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Letter to the editor

Impervious cover change in SA leads to dismay

I was stunned by this message I received from Annalisa Peace, executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, on Sept. 16. Considering the urgent drought and groundwater challenges we face, I believe many will agree with me as they read this excerpt from her statement: “Dear GEAA members and friends, yesterday the San Antonio City Council voted unanimously to approve an increase of impervious cover on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone from 30 percent to 65 percent with no discussion. Equally troubling is the fact that SAWS staff, who are charged with enforcing San Antonio’s water quality regulations, approved of this increase.”

This decision will more than double impervious cover over the Edwards recharge zone. Despite recent rains, much of the state remains in drought conditions and groundwater levels are far below normal. These conditions are expected to persist into next year with more frequent and severe drought cycles. Over the summer, The Edwards Aquifer Authority imposed Stage 4 drought restrictions. Most regional communities were under similar restrictions as wells began to fail and rivers ceased flowing.

This is even more unacceptable considering the entire state is experiencing problems with groundwater supply, quality, increasing demand and worsening droughts. The last thing we need is to cripple another aquifer by paving it over. No development project can justify that cost.

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