In her guest column on Dec. 24, 2022, Annalisa Peace made a case for land conservation on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. I am writing to support her recommendation, in particular for Comal County. As she points out, the Edwards Aquifer undergoes rapid recharge from rainfall. This is because limestone formations at the surface, particularly the Edwards, are slowly dissolved by rainwater. This enlarges passages for water along fractures and pores. Dye-trace studies have clearly shown rapid movement of water into and through the aquifer and therefore the potential for rapid transport of pollutants into the drinking water supply.
This part of the Texas Hill Country is rapidly growing. For example, Comal County’s population increased by 59% from 2010 to 2022, with much of the growth in unincorporated areas. A trend toward high density housing development replaces land, which would otherwise pass water into the subsurface, with impervious cover. The increased runoff contributes excess lawn fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides as well as pet waste to the water supply. This is aside from contributing effluent from on-site waste treatment facilities.
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