top of page

TGR NEWS - March 2024

If you missed a previous issue of our newsletters, just click here to read and or download those issues.

TGR Resource Banner-2_edited.jpg
National Groundwater Awareness Week in March 

National Groundwater Awareness Week is an annual observance established in 1999 to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater. The event is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance, and the promotion of policies impacting groundwater quality and supply. Groundwater advocates across the country also use GWAW to highlight local water issues in their communities.

Since groundwater is such a vital element of our entire society's progress, we thought you might want to know how you can make a difference in preserving and protecting the groundwater in Bexar County. Here is our Top 10 recommendations for you to follow.

Water Conservation

 

Go native
Use native plants in your landscape. They look great, and don’t need much water or fertilizer. Also choose grass varieties for your lawn that are adapted for your region’s climate, reducing the need for extensive watering or chemical applications.

Don’t let it run
Shut off the water when you brush your teeth or while shaving, and don’t let it run while waiting for it to get cold. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge instead.

Fix the drip
Check all the faucets, fixtures, toilets, and taps in your home for leaks and fix them right away, or install water conserving models.

Wash smarter
Limit yourself to just a five-minute shower, and challenge your family members to do the same! Also, make sure to only run full loads in the dish and clothes washers.

Water wisely
Water the lawn and plants during the coolest parts of the day and only when they truly need it. Make sure you, your family, and your neighbors obey any watering restrictions during dry periods.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle
Reduce the amount of “stuff” you use and reuse what you can. Recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, aluminum and other materials.

Pollution Prevention

 

Natural alternatives
Use all natural/nontoxic household cleaners whenever possible. Materials such as lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar make great cleaning products, are inexpensive, and environmentally-friendly.

 

Reduce chemical use
Use fewer chemicals around your home and yard, and make sure to dispose of them properly — don't dump them on the ground!

Manage waste
Properly dispose of potentially toxic substances like unused chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paint, motor oil, and other substances. Many communities hold household hazardous waste collections or sites — contact your local health department to find one near you.

Learn and do more!
Get involved in water education! Learn more about groundwater and share your knowledge with others.

Go Gardening March Episode Features EAA Education Outreach Center and New Texas Native Plant Nursery in SA
Mark and Sarah rainwater harvesting.jpeg

Go Gardening host Mark Peterson talks with EAA's Sarah Valdez about the rainwater harvesting system at the Education Outreach Center in Northern Bexar County.

The popular Go Gardening video series is a project being produced by the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District and Gardening Volunteers of South Texas. Go Gardening is also made possible through co-title sponsor Edwards Aquifer Authority and San Antonio River Authority.​

Go Gardening's March show kicks off at the new Edwards Aquifer Authority Education Outreach Center (EOC). We talked with Sarah Valdez, who manages the center, to find out about the exhibits and how they teach people about the Edwards Aquifer. The Edwards is still the primary source of water for nearly three million people living in the Edwards Aquifer Region. As a special treat, we toured the EOC's garden. And while it is still mostly in "winter mode," we have some video and photos to show you what it looks like in summer. It's a great segment with a few surprises tossed in along the way.​

Next, Go Gardening visited Pollinatives, the newest all native plant nursery in San Antonio. Owner and native plant specialist Don Gerber showed us around the nursery. In addition to having many of the favorite native plants, Don also carries some natives that are not so familiar and a little harder to find. Plus, Pollinatives carries a huge line of succulents for your garden. Don gave the details on plants for shady areas and those that flourish in the full Texas sunshine. You'll get some great recommendations to include in your spring garden this year.

 

Go Gardening's mission is to help people conserve water in the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers by teaching homeowners how to convert turfgrass areas to low-to-no water use landscapes featuring native plants.

You can now watch those past Go Gardening Episodes on GVST's YouTube channel.

Camp Bullis Receives Major Grant for Conservation Research
Camp Bullis 2.jpeg

The Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape Partnership’s (CBSL) grant proposal to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has been fully funded for roughly $502,000. This project will result in the creation of a critical resources to enable strategic, on-the-ground conservation work in the CBSL project area with the CBSL Groundwater Study.

 

Camp Bullis, which straddles the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers, along with surrounding communities, relies on karst aquifers for drinking water and other important uses. Increasing population growth and development throughout the CBSL project area has and continues to bring increased risks to the aquifer system, and subsequently the wildlife and people that depend on it. 

 

Currently, there is a lack of information on aquifer dynamics across the CBSL project area. Without knowing where groundwater is flowing from, where it is being depleted, and where it is being recharged, one cannot optimally protect this essential resource. To that end, CBSL will implement a groundwater study to identify groundwater flow paths within and between the Edwards and Trinity aquifers and increase the understanding of where areas of groundwater depletion and recharge might be affecting the aquifers. The study will be performed by the USGS Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center along with collaboration by Hill Country Groundwater Conservation Districts along with the EAA and other CBSL partners. By focusing on cross-communication between aquifers, this study will fill a significant data gap and result in water-level maps and reports that enable groundwater protection.

 

The lack of aquifer data with which to compare water levels in the Edwards Aquifer to those in the Upper, Middle, and Lower zones of the Trinity Aquifer limits the CBSL Partnership’s ability to protect this critical resource. These missing landscape-scale data are needed to understand where depletion, recharge, and communication between aquifers is happening. The proposed CBSL Groundwater Study will fill this critical data gap, providing an understanding of groundwater communication (i.e., flow paths) within and between the zones of the Trinity Aquifer and Edwards Aquifer.

 

Learn more about the CBSL partnership here.

TGR Updates its Database Management Capabilities
code.jpg

Roughly two years ago, the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) set out to update its groundwater data management and integrated mapping system. After a rigorous request for proposals and interview process, TGR chose Halff Associates (Halff) to deliver the new system. Halff has been providing groundwater database solutions to Districts across Texas since 2010.

 

Halff proposed starting with its own Groundwater Management System (GMS) solution which is a fully integrated web-based data management, analysis, reporting and mapping application. GMS was specifically designed as a base platform that provides the framework for a district-specific database. It is fully customizable and allowed TGR to select the applications it needed. 

 

“As the District has grown over the years, we have continually worked to stay up to date with the latest geologic assessment technologies, groundwater modeling capabilities and other science-based advancements associated with managing the Trinity Aquifer within our district and the region,” said TGR General Manager Amanda Maloukis. “At some point, all of the data produced by that

“At some point, all of the data produced by that technology has to be readily accessible and manageable for it to be used effectively. Consequently, we knew our existing database management system needed to be improved and so we undertook a thorough consultant selection process so we could get to work in updating the District’s system. We’re extremely pleased with our new data management capabilities and look forward to sharing more information about this new tool in the future.”

 

In creation of the database a public mapping tool was developed that is available to the public for informational purposes that you can find at the District’s website here. Please contact the TGR office for any assistance with the tool.

TGR District Still in Drought Stage 2

Northern Bexar County received much needed rain this past January. Though it is the second wettest January on record and we saw a range of 4”-6” of rain over a weeks period, the district is split between severe drought conditions on the west side to moderate drought on the east side of the district.

 

The rainfall raised Trinity aquifer levels at all district well monitoring stations slightly to moderately, but further recovery is still vital. With 2022 being the area’s second driest year on record and 2023 being the hottest year on record with below average rainfall, this compounded our declining aquifer levels, so recovery is still needed. Years with normal rainfall amounts help water supplies recover and keep up with ongoing demand. Our Hill Country neighbors to the north received less rainfall than our area, which is where it really matters to benefit the reservoirs and aquifers upstream.

The increased rainfall and aquifer levels are a hopeful sign that we will continue to receive rainfall over the next few months and see more effects of El Nino showers we just experienced this past January. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center shows Texas to see average or slightly above average levels of rain over the next 3 months.

 

With these slight improvements the District is rolling back to Drought Stage 2. The aquifer levels are still in a recovery stage and still below healthy levels. While in the recovery stage the aquifer benefits from a boost in water conservation efforts right now. Stage 2 still indicates for us to maintain year-round conservation and moderate efforts. Find more information on water restrictions here.

 

We are currently not in the season for lawn watering and ask any lawn watering practices to maintain watering on your designated watering days. See the weekly recommended lawn and bed watering advice here, at Garden Style San Antonio put out by SAWS. 

Texas Drought Monitor Map

Current drought conditions for Texas as of March 12, 2024.

March 2024 drought monitor graphic.jpeg

You can find out more information where Texas drought conditions stand each day by visiting the U.S. Drought Monitor website at: https://www.drought.gov/states/texas.

TGR DISTRICT
NEWS
BRIEFS
Newspaper.png

TGR Resource Newsletter to Publish Quarterly

The TGR Resource Newsletter will be moving to quarterly editions rather than monthly. You can look for the next edition of TGR Resource around the first Friday of February of each quarter. If there are any special announcements, we will send those out via our email notice system. And, we will be updating our News Page and social media channels as needed for time-sensitive information.

 

Texas Water News - Teas Water Webinars

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department administers educational webinars for their Texas Waters Specialist program. All webinars are open to the public, including upcoming offerings on San Antonio's water supply, Proposition 6, desalination, and more. Click here to learn about the program.

 

Tips for Private Well Owners

For domestic water well owners there are no federal or state requirements for monitoring drinking water quality as there are for public water supply systems.  Likewise, there are no “right to know” reports informing well owners of the quality of their drinking water and no requirements for treatment. Proper well practices are crucial to protecting water quality and well longevity.

 

Groundwater Awareness Week (GWAW) is taking place March 10-16 in 2024

Since 1999, the U.S. has celebrated Groundwater Awareness Week (GWAW) to highlight the responsible development, pollution prevention and water quantity management of groundwater around the country. Groundwater advocates across the country also use GWAW to highlight local water issues in their communities. Find out more here.

 

The National Ground Water Association and its partners will be focusing their advocacy on promoting professional opportunities in the groundwater industry. According to the American Geosciences Institute, nationally there are more than 135,000 open positions in the industry now, which is far too high to keep up with consumer demand.

TGR Tips 2.png
Did you know…

The Trinity Aquifer is one of the most extensive and highly used groundwater resources in Texas. Although its primary use is for municipalities, it is also used for irrigation, livestock, and other domestic purposes. The subsurface area of the aquifer covers 21,308 square miles.

drop 3 wave blue.png
Download the Trinity Glen Rose District 2022 Annual Report 
Screenshot 2023-07-05 at 9.26.03 AM.png

The Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District published its 2022 Annual Report after TGR board approval in April.

The 2022 Annual Report provides good background on the:

  •  purpose of the district

  •  district goals

  •  current leadership

  •  well monitoring work

  •  financial position, and

  •  community outreach programs

You can download the 2022 TGR Annual Report here.

bottom of page