality of water coming off of development in the fragile Barton Springs watershed. With the voter approval of the SOS Ordinance, developers went on the attack at the court house and the Texas Capitol. Later, the group incorporated as the Save Our Springs Legal Defense Fund in 1993 to defend developers’ attacks on the SOS Ordinance. Expanding its scope to include building awareness and alliances throughout the Austin area, the group finally became the Save Our Springs Alliance in 1997. The SOS Alliance routinely works with local conservation groups to advocate for the protection of Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer.