Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Will the Edwards Aquifer still be ours to control?

The Edwards Underground Water District, a local government entity, is in jeopardy of being closed down if they can't make a decision about how much water can be used during times of severe drought.  You may be thinking, great, I didn't like the Edwards Authority anyway. But, if the district disappears then either the Texas state legislature or the Feds will take over water policy for the aquifer that supplies water to Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Medina and Uvalde counties.
Personally, I would rather decisions about the aquifer be made by the people who use it.

The members represent an array of competing interests — city water systems, farmers, industries, environmentalists and others. So far, they've gotten along, but Friday their track record of consensus started to fray and some balked at what changes might have to occur to solve the problem.
The debate surrounds how much water needs to continue to flow into the springs in order for endangered species, protected by federal law, to survive.  Biologists hired by the authority estimate that there needs to be a 30 cubic foot flow of water through the Comal Springs for the animals to survive, but environmentalists aren't buying this and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, a large wholesale water supplier, doesn't agree with that figure either.  They don't think 30 cubic feet is enough to meet their customers water demands.

Right now the district is between a rock and a hard place.  Compromise is imperative to keep local control.  Perhaps no one will be happy, but at least we get to continue to have a say in how our water is used.

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