The Edwards Aquifer-
A unique groundwater resource, extending 180 miles from Brackettville in Kinney County to Kyle in Hays County. It is the primary source of drinking water for over 2 million people in south central Texas and serves the domestic, agricultural, industrial, and recreational needs of the area. The Edwards Aquifer is the source of the only two major springs remaining in Texas. These springs feed the San Marcos and Comal Rivers; both tributaries to the Guadalupe River.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority-
In 1991, the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit under the Federal Endangered Species Act that resulted in the creation of the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA). The Texas Legislature directed the EAA to regulate pumping from the aquifer, implement critical period management restrictions, and pursue measures to ensure minimum continuous springflows of the Comal and San Marcos Springs are maintained to protect endangered and threatened species to the extent required by federal law.
The Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program-
In late 2006, FWS brought together stakeholders from throughout the region to participate in a unique collaborative process to develop a plan to contribute to the recovery of federally-listed species dependent on the Edwards Aquifer. This process is referred to as the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP). In May 2007, the Texas Legislature directed the EAA and certain other state and municipal water agencies to participate in the EARIP and to prepare a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-approved plan by 2012 for managing the Aquifer to preserve the listed species at Comal and San Marcos Springs. For EARIP meeting documents see our archive.