FAQs

An underground geologic formation that can store and transfer groundwater.

Yes, there are sand, sandstone, gravel, silt, and karst aquifers. The Edwards is a karst aquifer, which means it is made of porous and permeable rock that has been dissolved over time and stores water in fractures, conduits, and cavities.

The Texas Legislature created the EAA. It is governed by a 17-member board of directors charged with implementing the EAA Act

The EAA assesses aquifer management fees based on the amount of groundwater (measured in acre-feet) a permit holder is authorized to withdraw each year. Aquifer management fees for industrial and municipal users are based on an amount necessary to finance the programs authorized to be performed by the EAA Act. Aquifer management fees for agricultural users are capped at $2 per acre-foot in the EAA Act.

An acre-foot is a measuring unit for water. One acre-foot of water equals approximately 326,000 gallons.

The EAA manages, protects, and enhances the Edwards Aquifer system by limiting the amount of water that can be withdrawn each year in order to help keep San Marcos and Comal springs flowing to help protect the seven endangered species that call the springs home. The EAA’s management system is also intended to ensure a healthy water source for use by over 2 million South Texans. Clean, flowing water inhabited by native species is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

SAWS and other water utilities deliver water to consumers through public, contained water systems. They charge their users a fee for the service and may also pass through to their customers the cost of aquifer management fees paid to the EAA. The EAA does not provide water to users. The EAA’s mission is to ensure that all withdrawals from the aquifer, rather they be for agricultural, industrial, or municipal use are made within an overall limit established by the Texas Legislature.

The EAA declares when drought conditions warrant mandatory pumping reductions by permit holders. Sometimes a utility acts preemptively to help conserve enough water for use by all of its customers and to help the utility adhere to its annual authorized pumping allowance.

Unmanaged withdrawals and pollution.

Conservation, diversification, and education.