The Edwards Aquifer Conservancy’s mission is to support and benefit the work of the Edwards Aquifer Authority. The Authority manages, enhances and protects the Edwards Aquifer – the primary source of water for personal, agricultural, commercial and industrial use. Its jurisdiction covers 8,000 square miles and ranges from Uvalde to Hays Counties, and parts in-between, and serves over 2.5 million people in South Central Texas daily.
The Edwards Aquifer
The Edwards Aquifer is a karst aquifer, consisting of porous, honeycombed formations of Edwards Limestone and other associated limestone. They serve as natural conduits through which water travels and is stored underground. Water reaches the aquifer as rain runoff collects on the drainage area (Edwards Plateau), soaks into the water table, and then emerges as spring-fed streams that flow downhill to the recharge zone. In the recharge zone, where the Edwards Limestone is exposed at the land surface, the water enters the aquifer through cracks, crevices, caves, and sinkholes, and then percolates further underground into the artesian zone.
Here, a complex network of interconnected spaces, varying in size from microscopic pores to open caverns, stores and carries water in a west to east direction. Because water in the artesian zone is under pressure, there are areas where water is forced back to the surface through openings such as springs and free-flowing wells. Where there is not enough artesian pressure to force water to the surface, wells equipped with pumps can extract water.
Why it Matters
Water is life, pure and simple. Without it, there are no homes to build, businesses to operate, farms to irrigate, animals to raise, no industries to grow and prosper, and most importantly, none to drink and stay alive. Water fuels and sustains our hopes and dreams, and the lack of it is our worst nightmare. The state of Texas has empowered the Edwards Aquifer Authority to manage this unique and vital resource which resides several hundred feet below, and whose daily impact towers over all of us. Without the Edwards Aquifer, cities like Uvalde, San Antonio, New Braunfels and San Marcos simply don’t exist.