Aquifer Protection Program
For inquiries contact Susan Hughes, Executive Director.
The Edwards Aquifer is San Antonio’s primary source of drinking water. In 2000, the citizens of San Antonio recognized the need to protect this vital resource and approved a 1/8-cent local sales tax to fund the identification and purchase of sensitive properties over the aquifer. The properties range in size from 50 to 1,164 acres and are located primarily over north central and northwest Bexar County.
The City of San Antonio selected Green Spaces Alliance – along with The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land – as one of three land-protecting entities that would implement Proposition Three. Green Spaces Alliance’s work on the project resulted in the acquisition of more than 1,800 acres of aquifer-protecting parkland for the public.
In 2005 and again in 2010, San Antonio’s voters approved another 1/8-cent sales tax to fund the protection of the Edwards Aquifer. Under Proposition One, the City of San Antonio purchases conservation easements on private property located over the sensitive Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone in Bexar, Medina, and Uvalde Counties.
At the start of the program, a team of experts evaluated parcels of land to determine which land was most vital to the protection of the aquifer based on geological, biological, and hydrological criteria. The City of San Antonio then enlisted three land agencies to approach these landowners about placing conservation easements on their property. Green Spaces Alliance is the only one of the three land agencies that is based in San Antonio and whose sole mission is to keep more of South Texas green.
Over the years, Green Spaces’ work on Proposition One has protected nearly 20,000 acres of land over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. One of the protected properties – the Record Buck Ranch – includes the Seco Sinkhole, which contributes hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to the aquifer every year.