COMAL SPRINGS IS DRY!
WE MUST CONSERVE OUR WATER!
Comal Springs is Dying!
We are living in a time in where it is extremely important to understand the critically bad situation of our natural Comal Springs, our Lake, our Comal River, and the Edwards Aquifer. We need to educate the public better within New Braunfels, as well as Comal County, about water conservation and the importance about what is going on with our Lifeblood, our water.
This dire situation currently happening to our natural springs does not weigh heavily on the minds of the developers. These developers are affecting out growth at an unprecedented rate, a historical rate.
With every new development announced in New Braunfels from our great out-of-town developers, this question is never asked or answered: Where is all the water that will support such future growth? The answer: Crickets. I have yet to see a real, educated answer from any developer.
Our city and the whole region of South-Central Texas has been going through an extreme drought. We've seen long periods of heat and no rain. This did not allow for the Edwards Aquifer and the Comal Springs to heal itself and replenish. We also face the fact that more businesses and people are moving into the area and consuming all the little water we do have left. The Edwards Aquifer, our Comal Springs, our Comal River, are the lifeblood of our city and the county.
If we do not solve what we are doing, not only to the water systems and the citizens of our city, but to the endangered species of animals in the immediate area, then we are performing a mighty disservice and essentially enabling their demise. We must take this situation very seriously and today I dare say we are not.
Here is a quick history lesson on the water situation at Landa Park, our Comal Springs, and the Edwards Aquifer. You can see the drastic speed of time at which water restrictions are announced - A direct result of the over-growth of our great city:
Jun. 06, 2018 - New Braunfels upgrades to Stage 2 water restrictions. New Braunfels Utilities reported that due to high temperatures, increased water usage and the level of the Edwards Aquifer, Stage 1 water restrictions have been upgraded.
Oct. 19, 2020, New Braunfels went into Stage 1 restrictions.
Sep 2, 2021, New Braunfels entered Stage 1 water restrictions. The Edwards Aquifer’s J-17 test well dropped to 659.8 feet above mean sea level (msl). Stage 1 prohibits outdoor fountains and waterfalls, requires variance confirmations from NBU’s Environmental Affairs Division before watering new landscaping, and limits home vehicle washing to assigned watering days and times and is conducted over porous surfaces. And yet, Car Washes are operating at maximum rate, all day long.
March 9, 2022 - On the entrance of Spring, the Edwards Aquifer J-17 well hit 660.0-feet, triggering Stage 1 Drought Restrictions.
April 2022 - Stage 2 water restrictions and should have been Level 3. Historically, when the Edwards Aquifer J-17 Well registers below 640-feet for 10 straight days, NBU imposes the third stage of drought restrictions to help curtail water usage to preserve the aquifer level and Comal River spring flow. It is NBU’s responsibility to inform and make recommendations to the Mayor of New Braunfels when drought conditions warrant entering the next stage level. Our current Mayor was warned several times and he decided to wait to issue stage 3 water level restrictions as the critical Edwards aquifer continued to drop below the 640-foot level mark.
NBU typically follows the drought stage triggers outlined by the Edwards Aquifer Authority, which would require the utility to reduce its draw from the aquifer by 35% during a third stage. The Mayor waited for two whole months to issue the level 3 water restrictions.
June 13, 2022 - The Edwards Aquifer Authority had declared Stage 3 water restrictions for pumpers from the underground reservoir as the drought worsened. But two major pumpers, the City of San Antonio, and the City of New Braunfels, struck with Stage 2 restrictions. Why?
NBU has not enforced Stage 3 watering restrictions since 2015. The severity of drought conditions and concern over spring flow prompted a declaration.
June 20, 2022 - Portions of the Comal Springs stopped flowing and New Braunfels landed into Stage 3 water restrictions. The new restrictions were necessary because the drought was putting Spring flow at risk and was threatening all the endangered species in the area.
Today, March 4, 2023 – New Braunfels is immediately at level 3 water restrictions, bypassing levels 1 and 2. We were sitting at level 1 during this time the year before and Level 3 did not come for another three months. We seem to be getting much worse, much faster. And yet, we continue to build and expand as if nothing is happening.
Our Comal Springs has nothing coming out of it, absolutely nothing. Our Springs has dried up. Is there ever going to be a time at which the Springs will ever come back to normalcy? Should we erect a historical marker next to where to Springs used to be so that our citizens visiting what’s left of Landa Park can read about how we used to have a beautiful and natural and healthy flowing Springs? We are failing our environment, our plants and animals, and the entire community, because we choose to do nothing. Our leadership chooses to grow and to expand and … do nothing!
We must stop the growth! We must protect our natural Comal Springs, the Lake, the Comal River, and the Edwards Aquifer before it is too late!
All references and information come from the KSAT News Brief, the Herald-Zeitung, and NBU.
To learn more about conserving water, visit nbutexas.com/conservation