The Recharge Facility Feasibility Subcommittee of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Plan (EARIP) announced to the EARIP stakeholders a schedule of presentations on proposed recharge projects and land stewardship options. Subcommittee Chair Steve Raabe of the San Antonio River Authority explained, “The presentations will serve to familiarize subcommittee members and other stakeholders on the various ways recharge to the Edwards Aquifer can be enhanced.”The following dates and subjects are scheduled. Time and location will be listed on the EARIP website, http://earip.tamu.edu/, closer to the date of the presentation.
The Recharge Subcommittee is charged with recommending how to calculate the amount of recharge to the aquifer made available from recharge projects, what entities should build the projects, and how they should be funded.
Members of the Recharge Facility Feasibility Subcommittee include 18 representatives from environmental groups, land stewardship groups, regional/river authorities, water purveyors, the Edwards recharge and contributing zones, and general stakeholders. In addition, 3 state agencies and 4 federal agencies participate in the subcommittee.
At the same monthly stakeholder meeting Thursday in San Marcos, the EARIP Steering Committee authorized EARIP Program Manager Dr. Robert Gulley to negotiate a contract with Sustainable Ecosystems Institute of Portland, Oregon, for peer review of the EARIP Science Subcommittee report which will be completed at the end of 2008. Also, Adam Zerrenner of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduced a panel of scientists who discussed the species associated with the Edwards Aquifer. Several other issues were discussed by stakeholders at Thursday’s meeting, including studies underway and the participation of U.S.Geological Survey in those studies.
The EARIP is working through a formal consensus-building process among regional stakeholders to arrive at a plan to protect endangered species associated with the Edwards Aquifer while managing the aquifer for the benefit of all. Stakeholders include water utilities, cities, groundwater conservation districts, agricultural users, industrial users, environmental organizations, river authorities, downstream and coastal communities, and state and federal agencies.
The group created its organizational structure in the past year (2007-2008), hiring a Program Manager and appointing subcommittees for science, recharge, finance, and public outreach, as well as a workgroup on biological modeling. The EARIP has a goal of completing a Habitat Conservation Plan that includes recommendations for aquifer management by September 2012.
For additional information, the website is http://earip.tamu.edu/.
by: Dr. Robert Gulley
EARIP Program Manager