Scientific analysis of proposed pipeline released

April 2011 Vol. 66 No. 4

Southwest Texas Water Resources (STWR) released a white paper summarizing more than two years of scientific research on the Southwest Texas Water Project (STWP).

The proposed 70-mile regional pipeline would transport a maximum of 40,000 acre-feet of water annually from the Uvalde Pool of the Edwards Aquifer, diversifying San Antonio's water supply by pumping Edwards’ water from the Uvalde Pool rather than the San Antonio Pool. STWR and hydrogeologists at Pape-Dawson Engineers conducted the research.

The research led to the following conclusions:
• The STWP would increase water levels in the San Antonio Pool of the Edwards Aquifer, including spring flows in the environmentally sensitive Comal and San Marcos springs.
• The STWP would reduce the amount of time users in the San Antonio Pool face water restrictions, while maintaining the reliability of pumping for users in the Uvalde Pool.
• Pumping 40,000 acre-feet for the STWP would result in total pumping from the Uvalde Pool that is significantly lower than both historic pumping and currently permitted amounts.

"This project makes sense both from a scientific and public policy perspective," said Velma Danielson, former general manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) and a consultant to STWR. "At a time when the region is looking to diversify its water portfolio, why not consider all options that can help put the region on a more secure path toward managing and protecting our region's water supply?"

View the white paper at www.swtexaswaterproject.com in the “Project Impacts” section.