Protecting the Edwards Aquifer through conservation, outreach

The Edward’s Aquifer is a vital resource to many in the community

The Edwards Aquifer is a unique and vital resource that resides several hundred feet below us and whose daily impact affects everyone.

The Edwards Aquifer Authority, empowered by the state of Texas, manages the Edwards Aquifer.

The EAA Act (Act) was adopted by the Texas Legislature in 1993 in response to the legal threat of a federal takeover of the aquifer under the Endangered Species Act. The Act created the EAA as a political subdivision of the state to preserve and protect the Edwards Aquifer, EAA officials said.

There are plenty of opportunities for individuals and organizations to support the ongoing work of the Edwards Aquifer Authority as it carries out its ongoing mission—to manage, enhance and protect the Edwards Aquifer.

Because the aquifer is so vast, the EAA can’t uphold their mission alone. Marc Friberg, Executive Director of External & Regulatory Affairs for the EAA, says it’s important to have as many partnerships and collaborations as they can.

“We partner with our permit holders first and foremost, the ones who pump the water from the aquifer, and we partner with other government agencies that have similar missions that may overlap ours. And we partner with any interest group that has a passion or desire to help our mission in managing, enhancing, and protecting that resource,” Friberg said.

The EAA is more than just a regulatory agency, and some projects help ensure the aquifer’s long-term sustainability. There are incentivized programs, such as spring flow protection. Friberg says this is where they will pay a permit holder to not pump their water during times of drought.

“When they don’t pump, it helps spring flow, and you can see the spring flow. So, you can see the benefits there. And it also helps bolster the levels of the aquifer, so it helps everybody who uses and relies on the aquifer,” Friberg said.

The EAA develops future support for the Edwards Aquifer and the mission of the EAA through education and outreach. This is done through outreach to the regulated community and the community in general.

The EAA also works to educate the younger generations as well. The Edwards Aquifer Authority Education Outreach Center (EOC) teaches the community about the aquifer and how it works.

“Hopefully, that develops a passion, an understanding of conservation that they can take home to their families, and share with their friends. And hopefully, it sparks some desire where we can develop future leaders and people to help us manage,” Friberg said.

The EOC will be hosting Trick-or-Seat. Until Oct. 31, you can compete in a spooky, fun scavenger hunt giveaway. When you complete the scavenger hunt, you’ll receive an EOC water bottle, a native seed pack and a special edition camp chair while supplies last.

The EOC is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can book a free visit at EAAEOC.ORG Reservations are required. For more information, call 210-547-2222.

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