Hays Trinity GCD announces Jacobs Well Spring Groundwater Management Zone

Hays Trinity GCD announces Jacobs Well Spring Groundwater Management Zone

On March 5, 2020, the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors passed a new rule—Rule 15, Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone—to better protect water resources and springflow during drought. This action comes in response to community requests for additional protections in Wimberley Valley’s Cypress Creek Watershed.  Rule 15 establishes the Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone (GMZ), limits new permits within the GMZ, and incorporates monthly pumpage monitoring for drought restrictions for permit holders with over 2 acre-feet per…

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Protecting the Edwards Aquifer means protecting the contributing zone

Protecting the Edwards Aquifer means protecting the contributing zone

The total Edwards Aquifer watershed north of San Antonio is 2.5 million acres, composed of 2 million acres in the Contributing Zone and 500,000 acres in the Recharge Zone. To protect the total watershed, we must protect land and water in both zones, not just one of them. In a 2018 report, the Edwards Aquifer Authority suggested protecting 200,000 acres in the Contributing Zone within 5 miles of the recharge zone and 194,000 acres of Contributing Zone made up of land…

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

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…

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Groundwater key to Southwest water policy

Groundwater key to Southwest water policy

Western water conversations often revolve around rivers and streams. But water beneath the surface is just as important in shaping water policy and preparing for the future. Hydrologists and water planners from the western U.S. gathered at a National Groundwater Association Conference in Albuquerque this week to talk water, energy and policy in a changing climate. Climatologists predict increased drought, minimal snowpack and longer, hotter growing seasons will all affect the water in New Mexico’s rivers and aquifers. Read more…

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TCEQ awards Meadows Center $350,000 for Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University has been awarded a $351,101 grant from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to implement Years 4-6 of the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). The Cypress Creek WPP is the result of a six-year collaboration between numerous stakeholders working together to keep Cypress Creek clean, clear and flowing. After the plan was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and TCEQ in 2016, The Meadows…

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Officials: San Antonio should continue managing Edwards Aquifer program, not give it to SAWS

Officials: San Antonio should continue managing Edwards Aquifer program, not give it to SAWS

San Antonio should keep a program aimed at protecting the Edwards Aquifer if voters choose to shift sales tax money that funds the program to instead boost public transit, city officials said Wednesday. Mayor Ron Nirenberg has sought to settle the fate of the Edwards Aquifer protection program for the past several months. He and other local officials want the $40 million raised by the 1/8-cent sales tax to instead pay for better bus service and other initiatives at VIA…

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Editorial: Yes, San Antonio can improve transit and protect aquifer

Editorial: Yes, San Antonio can improve transit and protect aquifer

Too often in recent months, the discussion over Edwards Aquifer protection and improving transit was framed as an either/or proposition. Either San Antonio could improve transit, or it could continue to fund aquifer protection. Such a limited view always struck us as a false choice. There is no reason why this community can’t improve transit and continue to protect the Edwards Aquifer, the region’s main source of drinking water. Both can be priorities. Naturally, then, we are pleased to see…

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City staff propose keeping aquifer protection program under city control

City staff propose keeping aquifer protection program under city control

As city officials try to get massive transportation plans moving, they are pushing a new plan to continue funding the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program. In a presentation to council members on Wednesday, city staff recommended keeping the EAPP under the city’s control but using a different pot of money to fund it. Instead of using the sales tax revenue that has been targeted to fund transportation plans, staff said the city could borrow $109 million to continue buying conservation easements…

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Proaction needed for water stewardship

Proaction needed for water stewardship

Local water resources grabbed state-level attention at the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District last week. State Rep. Kyle Biedermann and his environmental policy analyst, Larry Bailey, joined Boerne Mayor Tim Handren in addressing the CCGCD directors and asking for their help in advocating for responsible water stewardship. “My staff and I have been working closely with elected officials, experts and the public in my district regarding future water plans regarding the significant increase in growth,” Biedermann said. Bailey shared information…

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TESPA sues Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District over Needmore Permit

TESPA sues Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District over Needmore Permit

The Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) announced today that it has filed suit in Travis County District Court challenging the decision by the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to issue a permit to Needmore Water, LLC to withdraw about 289 million gallons of groundwater each year in Hays County near Wimberley, Texas. The litigation arises out of HB 3405 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015. This bill gave jurisdiction to BSEACD over previously unregulated portions of…

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