October 2018 BSEACD News

Aquifer District Removes Drought Restrictions

At the October 11 Board Meeting, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s Directors declared a No-Drought condition for the aquifers within the District, effective immediately. While rainfall totals across central Texas varied significantly in September and October, areas in the contributing and recharge zones received enough rain to saturate soils and allow runoff to generate stream flow in the recharge zone creeks. One of the area’s two groundwater drought indicators, Barton Springs discharge, has been above the Stage II Alarm Drought threshold (10-day average of 38 cubic feet per second) since September 9, 2018.  On Friday, October 5, 2018 the water level in the Lovelady Well crossed above its drought threshold (478.4 feet above mean sea level). Both indicators need to be above their designated thresholds – and currently are – to emerge from drought.


The District declared a groundwater drought and has been enforcing mandatory water-use restrictions since July 2018.  Sustained creekflow in the recharge zone creeks has generated substantial recharge to the aquifer.  Water levels are still below average, but with additional rainfall they could continue to rise.  Groundwater users are encouraged to maintain conservation practices, but mandatory pumping curtailments are lifted.


Useful links:

Teacher Wish List Winners


This year the District employed a new Teacher Kickstarter program to help local educators enhance their programs and to spark discussions on water quality and conservation both in and out of the classroom.


We’re happy to award 11 teachers from 11 separate schools and organizations with 7 hose-end water meters, 7 conductivity meters, and 2 pH meters. These free teaching materials are used to track water use and investigate water quality.  Thanks to all the educators that took the time to submit a wish list request and tell us about how you would enhance your programs with these materials.


This year’s winners are:

  • Jay Rodriguez, Camino Real Elementary
  • Cody Sultenfuss, Jack C. Hays High School
  • Melinda Seib, Hays County Master Naturalist and Project Wild Facilitator
  • Ashley Gahan, Akins High School
  • Claudia Shudic, Sunset Valley Elementary
  • Ann-Marie Hutcheson, Bowie High School
  • Nicole Watts, Dripping Springs High School
  • Nicholas Nelson, Travis High School
  • Tim Ornes, Austin Discovery School
  • Jennifer Sladek, Boone Elementary
  • Amanda O’Malley, Crockett High School

Winning teachers are able to keep the materials, but the District would love to hear what impact they had on students and programs in general.  Teachers, thank you for all you do!


Habitat Conservation Plan Approved


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has finalized and issued a 20-year Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to implement the District’s Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Managed Groundwater Withdrawals from the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. The HCP will safeguard the continued sustainable use of the aquifer and survival of the endangered salamanders, while the ITP will allow for continued managed pumping of the aquifer by District permittees.


Shown above is Board President, Blayne Stansberry, officially signing the ITP with Directors Craig Smith and Dr. Bob Larsen, former general manager Kirk Holland, and Regional Directo of the USFWS, Albuquerque Office, Ms. Amy Leuders.

Join Us at the Rainwater Revival & Hill Country Living Festival


Saturday, October 20th at Dripping Springs Ranch Park, the District will be joining rainwater experts, water treatment experts, tiny home architects, solar installers, water haulers, and many more folks for the Rainwater Revival & Hill Country Living Festival.


Displays, activities, info booths, talks, and music are free and family friendly.  This is the perfect event to attend if you have questions or are looking for tips and tricks for rainwater systems, maintaining water treatment equipment, and green living techniques.


Event details:

Rainwater Revival & Hill Country Living Festival

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, 10am – 5pm

Dripping Springs Ranch Park​

1042 Event Center Dr, Dripping Springs, TX 78620