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  • Meeting attendees Charlie and Marilyn Minnaar are new to the area and wanted well information. CENTURY NEWS PHOTO BY GARY ZUPANCIC

TESPA wants large water permit moratorium

“TESPA wants to keep all citizens and property owners informed on a complex legal issues. (We) want to provide accurate scientific data that helps us define our position to protect water and aquifer of this area,” Patrick Cox, PhD, emcee of the event, said.

A rally was held on July 27 at the Vista Brewery in Driftwood in order to encourage the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to adopt a moratorium on new large water permits until further scientific studies can be made concerning Middle Trinity Aquifer and impacts to existing groundwater resources. 

The Trinity Edwards Spring Protection Association (TESPA) and Hays County want to determine the impact of Electro Purifications pumping of  up to 2.5 million gallons of water per day or 289 million gallons per year. At present, Electro Purifications permit is still going through the State Office of Administrative Hearing process.

For anybody that lives in Central Texas or the Hill Country, water is a very valuable asset and its ownership is critical in the dry and drought ravaged terrain. The development of the area recently has made it critical necessity for residents and businesses. For the people who rallied at Vista Brewery last week, Electro Purification’s potential selling of water is a huge concern.

Representative Erin Zweiner, and the Hays County Precinct 1 and 3 Commissioners Debbie Ingalsbe and Lon Shell were also in attendance.

New to the area, Charlie and Marilyn Minnar came from the East Coast where they were on well water, but were never in need of freshwater. Coming to the TESPA event was a fact-finding mission for both.

“We have concerns for the water. There’s a lot of development. What about draw-down and its implications? We need information on it. TESPA seems to be well informed,” Charlie said.  “What’s going into the aquifer, that’s also a concern,” Marilyn said.

One way to get the word out was to have the event at a craft Brewery, Vista Brewery located in Driftwood, in a beautiful setting. Vista Brewing is located within the potential impact zone of aquifer drawdown if Electro Purification’s pumping causes the drop that TESPA expects. Getting the permitting process to slow down until more facts are learned was the main point.

 “TESPA wants to keep all citizens and property owners informed on a complex legal issues. (We) want to provide accurate scientific data that helps us define our position to protect water and aquifer of this area,” Patrick Cox, PhD, emcee of the event, said.

The informational event was low key, and stressed that the process is long term, not something that will be achieved in a short period of time. Everyone in attendance was in agreement that protecting water rights was essential.

“This is one battle we can’t afford to lose,” Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said. “…We need to preserve (water in) Hays County… and the people that want to take water away are not even from here.” 

“This is about protecting the water running under our feet. If it wasn’t about that we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. …Over-pumping (by EP) is one of our main concerns,” TESPA Executive Director Vanessa Puig-Williams said. She continued. ‘This is a moratorium that we are trying and encouraging to be adopted.”

Information on TESPA and the moratorium can be found at tespatexas.org.

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