|The Edwards Aquifer provides drinking water for over 1.7 million people in Central Texas, including all of the municipal supply for the City of San Antonio, the largest city in the nation wholly dependent on ground water. San Antonio pumps aquifer water from the Southern segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Over 50,000 people in the Austin area rely on the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Barton Springs and Barton Creek also contribute water to the City of Austin's municipal supply. |
Growing population along the Edwards Aquifer is putting pressure on ground water supplies. Over-pumping of the Edwards Aquifer threatens to reduce and potentially dry up springs and rivers, jeopardizing the existence of rare species and the health of local and coastal economies - and of our drinking water.
Increasing urban development of the Edwards Aquifer is increasing contaminant loads in the public's drinking water. Frequently, local governments award subsidies to developers building large scale projects over the aquifer.
A proposed golf course/hotel/residential development outside San Antonio on the Recharge Zone of the Southern Edwards Aquifer ignited the citizens of San Antonio to rally to protect their drinking water. The motto of their campaign: "Not on Our Aquifer; Not with Our Money!"
To protect this invaluable and irreplaceable resource, we advocate for the following:
- Repeal the Rule of Capture that allows groundwater to be mined beyond the limits of sustainability and empower local ground water districts to protect spring flows.
- Encourage rain water collection to reduce dependence on groundwater and eliminate need for surface water extensions that spur high density development over the aquifer.
- Reduce consumption of water through native landscaping, rebate programs for low water use appliances, and specific goals for reduced consumption. Reduced consumption can eliminate costly new water treatment plants, transmission systems, and reservoirs - saving taxpayers' money.
Visit Save the Aquifer for more on what you can do to help save our drinking water - the Edwards Aquifer - from over-pumping and contamination.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States designates Sole Source Aquifers when drinking water for a given service area is a "sole or principal source" of water. That is, an aquifer which is needed to supply 50% or more of the drinking water for that area and for which there are no reasonably available alternative sources should the aquifer become contaminated. The Edwards Aquifer Ecosystem of Central Texas is one of our most valuable, irreplaceable and endangered public treasures.
The Greater Edwards Aquifer is known as a karst aquifer, characterized by rapid, open-channel water flow and by a thin to nonexistent soil cover. Because of these physical factors, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has recognized since 1989 that the Edwards Aquifer is more vulnerable to pollution than any other major aquifer in Texas. Visit Geology and Hydrology for more.