City of Bulverde Mayor Bill Krawietz took aim at the State of Texas in the September issue of The Front Porch News, a city publication.
“Our drought is just so severe and only getting worse. Wells are going dry and brush fires are becoming more dangerous as the vegetation continues to die and dry out,” he said.
Despite these dire circumstances, Texas is still trying to attract way too many new businesses and residents without considering long-term consequences like empty aquifers.
“The only justification can be that the state receives an enormous amount of sales tax dollars from the growth and development,” Krawietz said. “This practice is not sustainable in my opinion.”
Years ago, the mayor said he included a stipulation in subdivision regulations that bans developers of new subdivisions from using ground wells for their water source. All high-density (less than one acre) and all medium-density (one to five acre) lots must be served by a source that is not the local aquifer.
“We know aquifers that lie beneath most of Bulverde are tight and are not abundant producers,” he said. “This is not the first time that some wells have begun to go dry or have gone dry completely — we have seen it before. I feel the city has done about everything within its legal authority to protect this fragile water source. Unfortunately, that is not much.
“I know that this approach then shifts the reliance on and depletion of the Canyon Lake Reservoir. I hate to see that, but as new water sources are eventually developed at least the distribution system is in place to connect to it. When a residential well goes dry the only real option is to haul water in if there is no rain to catch.”
Bulverde does not own or operate a water system and has no authority to impose or enforce restrictions on water usage by any of the customers served by privately held water companies, Krawietz said.
However, it does own and operate the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Singing Hills, which is certified by the state as a Chapter 210 Beneficial Reuse Facility.
Water from the plant is sold back to users to irrigate publicly accessed areas like public parks, athletic fields, residential lawns and schoolyards.
Krawietz said Walmart is the only business in Singing Hills that declined to connect to the reuse system.
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