BSEACD enters Water Conservation Period

The District’s Water Conservation Period starts Wednesday, May 1st and extends through the end of September—the time when water use is at its peak.

Recent wet weather has helped augment water supplies, but there is still a need to conserve water resources. In the past 10 years, we’ve experienced 5 separate droughts lasting from 2 months to over a year in duration. Water conservation through the summer months can help us delay and/or avoid another drought situation.

Starting on May 1st, Austin Water Utility restricts outdoor watering to no more than twice per week, and the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District initiates a voluntary 10% reduction in groundwater pumping by its permittees. Though the approaches are different, the goal is the same—prolong water availability throughout the hottest and driest portion of the year.

In the summer months, outdoor water use is significantly higher and can account for 60% or more of home water use. Planting native or drought-tolerant landscapes, mulching, and using compost can substantially reduce the amount of irrigation water required to keep plants healthy. Making sure irrigation systems are functioning at peak efficiency and replacing leaking gaskets and hoses can help conserve water. Installing a rain barrel or rainwater harvesting system can make an even bigger impact in reducing overall water use.

Useful Links:

BSEACD is a groundwater conservation district charged by the Texas Legislature to preserve, conserve, and protect the aquifers and groundwater resources within its jurisdiction, which includes parts of three central Texas counties. It is governed by a Board of five elected directors and staffed with hydrogeologists, groundwater regulatory compliance specialists, environmental educators, geospatial systems specialists, and administrative support personnel.

Barton Springs / Edwards Aquifer Conservation District News


Each year, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, in collaboration with our permittees, offers scholarships for 2 different age groups. The District’s college scholarship is dedicated as a memorial scholarship honoring one of Austin’s most influential environmental planners, Kent Butler. The Kent S. Butler Groundwater Stewardship Scholarship Essay Contest increases the awareness of groundwater issues by rewarding high school students for high quality research and writing. The District’s summer camp scholarships send winning students (ages 9-15) to the Aquatic Science Adventure Camp through the Texas State Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center. Campers experience first hand how scuba diving, rafting, caving, and exploration are part of scientific discovery.

The District would like to thank the City of Austin, Texas Lehigh Cement Company, Centex, Creedmoor-Maha WSC, Goforth SUD, and Slaughter Creek Acres WSC for supporting this year’s scholarship program. It would not be such a success without these generous donations!

Applications for both scholarship programs are due the Tuesday after spring break–March 26, 2019. Apply now!
Scholarship Info


The US EPA and many groundwater conservation districts (including the District) recommend that private water well owners test their well water annually for contaminants that can jeopardize the health of users, especially vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.

As a service to our well owners, the District will host the annual Well Water Check-up on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. On the coordinated sample day, District well owners can bring in their own well water sample, and the District will screen it for common contaminants including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates, and high salinity.

The screening is available for the first 50 District well owners to pre-register and pick up supplies.
Well Water Check-up

10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.

For well owners, leaks not only waste water, they can cause unnecessary wear on groundwater pumps and septic system components. The US EPA reports that the most common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. To help identify leaks, the District has toilet tank leak detection tablets available. Pick one up with your well water sample kit!
Leak Detection Tricks


Kinder Morgan has proposed to build a natural gas pipeline that crosses known sensitive groundwater recharge and habitat areas within the District. The Board and staff are investigating potential impacts of the proposed pipeline to groundwater resources and endangered species habitat.

At the March 14 Board Meeting, Kinder Morgan officials presented an overview of the project, recent updates, and environmental considerations. The officials explained that Kinder Morgan will commit to limiting the pipeline to the transport of natural gas; they will contract a karst expert to perform a detailed karst survey; they will submit a required biological assessment to the US Fish and Wildlife; and they will develop a void response and mitigation plan, erosion control and revegetation plan, and stormwater pollution prevention plan.

After the presentation, questions focused on potential impacts to water resources and critical habitat during construction and operation of the pipeline. Given the sensitive nature of the potential pipeline alignment, the Directors passed a motion directing the General Manager to obtain copies of the plans and documents referenced in the presentation and during discussion and to seek answers on outstanding questions. The information request is available on the District’s Kinder Morgan Proposed Pipeline resource web page.
Proposed Pipeline Analysis


Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is a tool more and more water suppliers are using to help meet customer demand during peak water use. When demand is low, water is banked underground, so it can be withdrawn later when water use increases. To be responsive to this emerging water supply strategy, the District is amending its rules. These rule changes are generally related to ASR definitions, permits, well construction standards, and maximum withdrawals for management zone and Saline Edwards DFC.

Notice of the rule changes was posted on February 28. A public hearing will be held at the Thursday, March 28 Board meeting. An overview presentation of the changes and proposed rule changes are available on the Rules Spotlight.
Proposed ASR Rules

Tues., Mar. 26: Scholarship Applications Due (details)
Thurs., Mar. 28: BSEACD Board Meeting and Public Hearing (details)
Mon., Apr. 1: Permittee Meter Readings Due (details)
Thurs., Apr. 11: BSEACD Board Meeting
Wed., Apr. 17: Well Water Checkup (details)
Thurs., Apr. 25: BSEACD Board Meeting
Wed., May 1: Permittee Meter Readings Due (details)
Thurs., May 9: BSEACD Board Meeting
Thurs., May 23: BSEACD Board Meeting
Mon., May 27: Office closed for Memorial Day