Edwards Aquifer

Hill Country Alliance

The future of the Bracken Bat cave is far from resolved. The cave, which has the largest maternal bat colony in the world, made news last summer when Galo Properties announced a planned housing development near the cave. The announcement caused an uproar from both water conservation and bat advocates.

AgriLife Today http://bit.ly/1rFzmHP / cc

The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) imposed stage three water restrictions on April 10, the earliest in area history and only the fourth time ever for the "San Antonio pool." Despite summer being months away, residents are already being asked to restrict their water usage.

The EAA used the stage three restrictions for the first time ever last July  in August of 2012, when the aquifer fell below the mandated 640 feet. All indications are that the drought will continue to get worse through the summer, but are people taking it seriously?

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.

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