Headline News
Go Back
2013-04-18

BMA approves study of wells around Medina Lake

By William Hoover Anvil Herald Correspondent

By William Hoover Anvil Herald Correspondent

(Editor's note: This article was originally published in The Hondo Anvil Herald. It is being reprinted with permission.)

Searching for ways to keep more irrigation water stored behind Medina Dam for sale to downstream farmers, the Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Water District Board of Directors on Monday approved entering into a $9,500 contract with GLS Solutions to complete a study of all legal and illegal water wells around Medina Lake and the wells' contribution to dwindling lake levels.
The Directors also approved a $9,500 contract with URS Engineering to complete a study of tributaries and waterways in the lake's storage basin and their effect on flows into the lake.
The lake level, which has been declining for three years because of the ongoing drought, is around 6 percent capacity and is almost 80 feet below the spillway as of Wednesday.
BMA Director Bill Hope was dubious about the well study proposal and asked Director Will Carter for what the data would be used.
"Do you want to cut the house wells off or do you just want to know how much water they are using?" asked Hope. "I don't understand what we are doing here."
"If the lake is being drawn out of from the sides by all this development around the lake and we are the ones footing the bills and we are the ones who do not have water for irrigation, we need to know how the wells impact the lake level," said Carter.
"They aren't drawing out of the lake, they are drawing out of the Edwards Aquifer," argued Hope.
"They are drawing out of a crack that is possibly recharged by the lake," countered Carter. "A lot of the wells are going dry. And they are going dry because the water source keeps dropping. The only place that recharge can come from is the Medina River, which flows into Medina Lake.
"I think we need to do this study, identify the problem and do everything we can to conserve water," added Carter. "If we don't know what the problem is, we can't address it."
The second URS study will determine the impact of reduced upstream flows into the lake, according to BMS Business Manager Ed Berger.
"The URS study will determine how many tributaries in the basin have been dammed up to restrict water flow from the basin into the lake," said Berger on Wednesday.