Adaptive Management - Edwards Aquifer Authority

Adaptive Management

This page is dedicated to Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP) Adaptive Management Plan actions (AMP; Funding & Management Agreement §7.0). AMP actions are taken in support of adapting the EAHCP’s programming to changing circumstances and lessons learned over the course of implementation.


Routine Adaptive Management

There are no Routine AMP actions completed or in-process, or this section has not yet been updated with this information.

Nonroutine Adaptive Management

Actions Adopted

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration Programs – Summer/Fall 2016

On September 15, 2016 a set of adaptive management modifications to the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) restoration programs in the EAHCP (see “Proposal for Nonroutine Adaptive Management,” below) were recommended by the Stakeholder Committee and approved by the Implementing Committee. This action was informed by a formal analysis of the SAV restoration programs, four years of EAHCP restoration team efforts by Texas State University and the cities of San Marcos and New Braunfels, and an extensive stakeholder consultation process. Several reports and memoranda were produced over the course of pursuing possible adaptive management leading up to the Committees’ final recommendation and approval on September 15, 2016. These various publications are provided below:

Proposed Substitution of Sedimentation Ponds under “Minimizing Impacts of Contaminated Runoff” – Spring 2017

A proposal for nonroutine adaptive management related to the “Minimizing Impacts of Contaminated Runoff” EAHCP Measure was submitted by the HCP Program Manager on March 6, 2017 on behalf of the City of San Marcos. This Measure calls for the construction of two sedimentation ponds at specific sites; through a research and development process associated with a related Measure culminating in the publication of a Water Quality Protection Plan (WQPP), the City of San Marcos has identified two alternative sites for these sedimentation ponds considered to be “advantageous alternatives” to what is prescribed in the EAHCP. This proposed Nonroutine AMP action was reviewed and evaluated at the March 8, 2017 Science Committee meeting and at the March 16, 2017 Stakeholder and Implementing Committee meetings. Relevant reports, citations, and analysis associated with this proposed action are provided below:

Sediment Removal and Impervious Cover/Water Quality Protection – Fall 2017

In August 2017, a strategy to improve the City of San Marcos and Texas State University Sediment Removal Conservation Measure and introduce Low-Impact Development through City Water Quality Protection Plans was proposed and presented to the EAHCP Implementing, Adaptive Management Stakeholder, and Adaptive Management Science Committees. The proposal was reviewed and recommended by the Science and Stakeholder Committees to ensure the proposed changes would achieve better habitat protection for the Covered Species. Documents pertaining to this action are provided below:

Use of the SAWS ASR for Springflow Protection – 2018

The Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan includes a springflow protection program that utilizes the San Antonio Water System Aquifer Storage and Recovery Facility for storage and recovery of leased Edwards Aquifer water. A proposal to replace the three-tiered lease option with a simplified two-tiered leasing agreement structure and to revise the Ten-Year Rolling Average of Estimated Recharge threshold to 500,000 acre-feet was presented to the EAHCP Implementing, Stakeholder and Science committees.  On February 12, 2018, the proposal was submitted to the USFWS for approval. Documents pertaining to this action are provided below:

Voluntary Irrigation Suspension Program Option (VISPO) Proposal – Spring 2019

On March 14, 2019, the EAHCP Program Manager submitted a proposal for nonroutine adaptive management to modify forbearance rates in the Voluntary Irrigation Suspension Program Option (VISPO) flow protection conservation measure (EAHCP § 5.1.2) from 40,000 acre-feet yr-1 to 41,795 acre-feet yr-1. The proposed modification is intended to achieve the minimum flow rate of 30.0 cfs in the Comal Spring system.

Documents pertaining to this action are provided below:

Strategic Adaptive Management

Strategic Adaptive Management Process Report – Spring 2020

The Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan Transition from Phase I to Phase II Summary Report and Administrative Record: Process, Activities, and Decisions serves as the official record for the SAMP and all activities undertaken throughout the process.

Strategic Adaptive Management Process – Spring 2019

The Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP) is categorized into two phases; Phase I (2013-2020) and Phase II (2020-2028). The transition between Phase I and Phase II was the Strategic Adaptive Management Process. As part of this transition process, a coordinated review of the Phase I Conservation Measures was used to determine the direction of the Phase II Conservation Measures. The following documents are the product of the SAMP review:

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