Edwards Aquifer Authority Synoptic Water Level Program 1999-2004 Report

Author JM Hamilton, R Esquilin and GM Schindel
Year 2006
Description 1999-2004 synoptic water level study
Report Number 06-02
Publisher Edwards Aquifer Authority
Location Edwards Aquifer, Balcones Fault Zone, San Antonio Segment
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The Edwards Aquifer Optimization Program was created to better manage the Edwards Aquifer by furthering the understanding of the aquifer and the natural systems it supports. The goal of the Synoptic Water Level Study is to contrast the water level changes during low to high demand periods. By measuring wells in each county, the Authority is able to obtain an aquifer-wide ‘snapshot’ to determine aquifer groundwater level and flow conditions.  The data for the period 1999-2004 are summarized in the report.  The report includes a summary of the findings through 2004, as well as water level contour maps, and tables of all water level measurements collected.

This research project is being conducted in cooperation with the San Antonio Water System, Texas Water Development Board, and U.S. Geological Survey.

[From Recommendations and Conclusions]
…[T]he synoptic data reported herein effectively summarize the shape of the water surface in the Edwards Aquifer on a regional scale for a range of aquifer water levels. This summary was accomplished by collection, validation, and analysis of the 16 synoptic data sets included herein. The study also indicates that localized variations exist in the aquifer’s flow regime, with the most prominent variations apparently occurring between recharge and artesian zones. The study has also confirmed the need to collect focused synoptic data in order for more insight to be gained with regard to flowpaths within the aquifer. The variations detected in the recharge zone of Bexar County confirm the efficacy of additional data points (see Figure 5).…

This study has also effectively identified areas in need of more detailed investigation, such as the Knippa Gap, Cibolo Creek area, Hays County groundwater divide, and the interface between the Trinity and Edwards aquifers, as well as the recharge and artesian zone boundary within the Edwards Aquifer….

Collection of regional and focused synoptic data will help to improve the general understanding of the system and the flowpaths that exist within it.