From Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance:
A series of public meetings hosted by the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) will be held throughout the Edwards Region next week to inform and take public comment on proposed increases in fees that the EAA charges to municipal and industrial water users. We urge you to attend and to speak in support of the increase in Aquifer Management Fees proposed to fund the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP).
Wednesday, August 10, 6:00 pm
San Marcos Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins
San Marcos, TX 78666
Find more meetings here
What is at stake here is fair and rational allocation of water from the Edwards Aquifer. Since the Endangered Species Act is the only tool that the Federal government gives us to deal with these issues, the critters will continue to assume a starring role in these discussions. The crux of the issues addressed by the EARIP, however, is whether municipal and industrial pumping should be allowed to draw down the aquifer below levels required for maintaining spring flow. To do so could result in reduction of in-stream flows needed to maintain the balance of fresh and saline water in the bays and estuaries, as well as the need for hundreds of folks on Edwards wells to drill deeper, loss of heritage trees, and perhaps other unanticipated consequences…
Please note that increased fees will not affect agricultural users as their fees are capped by State Law. Nor would the fees apply to well owners who pump water strictly for domestic and livestock use, as these pumpers are exempt. The increase in management fees would principally be passed on to the large municipal utilities that pump from the Edwards.
Our staff has researched water rates and have concluded that SAWS, Bexar Met, and New Braunfels Utilities, when compared to other US cities of comparable size, definitely have room to charge more for water, especially if increased fees are structured so as to distribute the price increases to discourage excess consumption. For SAWS, specifically, we found that when compared to rates for similar cities in the US, SAWS water rates are extremely low. To see the full study, click here.
The EARIP plan to preserve Edwards Aquifer spring flows has been three years in the making and deserves to be funded at levels adequate to insure success. We hope to see you at one of the Public Hearings [above].
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance