Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program and HB 2760 and companion SB 1595
HB 2760 and identical companion SB 1595 have been filed. They relate to species-protection programs for the Edwards Aquifer, the Guadalupe River Basin, the San Antonio River Basin, and the San Antonio Bay and estuary system and they impose, with voters’ approval, a minimum tax of one fourth of one percent that can be increased by the authorities according to needs, and not to be abolished or decreased during the implementation program. The endangered species are those determined by TPWD, the Advisory Board, or the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the San Antonio River Authority. The bills include other administrative and bureaucratic regulations.
Landowners in the area covered should be aware of these bills. To find out more or read the bills please click www.capitol.state.tx.us.
To know more about the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP), please visit http://earip.org/Default.aspx.
The next EARIP meeting is Thursday March 24, 2011 from 10 AM to 4 PM at the San Antonio Water System Customer Service Building in San Antonio, TX.
History: The Edwards Aquifer is a unique groundwater resource, extending 180 miles from Brackettville in Kinney County to Kyle in Hays County It is the primary source of drinking water for over 2 million people in south central Texas and serves the domestic, agricultural, industrial, and recreational needs of the area. It is also the source of two major springs.
It is also the home of eight endangered species and the center since 1991 of a lawsuit launched by Sierra Club to protect the species.
In late 2006, FWS brought together stakeholders from throughout the region to participate in a unique collaborative process to develop a plan to contribute to the recovery of federally-listed species dependent on the Edwards Aquifer. This process is referred to as the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (“EARIP”). In May 2007, the Texas Legislature directed the EAA and certain other state and municipal water agencies to participate in the EARIP and to prepare a FWS-approved plan by 2012 for managing the Aquifer to preserve the listed species at Comal and San Marcos Springs. The Legislature directed that the plan must include recommendations regarding withdrawal adjustments during critical periods that ensure that federally-listed species associated with the Edwards Aquifer will be protected.