Edwards Aquifer

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

With water on the minds of many, the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program is a citywide, long-standing effort to maintain sustainable water levels.

In April, the San Antonio city council will hear once again about the city's Aquifer Protection Program. It began around 2000, approved by voters to use 1/8th cent sales tax revenue to purchase land over the sensitive Recharge Zone in Bexar County.

In 2005 the program changed a little to include Medina and Uvalde Counties.

Flickr user 12fh / cc

A study paid for by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce details the impacts of water shortages on the city's future growth. Jobs, spending, migration are all affected drastically if the city continues to grow without making proper accommodations, argues the study.

In a rare move for this time of year, the Edwards Aquifer Authority has declared Stage 3 water restrictions.

SAWS customers need not worry. A spokesperson tells TPR there is enough reserve water on hand at its Carrizo Aquifer storage site in southern Bexar County to not impose restrictions on its customers. But, SAWS itself will have to reduce its pumping out of the Edwards Aquifer by 35 percent.

SAWS, along with small municipalities like Universal City and Alamo Heights, are permit holders of the EAA. SAWS happens to be the largest permit holder.

JJ Harrison / Wikimedia Commons

With the lack of rain and the summer heat beating down the area, the Edwards Aquifer Authority is declaring Stage 3 pumping restrictions. It's only the second time that the EAA has declared Stage 3 for users of the San Antonio pool of the Edward Aquifer. The first time was last summer, from August 15th to September 15th.

This year, the EAA is calling for Stage 3 two weeks earlier than last year.

SAWS

Residents in Northeast Bexar County will have a different water source for the next several weeks as the San Antonio Water System addresses water concerns from Lake Dunlap.

The affected area of customers are between IH-35 and IH-10, inside 1604 -- an area previously served by BexarMet. Those customers are now using Edwards Aquifer water for the time being.

SAWS Spokeswoman Anne Hayden said warmer weather in the shallow lake Dunlap caused algae to flare up.

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