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Drought’s the Norm, Water’s Not

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Drought’s the Norm, Water’s Not

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This is day two of Stage 2 water restrictions for customers of Canyon Lake Water Service Company (CLWSC), and Annalisa Peace, executive director of Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA), said those who move to the arid Texas Hill Country would do well to remember that Canyon Lake is prone to cyclical droughts.

Click here to see a historical timeline.

She said in an interview July 5 that hard choices lie ahead for local government, as municipalities will be forced to decide between securing additional water supplies, which will be expensive, or adopting strict regulations to conserve water.

On Tuesday, residents of Vintage Oaks subdivisions found their water supply temporarily shut off, and CLWSC blamed the shutoff on noncompliance with drought restrictions in phone messages and emails.

Peace remembers the dry summer of 2005, when residents in Fair Oaks Ranch, located in Comal, Bexar and Kendall Counties, over-watered their lawns and overwhelmed the water system, shutting it down.

The city subsequently adopted water conservation rules encouraging residents to protect and conserve water at all times.

“Texas has had droughts for as long as we have been keeping records,” she said. “Many of the citizens who are moving to our area are not aware that we have cyclical droughts so, they plant landscapes that are not drought tolerant. The sheer number of people moving to our area are going to stress water supplies, even with conservation measures in place.”

St. Augustine grass — originally from Florida and suited to cultivation in tropical and subtropical regions with lots of rainfall — is the bane of conservationists’ existence in Central Texas.

“Were it up to me, we would just prohibit planting of St. Augustine grass throughout our region,” she said.

GEAA received state funding to work with City of Boerne and the Cow Creek Groundwater District to teach homeowners to conserve and protect Trinity Aquifer Groundwater Supplies.

A 2012 manual published by the groundwater district stresses the importance of conserving, capturing, and keeping water clean:

  • Conserve water means changing water culture from one that takes and uses water for granted and freely wastes it to a new water culture that considers it prices;
  • Capture water by harvesting rain so homeowners and businesses achieve water independence even in periods of drought;
  • Clean means protecting water underground and in reservoirs by minimizing pollutants in yards, on rangelands and on streets and by constructing and maintaining wells and septic systems properly.

Click here to read the manual. Click here to visit Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District’s website.

 

5 Comments

  1. Connie July 16, 2018

    It would be nice if our county government would require all new structures to have rainwater and AC condensation collection installed. The water collected from these sources would go into cisterns on the homeowners property. All the outdoor faucets would be plumbed to these cisterns. The homeowner would be free to water their lawn, wash their car, fill up their pool, etc. as long as there is collected water available. When that source is depleted the homeowner would need to wait until more water is collected. The indoor (life sustaining) water would still be provided from the water companies. This would alleviate a large draw from much needed sources. All potted plants on our property are watered from AC condensation we collect. It averages around 12 gallons/day.

    Reply
  2. Lee Stacy July 9, 2018

    If residential neighborhoods have and will continue to be restricted on water usage, how can the County allow for a huge water consuming industry like Vulcan to jeopardize all or our access to water when these droughts continue? Word is they will use 750,000 gallons/Day!
    What will be the recourse on them or is as we over task our water source?

    Reply
  3. Toni Lott July 9, 2018

    Why would she side with the homeowners on wanting lush lawns? All Ms Pease has ever done is work tirelessly to protect water resources. The day for lush green lawns is clearly over folks and no one knows this more than Ms Pease.

    Reply
  4. Milan J. Michalec July 8, 2018

    Thank you reporting on this timely subject. The Directors and Staff of the Cow Creek GCD (Kendall County) appreciate being mentioned in this article. The District originally printed 10,000 copies with the intent to put this manual into the hands of any individual who might have an interest in local water issues, especially with the Trinity Aquifer. They have also been distributed at a number of businesses, schools and each time public outreach is conducted. I’m pleased to say, that first-run was exhausted in 2016 and another 10,000 were printed. I urge anyone who wishes to have a printed copy to stop by the District office and ask for one (or two), they’re still free of charge. Visit the District’s website for directions to our office in Boerne. While you’re on the website, please take a look the videos at the bottom of the page to learn more about the Trinity Aquifer and how to use water with conservation in mind.
    Milan J. Michalec
    Director, Pct. 2 and President, Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District

    Reply
  5. Michael L. Maurer July 8, 2018

    Annalisa Peace will not remember this and perhaps she would side with homeowners and the temporary water district board members of the back then in 2001 ( SOUTHEAST TRINITY GROUNDWATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT) when I recommended the temporary Board adopt measures that would require xeriscaping in all new lawns. The temporary GCD Board responded that “homeowners have a right to a beautiful lawn.” So much for ‘real water conservation’. In my opinion, anybody that supports that a homeowner should have a superior right to a beautiful lush lawn over the rights of other people to have water for their human consumption is in the wrong and not a true water conservationist.

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