Troubled waters: San Antonio weighs the cost of preserving its water supply

Taxpayers have spent $260 million to protect the Edwards Aquifer. With the tax set to expire, officials can’t agree on how much more to spend.

The Frio River snaked south through the hills of Uvalde County, its clear waters coursing over a bed of white, fractured limestone in the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer.

Then, unceremoniously, it disappeared.

The river had flowed into — and underneath — Dripstone Ranch, nearly 2,000 acres of undeveloped ranchland named after a system of nine caves that open into the hillsides and stretch hundreds of feet beneath the earth. One of them, Queen Frio Cave, contains an underground stream that flows swiftly east for San Antonio residents to drink.

Read more from Brian Chasnoff with San Antonio Express-News here.