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Edwards Aquifer OWLS '14 Presentation

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Edwards Aquifer OWLS '14 Presentation

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Edwards Aquifer OWLS '14 Presentation

  1. 1. A Case Study of the Edwards Aquifer Nathan Pence Executive Director – Endangered Species Programs Edwards Aquifer Authority
  2. 2. Edwards Aquifer
  3. 3. Edwards Aquifer • Balcones Fault Zone • Limestone and Artesian Aquifer • Aquifer responds directly to pumping or recharge • 4350 square miles • Austin, San Marcos, New Braunfels, San Antonio • Headwaters to San Marcos and Comal Springs
  4. 4. Edwards Aquifer cont. • Guadalupe River baseflow • Home to Endangered Species • Comal Springs Dryopid Beetle • Comal Springs Riffle Beetle • Fountain Darter • Peck’s Cave Amphipod • San Marcos Salamander • San Marcos Gambusia • Texas Blind Salamander • Texas Wild Rice
  5. 5. Demands on Edwards Aquifer • Municipal Water • Agriculture Use • Industrial Use • Recreational • Biological • Spring Flow • Pumping vs. Springflow Pumping vs Springflow
  6. 6. Limitations of the Edwards Aquifer • 1956 Drought of Record– Comal Springs ceased to flow for 6 months • Increased demand • San Antonio: population of 2 million • Surrounding communities • Increased Development / Reduced Recharge • Drought magnifies all • Endangered Species Act of 1973
  7. 7. Legal Challenges • Sierra Club v USFWS 1991 • Sierra Club alleged that unrestricted withdrawals from the aquifer would cause take of Endangered Species. Courts agreed and established “take” and “jeopardy” flow rates; water supply restrictions • 2012 Deadline for “Continuous Minimum Springflows” for the species • Senate Bill 1477 - 1993 • Established EAA and set withdrawal limits

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