Mysterious creatures: Exploring the depths of our karst aquifers

“These ecosystems harbor some really amazing species,” said Dr. Ben Hutchins at the most recent Texas Water Symposium forum on Wednesday, November 13 at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

Referencing the plethora of creatures that reside within Texas’ karst aquifers, Hutchins continued, “A lot of these are crustaceans; you may be familiar with shrimp, but relatively few people have seen a Texas Blind Cave Shrimp. These species occur sometimes at great depths. We have records from close to 2,000 feet under the surface. And because they live in such an unusual environment, they have a host of unusual adaptations. They’re really ideal models to study adaptation and evolution.”

The biggest threats to these species’ survival? “Water quality and water quantity,” answered Liza Colucci, Project Manager with ZARA Environmental.

This edition of the Texas Water Symposium examines the role aquifers play in providing our drinking water and allowing for the irrigation of area pastures, farms, and vineyards.

Read more from Texas Public Radio here.

Click below to listen to the full broadcast of this November 13, 2019 panel.