A Comal County ranch owner ponders selling his land, setting off another clash between property rights and environmental concerns
When the owner applied for a state permit that could pave the way for a subdivision, neighbors and environmentalists rallied against it in the name of protecting the area’s rivers and the Edwards Aquifer.
Environmental advocates push feds to investigate Texas’ enforcement of water quality
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to investigate allegations that the state is failing to enforce the Clean Water Act. Environmentalists say the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s system of issuing permits has made it too easy for industries to contaminate rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Water conservation: ways students, teachers can get involved
The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) Education Outreach Center (EOC) is the EAA’s first permanent facility dedicated exclusively to offering over a dozen interactive and immersive water education exhibits for the general public, schools, and groups to enjoy.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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
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.