Trinity Aquifer Sustainable Yield Study Receives Strong Support

On Wednesday, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District announced the Trinity Aquifer Sustainable Yield Study received strong support from local government entities.

The sustainable yield of an aquifer is the amount of groundwater that can be pumped from the aquifer without causing unreasonable impacts to other water-supply wells and springs. 

The Trinity Aquifer is the primary groundwater supply for Hill Country residents in Hays and Travis Counties, and the Trinity Aquifer springs help sustain iconic Hill Country streams. 

With limited water resources and exceptional population growth in Hays and Travis Counties, the effects of groundwater pumping are already being seen with reduced spring flow and long-term lowering of water levels in the Trinity Aquifer and underscore the importance of science-based policies.

On October 22, Hays County approved an interlocal agreement that will involve the installation of two groundwater monitor wells near Jacob’s Well and sampling of groundwater in the vicinity of Jacob’s Well. 

On October 1, Travis County approved the continuation of groundwater study for southwest Travis County.  Recent strong support from Hays and Travis Counties provides funding that will help fill critical data gaps for the Trinity Aquifer Sustainable Yield Study.

For over 10 years, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (District) has been collaborating with the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District and local and regional organizations to study the Trinity Aquifers of Hays and Travis Counties.

Since the annexation of an additional portion of Hays County into the District in 2015 (with the passage of House Bill 3405), these efforts have increased substantially.

These efforts include geologic investigations, aquifer recharge studies, water-level studies, water-quality analyses, aquifer (pumping) tests, development of a conceptual model, and groundwater modeling. 

To effectively manage an aquifer system, scientists and managers must have a good understanding of how the aquifer functions. This is the foundation for science-based policies.

Understanding of aquifer dynamics comes from a broad spectrum of studies and data. From these studies, scientists and groundwater managers can determine the sustainable yield of an aquifer.

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