The Future Of Edwards Aquifer

The Edwards Aquifer is the primary water source for over 2 million people around South Central Texas. The Future of the Aquifer affects local residents, families and communities in the region.

Edwards Aquifer is a natural groundwater system that has provided sustainable water for 8 counties in South Central Texas.

Over the past year, natural weather and construction question the safety of the aquifer and its sustainability throughout the upcoming years. Demand for water from the aquifer has constantly increased as the population grows in the South Central Texas region.

With an increasing population in this region, water needed has exceeded water being collected. This past year, the water levels of the aquifer have been the lowest they have been since 2014.

A concern that had been brought up is the construction of the San Marcos Studio that is being built over the aquifers recharge zone. A protest of the construction started on June 28th, 2022, where individuals gave their opinions on the protection of the aquifers recharge zone and water from it.

Photo By Brytin Rangel

The area covered in trees to the bottom right half of the picture is where the future San Marcos Film Studio is set to be built. The film studio is expected to be built April 2023 off of Wonderworld Drive and West Centerpoint Road.

San Marcos City Hall made the approval of film studio on June 7th. Protestors spoke up about the construction on June 28th during. city council meeting.

Photo By Brytin Rangel

Texas State graduate and annual river cleanup volunteer Brooke Young has believed in the protection of the river and the ecosystem provided from it for years. Young fears the construction of the film studio could harm the aquifer.

“The water could be contaminated by building materials. It also disturbs the ecosystem and cause harm to important species native to the area. Contaminating the water would not only hurt important wildlife but also the millions of people that rely on that water on a daily basis ” said Young.

The aquifer has been around for generations, and county governments and local groups plan to keep protecting and educating individuals for generations to come.

Edwards Aquifer Authority has expanded in educating the public by building the Education Outreach Center. This education center shows visual representation of how the aquifer works and what it provides for the population.

Local resident of San Antonio Chelsey Garcia said she had never heard of the aquifer until a coworker told her about the Education Outreach Center.

” I honestly would have never known where I got my water from if it wasn’t for my friend explaining some building[Education Outreach Center] her and her sister went, where they showed where our water came from and how it[Edwards Aquifer] worked,” said Garcia.

As the knowledge of the aquifer is varied between individuals, locals use running water every day. From the water coming from your sink, to the toilet water flushing away down the drain, running water is used everyday. The chart below shows some of the amount of water used and how much is used per household in a day.

Not only does the aquifer affect homes and facilities, it also affects the environment around it. The health if the aquifer provides for hundreds of different species of plants and animals. Some species have already been threatened by extinction, below is a list of species already threatened by extinction.

The aquifer is the main source of water for South Central Texas, government officials wouldn’t threaten that water source for an increase in economic growth said Texas State Student Darius Taylor.

” Why would the facilities that plan to protect our water source agree to construction over the aquifer if it wasn’t safe,” said Taylor.

Photo By Brytin Rangel

The Edwards Aquifer Authority acknowledged the threats come from building over the recharge zone. The EAA agreed to the terms of construction for reasons believed it wouldn’t cause harm to the aquifer. But questions still arise if this believes are true or not.

The aquifer doesn’t just provide for home use, it also provides for natural activities like waterparks, natural parks, and rivers. Some of these include the San Marcos River, Comal River, Landa Park and other activities regarding the aquifers artesian zone.

Photo By Brytin Rangel

Landa park is one of the biggest natural water parks in New Braunfels. The park runs entirely on the aquifers water that is pushed up through the artesian zone.

For more information regarding the Edwards Aquifer, visit the Edwards Aquifer Authority Webpage.

For information regarding the San Marcos Film Studio, visit the San Marcos City Council Webpage.

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