Rodney T. Smith, Ph.D., President of the Board of Managers of Southwest Texas Water Resources, LP (STWR) today made a presentation to the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) detailing an environmentally responsible approach to managing the aquifer -- the proposed Uvalde Water Project. The privately funded effort combines environmental and endangered species protection, economic development plans, and ensures that the water needs of farmers and residents are not compromised. Implementation of the Uvalde Water Project would require a change in Texas law, and the EARIP could consider recommending that the Texas Legislature take notice of the project’s environmental benefits as a resource management tool during its deliberations.
“The Uvalde Water Project represents a balanced and innovative approach that, when teamed with conservation efforts, respects the region’s environment and agricultural heritage, while also delivering a powerful economic boost to the region,” Dr. Smith said. “The Project will strengthen the economic base of Uvalde County by creating a new local water company, stronger agricultural sector, and construction of the company’s well field and pipeline. The result will be 100 new jobs and increased annual economic output in Uvalde County by $15 million from the water company and strengthened agricultural sector. Construction of the Project will create an additional 173 new jobs and increase the County’s output by $44 million.”
The Uvalde Water Project (uvaldewaterproject.com) involves the creation of a water company based in Uvalde County to develop, finance and operate a well field in Uvalde County and a regional water pipeline from Uvalde County to Bexar County. Well field locations have been selected to avoid the recharge zone, risk of water contamination from both known sources and surface activities, or interfere with other pumpers in the Uvalde Pool. Alternative routes for the regional pipeline have been identified that avoid habitat of listed endangered species, known and potential cultural resource sites, center pivot locations, and population centers, as well as other technical factors to assure a well-designed and reliable project.
“The Uvalde Water Project protects springflows and offers San Antonio and Medina County a cost-effective solution to ensure superior water supply reliability,” Smith said. “By avoiding further concentration of pumping in the San Antonio Pool of the Edwards Aquifer, there will be less pressure on the environmentally critical San Marcos Springs and Comal Springs. The Project strikes the perfect balance between resource management, environmental protection and economic development. We appreciate the opportunity to make this presentation before the EARIP and look forward to working with them to manage and protect the region’s natural resources.”
About The Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program
The Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) is a collaborative, consensus-based stakeholder process in Texas. Many stakeholders are working to develop a plan to protect the federally-listed species potentially affected by the management of the Edwards Aquifer and other activities.
About Southwest Texas Water Resources
Southwest Texas Water Resources (STWR) is a private business founded to protect and develop water resources across the United States to meet growing municipal needs for reliable and affordable water supplies consistent with environmental stewardship.