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2012-07-05

Edwards Aquifer Authority declares Stage 4 for Uvalde Pool

Courtesy AACOG

EDITOR'S NOTE - Although the Edwards Aquifer does not lie under any portion of Bandera County, drought conditions affecting that aquifer are likely to mirror conditions in the county's own Trinity aquifers.

SAN ANTONIO-The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA ), for the first time in its history, has declared Stage IV mandatory pumping reductions for Edwards Aquifer users within the Uvalde Pool (Uvalde County). As of June 22, Stage IV of the EAA critical period management plan takes effect and requires Edwards groundwater permit holders in Uvalde County to reduce their pumping from the aquifer by 35 percent of their annual authorized amount.
The Stage IV declaration is based on water level readings recorded at the J-27 index well, where the 10-day rolling average was confirmed to be below 842 feet above mean sea level (msl), which is the Stage IV trigger threshold.
The last time a water level was recorded below 842 feet (msl) at the J-27 index well was 1958. This is also the first time the EAA has had to declare Stage IV for the Uvalde Pool under its critical period management plan. Stage IV will remain in effect as long as the J-27 index well level remains below the Stage IV trigger of 842 feet (msl).
The Uvalde Pool previously had been under Stage III restrictions since May 10th of this year, and Stage II restrictions since June 27, 2011. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Pool remains under Stage II limits.
The intent behind mandatory pumping reductions is to help stabilize aquifer levels and spring discharge rates until sufficient rain returns to the area to replenish the aquifer. Stage IV reductions apply to all Edwards groundwater permit holders in Uvalde County who are authorized to pump more than three acre-feet annually. Just as with Stage III, Stage IV requires all affected permit holders to 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 critical period reductions may affect them.
More information is available by calling the EAA critical period team at (866) 931-3239 or by visiting the EAA website. The Edwards Aquifer Authority manages, enhances, and protects the Edwards Aquifer, one of the major groundwater systems in Texas serving approximately 2 million people.