Proposition 1, the Edwards Aquifer Protection Venue Project, would authorize the City of San Antonio to continue the watershed and preservation project initiated in 2000 and continued in 2005 and 2010. The 1/8 cent sales tax would collect $100 million for this project. The current conservation easement and land purchase portion of the venue project would continue to be funded at $90 million. The remaining $10 million would be dedicated for Edwards Aquifer protection projects within urbanized areas of Bexar County’s recharge and contributing zones that would improve Edwards Aquifer water quality.
Before the previous elections, there was no program of this scale designed to identify and protect sensitive land located over the aquifer.
More than 85% of drinking water used by SAWS customers comes from the Edwards Aquifer.
Uvalde, Medina and Bexar Counties make up 63% of the sensitive recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer.
70% of the total annual recharge for the Edwards Aquifer originates in Medina and Uvalde counties.
Streams and watersheds located in the contributing zone north of Bexar County play a vital role in the water quality that enters the Edwards Aquifer.
The City has been able to protect 133,447 acres (and counting) of the Edwards Aquifer through the current program. This equates to 13% of the entire Edwards Aquifer recharge zone or 20.5% of the recharge zone that directly impacts the City of San Antonio.
Protected properties range in size from 50 to 16,000 acres and are located primarily over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.
Community advisory teams comprised of geologists, hydrologists and other aquifer experts prioritize properties over the relevant sections of the Edwards Aquifer based on their environmental characteristics and undeveloped area in order to achieve maximum value for voter-approved dollars.
Funds approved and collected through Proposition 1 would be used to purchase land or interest in land to continue the Edwards Aquifer protection initiative, monitor the condition of those lands in perpetuity, preserve the most environmentally sensitive properties located over the aquifer inside and outside of Bexar County, and to develop Edwards Aquifer protection projects exclusively in Bexar County.
The Edwards Aquifer is San Antonio’s primary source of water and is important to the City’s economic viability. Rainfall enters the aquifer through fractures, caves, sinkholes and other features replenishing the aquifer. However, development over the aquifer’s recharge and contributing zones negatively impacts the quality and quantity of water entering our aquifer and reduces the number of recharge features needed to maintain San Antonio’s primary water resource. While rules are in place to regulate urban or incompatible development, the most effective way to protect the aquifer is to acquire and protect sensitive and irreplaceable land located over its recharge and contributing zones.
– From City of San Antonio’s Guide to 2015 Sales Tax Propositions