Edwards Aquifer

GEAA / http://www.aquiferalliance.net/

LUBBOCK — The torrential storms of last month essentially ended one of Texas’ worst-ever droughts, but much of the excess water has already flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or will evaporate by year’s end.

With a wary eye toward the next prolonged dry-streak that inevitably will come, some think expanding the use of underground aquifers may help slake the thirst of Texas’ rapidly growing population.

Three trillion gallons of water gushed from swollen Texas rivers into the Gulf of Mexico in May, and another 2 trillion gallons will likely evaporate from state reservoirs by year’s end. Combined, the lost water would be enough to serve Texas’ booming population for an entire year.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

In May, San Antonians will have the opportunity to vote on whether to continue an aquifer protection program that collects one-eighth of a cent sales tax. After meeting on Wednesday for an initial discussion on the matter, on Thursday, the San Antonio City Council unanimously approved what will be propositions 1 & 2 in the upcoming municipal election.

Courtesy photo

  On Thursday, the San Antonio City Council will decide whether to ask voters to renew a sales tax for aquifer protection and park maintenance. This one-eighth of a cent sales tax could potentially have a host of uses.  

At the moment, the City of San Antonio uses most of the money collected from the sales tax to buy property in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge zone, which replenishes the area’s water supply. The tax was first approved in 2000, and 133,000 acres have been purchased so far through this money. 

Remember the drought?

Paul Flahive / ©

Water conservation advocates are calling on the San Antonio Water System to cease permits for service to new developments over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone until a plan for growth can be established. The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance wants to ensure less ground cover for the area that refills our water supply.

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