It is ironic that an area famous for its beautiful rivers, creeks and springs, an area which suffered so much from recent massive flooding, is now seriously threatened by a lack of water.
Save Our Water
In 2014-2015, a company called Electro Purification (EP) attempted a massive water grab from our area’s already declining Trinity Aquifer. In response, hundreds of Save Our Wells signs went up, a true grassroots resistance began and a coalition of groups, including Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD), organized to resist EP. Leading that fight in the legislature was the Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) a donation-funded, non-profit association that formed up to resist EP’s get-richer plans.
With everyone working together, including local politicians, churches, businesses and countless individuals, the people of the Wimberley area finally – and narrowly – won a temporary victory in the state legislature. But there were still billions of dollars to be made from our area’s water.
EP is Back
In truth, it never went away. EP now has a pending permit application to the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to pump 2.5 million gallons of Trinity Aquifer water A DAY. That’s about 912 MILLION gallons a year. The Trinity is the aquifer that supplies the water to Wimberley area wells, Wimberley area springs and Wimberley area water companies.
TESPA is hosting a public information meeting on “Impacts of the EP Permit” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 15 at the Pavilion in Blue Hole Regional Park. The Pavilion is located across from the Playscape on the park’s loop drive. Admission to the park and meeting is free.
Representatives of TESPA will present information on the damage to property owners’ wells and the Trinity Aquifer that could occur if the EP request is not blocked or greatly modified.
“TESPA has serious concerns about the unknown consequences (the EP) project will have on the long-term sustainability of the Trinity Aquifer,” said TESPA Executive Director Vanessa Puig-Williams.
And Don’t Forget Needmore
TESPA – and CARD – are also very concerned about the pending groundwater production permit application to BSEACD by the aptly named Needmore Ranch, right next to Wimberley on the east. TESPA is actively fighting that application.
Needmore aims to pump water out of the Middle Trinity at the rate of about 791,780 gallons a day. That’s 289 MILLION gallons more a year! Aquifer level modeling by the BSEACD predicts that – if Needmore is allowed to do this – there will be a 140-foot water level drawdown in just seven years. No one can say for sure how badly that will affect local springs, but it will sure affect nearby wells, and rapidly speed the draining of the Trinity.
Together EP and Needmore are proposing to suck a potential 1.2 billion gallons of water per year out of our much-stressed Trinity aquifer. Most of the EP water is already earmarked for development outside Hays County, and will be carried away by massive pipelines. Needmore says it wants its water for “agricultural” purposes, but imagine if water-enriched Needmore was sold to developers for thousands of home sites.
Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development urges every Wimberley Valley and Wimberley area citizen who cares about the vitality of our water and all the springs, creeks, wells, plants, trees and people that water nourishes, to attend Tuesday’s TESPA meeting to learn more about how to stop this threat.