|The Edwards Aquifer provides drinking water for over 1.7 million people. The Austin/San Antonio corridor is expected to grow continually, requiring more water if new growth is wasteful and not sustainable. Current pumping form the aquifer has resulted in diminished pring flows in San Antonio. |
Water hustlers are trying to secure rights to pump tremendous amounts of water out of the western reaches of the Edwards Aquifer to pipe and sell to other parts of the state. Texas' antiquated "Rule of Capture" allows people to pump as much water from underneath their property as they please, even if in doing so they cause their neighbors' wells to go dry.
Groundwater districts have been established in most parts of Texas to regulate groundwater pumping from different aquifers. The Edwards Aquifer Authority regulates most of the Southern Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, including San Marcos, New Braunfels, San Antonio, and Uvalde. The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District regulates pumping in the Barton Springs segment.
Development interests regularly try to weaken pumping restrictions to protect spring flows for endangered species, as well as for the health of downstream rivers and coastal ecosystems - and economies.
How can this region continue to grow without pumping aquifers dry? Reducing consumption of water reduces perceived need to build new reservoirs or drill deeper wells. Rainwater harvesting can provide residential development with adequate - and tasty - water without surface or ground water. Improving efficiency of transmission lines and appliances can save millions of gallons of water each day.