U.S. Water News Online
AUSTIN -- Water preservationists, soaking wet from a steady
morning drizzle, gathered despite the rainfall and chilly
temperatures on the steps of the Texas Capitol recently to voice
opposition to water privatization initiatives across the state.
``Water is for people, not for profit,'' the group said repeatedly
during a morning rally before taking their case to state lawmakers.
After suffering through three droughts in the past six years,
cities around the state have struck multimillion-dollar deals to
ensure adequate supplies of water.
Most private water developers are trying to acquire rights to
groundwater, which is governed by the state's rule of capture. Under
the rule, landowners can do what they want with water under their
land. By contrast, the use of surface water is tightly restricted by
Under the rule of capture, water is a mineral right that can be
bought and sold.
In response to urban development they say threatens the Edwards
Aquifer, members of the Greater Edward's Aquifer Alliance has drafted
a plan they're presenting to lawmakers to ensure the availability of
water for current residents and springs.
The Edwards Aquifer is the main source of drinking water for the
San Antonio area.
The protection plan asks that real estate investors and developers
recognize that development of the Edwards Aquifer endangers the water
supply and to direct growth downstream.
``Government handouts to developers and others to support
development over the Edwards Aquifer should cease. No more special
taxing development districts in the recharge and contributing zones
of the aquifer should be allowed or approved by any state or local
government or agency,'' the all iance requests in the plan.
The plan also recommends that conservation districts with elected
directors be established over the entire aquifer to regulate water
consumption from groundwater aquifer sources and to control
``In Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio and in between, we're seeing
the same problems coming up with new development over the Edwards
Aquifer,'' said Colin Clark, a spokesman for Save Our Springs
Alliance. ``With this protection plan in hand, we will be able to
push for more open space throughout the region to keep our water
clean and provide needed park land for the public.''
The alliance is made up of environmental groups from across Texas
who endorse the protection plan.
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