Residents of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BS/EACD) expressed concerns during a pair of meeting on June 2 and 8 regarding the supply of groundwater if the current critical stage drought worsens.
“The public concerns about adequate groundwater supplies reinforce our belief that the District should prepare now for the worst-case scenario in drought,” said Kirk Holland, BS/EACD General Manager. “We will continue to work with our constituents to develop tools to manage resources in a drought that’s expected to worsen.”
The District has placed a moratorium on new Edwards groundwater permits since April 9.
Approximately 50 people attended the meetings, which explained potential changes to district rules dealing with drought and get feedback form the public. Additional meetings will be held in July and August, when the district board of directors will formally propose changes in its rules.
BS/EACD is proposing the following rule changes in two main areas:
- Introduction of one new stage, the exceptional stage, which would be more severe than critical stage (currently the most severe drought stage). Specific management measures also are proposed for an emergency response period if and when the Edwards Aquifer is imperiled; and
- Introduction of management zones to allow more equitable regulation and precise management of the different aquifers in the district.
Links to the presentations made at the town hall meetings are available on the district’s homepage. Summaries of the prospective changes and a markup of the language changes currently under consideration are available here.