The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) has declared a return to Stage II mandatory pumping reductions for Edwards Aquifer users within its San Antonio Pool. Stage II of the EAA critical period management plan requires Edwards groundwater permit holders in the San Antonio Pool -- including all of Bexar and Medina, and parts of Atascosa, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays counties -- to reduce their pumping from the aquifer by 30 percent of their annual authorized amount.
The EAA declared Stage II based on declining water level readings at the J17 index well in Bexar County. The 10-day rolling average water level reading at the well dropped below the Stage II threshold on June 13, just 11 days after the previous Stage II declaration expired. Stage II will remain in effect as long as the J17 index well level remains below the Stage II, but above the Stage III trigger threshold. A drop in the rate of discharge below the respective Stage II thresholds for the Comal or San Marcos springs would also keep the region under Stage II restrictions. The San Antonio Pool entered Stage I April 18, went into Stage II on May 3, and then returned to Stage I on June 2.
The intent behind mandatory pumping reductions is to help stabilize aquifer levels and spring discharge rates until rain returns to the area and replenishes the aquifer. Stage II reductions apply to all Edwards groundwater permit holders authorized to pump more than three acre-feet annually. All affected permit holders also must report their pumping totals to the EAA on a monthly basis.
Residents and businesses who receive their water from a public water system are encouraged to contact their water provider directly to find out how Stage II reductions may affect them. More information on Stage II requirements is available by calling the EAA critical period team at (866) 931-3239 or by visiting the EAA website at www.edwardsaquifer.org.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority manages, enhances, and protects the Edwards Aquifer, one of the major groundwater systems in Texas serving approximately 2 million people.