Stage 1 water restrictions to go into effect Thursday for SAWS customers
The 10-day rolling average of the level of the Edwards Aquifer, measured at the J-17 well, has dropped below 660 feet as of Wednesday morning. Utilities that utilize the aquifer use the criteria to trigger restrictions on water use. Stage 1 restrictions will go into effect on Thursday for SAWS customers. Coming out of drought stages can be considered 15 days after the aquifer is above the trigger.
New Braunfels Utilities' headquarters plan hits a snag with city’s planning commission
New Braunfels Planning Commission members on Wednesday voted to recommend city council deny a rezoning request to general business district and a special use permit request to allow unscreened outdoorherald-zeitung.com
San Antonio built a pipeline to rural Central Texas to increase its water supply. Now local landowners say their wells are running dry.
A pipeline helped secure water for San Antonio for decades to come — at a potentially high cost to some rural residents who are losing groundwater to the big city. Is it a preview for the rest of the state as climate change brings more water scarcity and cities keep sprawling?
Report says $1.4 billion expansion of San Antonio's 1604 one of most wasteful U.S. highway projects
click to enlarge Courtesy Image / Texas Department of TransportationThe proposed expansion of 1604 will take place over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. The six additional lanes, new frontage roads and five-level interchange would be built over the aquifer's recharge zone. Construction is expected to begin next year.The report also points out that studies by urban planners show similar expansions in Texas cities haven't kept up with traffic growth. D2010 project that widened a northern portion of Loop 410, that stretch remains one of the state's most congested highways. "This doesn't solve congestion," TexPIRG Director Bay Scoggin said during a press call about the report.sacurrent.com
Councilwoman Sandoval wants aquifer protection amendment considered for city charter
SAN ANTONIO – It lies under San Antonians' feet, and now District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval wants the Edwards Aquifer put into the city charter. Putting aquifer protection into the city charter, though, which outlines the duties and powers of different city departments, would ensure there’s something to replace the program in the future, Sandoval said. The $100 million replacement funding plan would rely mostly on borrowing money over the course of 10 years. “Just because it’s in the charter doesn’t necessarily mean that future city councils or this city council would fund it,” Perry said. Though city council could place a proposed charter amendment onto the ballot, based on the Charter Review Commission’s recommendations, voters would be the ones to ultimately approve or reject it.
Climate Minute: How we got the Edwards Aquifer
Today, this vast system of “holey” limestone around South Central Texas is called the Edwards Aquifer. The porous limestone which makes up the Edwards Aquifer (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.) How the Edwards Aquifer worksThere are three zones of the Edwards Aquifer - the Contributing Zone, the Recharge Zone and the Artesian Zone. The three zones of the Edwards Aquifer. For more on our changing climate, please visit the KSAT Climate page.
Stage 1 water restrictions to end in San Antonio on Tuesday
SAN ANTONIO – Stage 1 watering rules will come to an end on Tuesday for San Antonio Water System customers. According to a news release, recent rains and cooler weather has sent the 10-day average for the Edwards Aquifer above the trigger of 660 feet. As a result, SAWS advised San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh to end the watering rules that have been in place since July 10, which he agreed to do so in consultation with SAWS President/CEO Robert R. Puente, per city ordinance. While the city is returning to year-round watering rules, recent rains and seasonal drop in temperatures reduce the need for outdoor watering according to SAWS officials who urge residents to leave in place once-a-week watering. SAWS customers can still take advantage of SAWS WaterSaver coupons and rebates.
San Antonio City Council passes new plan to fund Edwards Aquifer Protection Program
SAN ANTONIO – By a 9-2 vote, the San Antonio City Council on Thursday passed a new funding plan to keep a popular Edwards Aquifer Protection Program going after the sales tax that has funded it since 2000 expires. The program has proved popular with voters, who have approved using the sales tax to fund it on four separate occasions. The new funding plan would allow the EAPP to continue operating as-is but with a new source of revenue. The city would plan to borrow about $10 million per year to fund the program - though city staff said, depending on a given budget, the city could use cash payments. “The Edwards Aquifer and the San Antonio greenways are more robust today because of the sales tax fractions.
The 9@9: 9/11 tributes; mental health pilot program; Edwards Aquifer funding
The 9@9: 9/11 tributes; mental health pilot program; Edwards Aquifer fundingPublished: September 11, 2020, 10:15 amThe 9@9 features some of the biggest stories making headlines at home, around the country and across the globe. Here’s what’s trending.
City close to solidifying $100M funding plan for Edwards Aquifer Protection Program
San Antonio – The Edwards Aquifer Protection Program could soon have a new source of funding secured, as it faces the loss of the 1/8 cent sales tax that has funded it for the past 20 years. The EAPP and the trails system’s expansion have both been funded through a 1/8 cent sales tax since 2000. But city and VIA Metropolitan Transit officials hope voters will redirect the tax towards a workforce development program and transportation once it expires. City staff have presented the borrowing plan as a way to keep the aquifer protection program going after that point. Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who has been the driving force behind diverting the sales tax towards a workforce development program, painted this as the best solution.
This Day in Weather History: August 17th
It was on this day in 1956, that the Edwards Aquifer (at the J-17 well) hit its lowest point of 612.5 feet. It occurred during one of the worst droughts in South Texas history. The Edwards Aquifer is now highly regulated, keeping levels from going that low again.
This is how hard water can impact appliances, skin
Because it has high levels of calcium and magnesium, it can cause hard water. Kinetico Water Systems points out that dishwashers, washing machines and faucet hardware will break down and require replacement sooner and more often due to hard water. Unfortunately, hard water can also wreak havoc on our skin, causing redness, irritation and inflammation. People who suffer from rosacea or hypersensitive skin may experience further issues, as hard water on your face can result in a never-ending fight with already red skin. If you are having trouble with hard water in your home, Kinetico Water Systems San Antonio is available to assist you with a free water evaluation to your hard water problems.
Voters will consider 1/8 cent sales tax for workforce training and education in November
San Antonio voters will be asked to consider whether to use a 1/8 cent sales to help fund workforce training or higher education for about 40,000 residents. City Council members approved putting the issue onto the Nov. 3 ballot by a vote of 9-2 Thursday. VIA, Mayor agree on plan to use 1/8 cent sales tax for economic recovery, then transportationThe new program is meant to continue the work that a short-term $75 million program council members already approved as part of a $191 million recovery & resiliency plan. The mayor and VIA officials struck a deal in July on sharing the sales tax, with the city getting first bite and then freeing it up for VIA afterwards. Voters will already be considering re-approving a separate 1/8 cent sales for the Pre-K 4 SA on the November ballot.
San Antonio City Council members want concrete plans to keep aquifer protection funding flowing
San Antonio Amid questions over how a proposed sales tax-funded workforce development program would operate, San Antonio City Council members remain concerned about the fate of a popular aquifer protection program. Some also raised the issue of what would happen to the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program. The 1/8 cent that the city is considering for the workforce development program currently funds Linear Creekway Parks and the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program. "I'm going to support a ballot initiative on one condition -- and that is that I get trustworthy and concrete assurances that our Edwards Aquifer protection will continue to protect the Edwards Aquifer," Pelaez said. Voters first approved using sales tax money for aquifer protection in May 2000 and have approved similar taxes three times since then, most recently in 2015.
Did you know the worlds largest bat colony can be found just outside San Antonio?
SAN ANTONIO The worlds largest bat colony can be found at Bracken Cave, just 20 minutes outside the city of San Antonio. Every June, the Mexican free-tailed bats at Bracken Cave give birth to one pup each, bringing the total population up to about 20 million bats. The pups start flying in July which makes visiting the cave in July and August the best for bat viewing, according to Bat Conservation International. They stay tight, like a river of bats, because of predators in the area, said Bracken Cave director Fran Hutchins. The fungus has already been detected on species of hibernating bats in North Texas counties and has also been detected at Bracken Cave.
Stage 1 water restrictions to go into effect Friday for SAWS customers
The ten-day rolling average of the level of the Edwards Aquifer, measured at the J-17 well, has dropped below 660 feet as of Thursday morning. Utilities who utilize the aquifer use the criteria to trigger restrictions on water use. Stage 1 restrictions will go into effect on Friday for SAWS customers. These restrictions apply to all Edwards Aquifer groundwater permit holders authorized to pump more than three acre-feet annually. Like SAWS customers, those who use New Braunfels Utilities will be assigned a watering day based on their home address.
San Antonio moves closer to drought conditions, heat wave ahead
However, we will likely be looking at record-challenging heat, the arrival of a drought, and Stage 1 water restrictions kicking in all at once. Precipitation DeficitIn the last 30 days, many locations in the KSAT 12 viewing area are lagging behind in the rainfall department. For example, San Antonio should have seen an additional nearly 2 inches of rain in the last 30 days, and places like New Braunfels are experiencing a 3+ inch rainfall deficit. For example, in San Antonio we should have seen an additional 1.95 inches of rain in the last 30 days. This is a look at the percent of normal precipitation for the past 30 days.
Edwards Aquifer drops below 660 feet for the first time since September 2018
This marks the first time the aquifer has slipped below 660 feet since September of 2018. Once the aquifer drops below 660 feet for a 10-day rolling average, water restrictions are enacted. Both the Edwards Aquifer Authority and San Antonio Water System use the criteria to trigger pumping restrictions or water use. Water waste includes allowing water to run off into a gutter, ditch, or drain; or failing to repair a controllable leak. Water waste includes allowing water to run off into a gutter, ditch, or drain; or failing to repair a controllable leak.
Storms pelt city with rain, tree branches
Julye KeebleStaff writerA stormy Memorial Day weekend brought more falling tree branches and an additional 2.47 inches of rain to Uvalde, as measured by the Texas A&M Uvalde AgriLife Research and Extension Center. Though 3.51 inches of rain have fallen this month, the aquifer reading is lower than the 876.9-foot level recorded on May 1. City of Uvalde cleanup crews worked with law enforcement officers to clear the multiple fallen tree branches and render the roads safe through the holiday weekend. John Simpson of Batesville reported 1.5 inches of rainfall with high winds and a many small tree branches down; but no major damage. J. Hardie, 4.5 miles northeast of Knippa, reported 0.43 inches of rain Sunday, 0.50 Monday and 0.58 for Tuesday.uvaldeleadernews.com
Aquifer pumping restrictions may occur within 10 days, EAA says
SAN ANTONIO – Drought conditions have pushed San Antonio and surrounding areas one step closer to possible restrictions. The Edwards Aquifer, at the J-17 well, is nearing the 660-foot threshold. The Edwards Aquifer Authority, which regulates the aquifer, said restrictions on their end may be only a week to 10 days away. Stage one restrictions for the EAA restricts pumping over the aquifer, which affects SAWS. As of Friday, the Edwards Aquifer, at the J-17 well, sat at 661.5 feet.
Edwards Aquifer falling quickly as pumping picks up
SAN ANTONIO – Edwards Aquifer levels saw a sharp decline in the month of April and continue to fall after a long period of healthy numbers. As of Monday, the J-17 well of the Edwards Aquifer sat at 664.3 feet. Why is the aquifer level falling? According to San Antonio Water System, Stage 1 restrictions begin when the 10-day rolling average of the Edwards Aquifer level drops to 660 feet mean sea level at the monitored well (J-17). Where can you find the latest aquifer level?
Protecting the Edwards Aquifer Means Protecting the Contributing Zone
The total Edwards Aquifer watershed north of San Antonio is 2.5 million acres, composed of 2 million acres in the Contributing Zone and 500,000 acres in the Recharge Zone. In a 2018 report, the Edwards Aquifer Authority suggested protecting 200,000 acres in the Contributing Zone within 5 miles of the recharge zone and 194,000 acres of Contributing Zone made up of land lying within 1,000 feet of streams within 10 miles of the Recharge Zone. The City of San Antonios consultant, LMI, hired to assess the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program, agrees that the Contributing Zone must be protected. The LMI report states: The importance of the contributing zone to water quantity and quality cannot be overstated. Approximately half of the present one-eighth cent sales tax for aquifer protection and linear parks is presently dedicated to aquifer protection.therivardreport.com
Sparks Fly for Endangered Salamanders at San Antonio Zoo
Texas blind salamander Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard ReportThey also can serve as warnings of contaminated drinking water aquifers, the kind of information that would be vital to a city like San Antonio. Dant Fenolio, the San Antonio Zoos vice president of conservation and research Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard ReportThat week, zoo staff were proudly showing off baby Texas blind salamanders. But when theyre still the size of grains of rice, Texas blind salamanders look surprisingly like other baby salamanders. All they know is when they put a particular group of male and female Texas blind salamanders together, they got eggs. After all, he and his colleagues cracked the romance code on Georgia blind salamanders and reticulated flatwoods salamanders, even though it took more than 10 years for each.therivardreport.com
Aquifer Protection Funding Would Be Cut in Half if San Antonio Moves It Under SAWS Control
In a potential speed bump for Mayor Ron Nirenberg's ConnectSA , the Express-News is reporting that one aspect of the proposed transportation plan would cut funding for the city's aquifer protection program by half.Mayor Ron Nirenberg has promoted turning over aquifer protection to the San Antonio Water System to free up some $40 million in annual revenue to expand bus service under ConnectSA. What's more, the protection program remains popular , having been approved by local voters four times in the past two decades.Puente's revelation is likely to give more fuel to both of those arguments. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture.sacurrent.com
Nirenberg At Odds With Environmentalists Over Aquifer Program
In an interview Thursday, Nirenberg laid out more specifics for his plan to continue funding the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP). However, many say it should focus more on the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone, the land directly upstream of the recharge zone. In December, SAWS trustees expressed caution about taking on the aquifer protection program if it would lead to a bill increase. Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard ReportThe 56,000 acres Nirenberg proposes is far less land than what some aquifer advocates say is necessary to protect the aquifer. Its difficult to answer on a scientific basis, said Mark Hamilton, the Edwards Aquifer Authoritys director of aquifer management.therivardreport.com
On Funding the Protection of Our Aquifer: A Memo to Mayor Ron Nirenberg
click to enlarge Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia CommonsPublic concern about the recharge zone surrounded development of the JW Marriott. In 1976, the COPS/Metro organization and the new Aquifer Protection Association mounted a campaign against a proposed mega-shopping mall on the recharge zone at 281 and 1604. Proposition 3 was dedicated to park development, including creekways, and protection of the Edwards Aquifer. Only Prop 3 for parks and aquifer protection was embraced by the voters with 56% approval. A remarkable 78% voted in favor in May 2015.While public support for aquifer protection has been demonstrated at the polls time after time, big public investment proposals have often fared worse.sacurrent.com
News @ 9 Business Briefing: Airport losing 2 nonstop flights; Protecting drinking water; Online holiday shopping
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Express-News Business Editor Greg Jefferson stopped by KSAT to discuss the loss of two nonstop flights at the San Antonio airport, Edwards Aquifer protection versus transportation funding and online holiday shopping on the News at 9. Jefferson is also a columnist at the San Antonio Express News. You can read more of his work by clicking here. News @ 9 Business Briefing: SA airport losing 2 nonstop flightsNews @ 9 Business Briefing: Aquifer protection vs transportation fundingNews @ 9 Business Briefing: Shopping online vs in the storeAPP USERS: Click here if you experience issues playing the individual videos
Nirenberg, SAWS Officials Say Utility Will Take On Aquifer Protection
Nirenberg and top San Antonio Water System officials called Tuesday for SAWS to take on funding the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program. We can do all of these things and be a grownup city thats ready for the future.SAWS isnt new to aquifer protection. At Tuesdays meeting, SAWS Chair Heriberto Berto Guerra Jr. said the utility is willing to take on aquifer protection again. In November, the SAWS board approved a 2020 budget that includes a 52.4 percent increase in the water supply component of residents SAWS bills. SAWS board members also said they need answers on how taking on aquifer protection will affect utility bills.therivardreport.com
Plans for oil pipeline across Edwards Aquifer recharge zone halted
SAN ANTONIO - More oil and natural gas pipelines are coming into Texas, and one of the places proposed for an oil pipeline is an area over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone from North Texas to south of San Antonio. The plans proved to be controversial and have since been called off. Brendan Gibbons, environmental and energy reporter at the Rivard Report, spoke with KSAT News at 9 about where the pipeline could now be installed. Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.
Plans for oil pipeline across Edwards Aquifer recharge zone halted
Rivard Report journalist Brendan Gibbons spoke with KSAT News at 9 about where a proposed pipeline could be installed in Texas after a controversial plan to place it over the Edwards Aquifer recharge... Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.
Crude Oil Pipeline Route to Skirt Aquifer Recharge Zone, Company Says
The new route for a planned crude oil pipeline will avoid the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and contributing zones, the Houston-based company behind the project said Friday. The new pipeline will connect with its Eagle Ford crude oil pipeline system, which transports crude oil for South Texas producers. Enterprise converted the Seminole pipeline to transport crude oil earlier in 2019 after the Midland to Houston market needed more capacity. Teague said in a Friday news release that crude oil and natural liquid gas production from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford is expected to increase to 5 million barrels per day by 2025, and building a new crude oil pipeline would allow the company to keep up with demand. Hill Country landowners said they were ecstatic Thursday to hear that Enterprise would redirect its new pipeline away from the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.therivardreport.com
Company Changes Plan to Build Oil Pipeline Over Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone After Pushback From Residents
click to enlarge Wikimedia Commons / Roger DaviesPipeline company Enterprise Product Partners has scrapped plans to build a controversial crude oil pipeline over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone in the Texas Hill Country, a company official confirmed Friday.However, the Houston-based company still plans to complete the 30-inch-diameter pipeline via another route. The conduit connecting North Texas to the Eagle Ford Shale region south of San Antonio is scheduled to begin service in the first half of 2021.The change comes after Hill Country landowners raised concerns about the line crossing the environmentally sensitive recharge zone. The Edwards Aquifer provides drinking water for roughly 2 million people in the San Antonio area. "We actually were considering a number of options, which is pretty typical for a pipeline project like this," company spokesman Rick Rainey told theEnterprise officials met with landowners earlier this week and opted for a different route based on their input, Rainey added.They listened, and it was a constructive conversation, rancher Ken Halliday told the Rivard Report . They said they wanted to do the right thing and they let us know theyre moving the pipeline so it will not cross over the aquifer recharge zone.The original pipeline would run through Upton, Reagan, Crockett, Schleicher, Sutton, Edwards, Real, Kerr, Bandera, Uvalde, Medina, Frio and Atascosa counties, according to a story in theciting an Enterprise presentation.sacurrent.com
Houston Company Halts Plans for Crude Oil Pipeline Across Aquifer Recharge Zone
Plans to build a controversial proposed crude oil pipeline over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone have been canceled, Texas Hill Country landowners and a Houston pipeline company told the Rivard Report on Thursday. Rick Rainey, vice president of public relations for Houston-based Enterprise Product Partners, confirmed the pipeline would not cross over the aquifer recharge zone. The Rivard Report first reported on the proposed pipeline route after landowners brought the issue to light. Hords ranch has been in his wife Jennis family for four generations, which made protecting the land and the aquifer recharge zone all the more important, he said. There are more than 156,000 acres protected in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and the contributing zone where water feeds into the recharge zone, Parks and Recreation Interim Director Homer Garcia III explained.therivardreport.com
By the numbers: San Antonio's sizzling summer 2019
SAN ANTONIO - It is finally here! If you think, however, that the autumnal equinox will bring an end to South Texas heat, think again. As we all know too well, South Texas heat can stay with us well into October. So, with that in mind, here is a look at Summer 2019, by the numbers:For San Antonio, 17 days (including one day in September) registered above the century mark, including 12 consecutive days in August. After a decent June total of 5.51" at San Antonio International Airport, July and August would only see 0.45" combined.
Paddle into adventure in San Marcos
Experience San Marcos' Spring Lake from one of REI's stand up paddleboards or kayaks. The crystal clear waters of the Edwards Aquifer make it easy to see and learn about the important role of this sensitive resource. Sunset tours available. No experience is necessary. To learn more and to book your paddling or kayaking experience, visit www.meadowscenter.txstate.edu.
How does the Edwards Aquifer work?
The Edwards Aquifer is responsible for providing millions of people from the Hill Country to San Antonio with freshwater every day. And although a lot of us know that the aquifer is our local source of water, very few understand exactly how the vast underground system works.