Wednesday, February 08, 2017Register
 Edwards Aquifer Water Quality and Quantity

Degradation of aquifer water quality can lead to detrimental effects on species that rely on the aquifer for habitat. In the case of the Edwards Aquifer, various threatened and endangered species rely on that habitat for survival. For example, the endangered San Marcos Gambusia (Gambusia georgei) is recorded as extremely sensitive to habitat alteration; changes in water turbidity or temperature in particular. Managing the changes in water quality is critical to the stewardship of these threatened and endangered species.

Edwards is a karst aquifer, with a great deal of limestone, which is highly soluble rock. A karst aquifer has many fissures and conduits, resulting in rapid groundwater flow and great interconnectivity between surface and groundwater. For Edwards, this means relatively fast recharge time; the aquifer is very sensitive to precipitation. Changes in precipitation show the rapid response of the aquifer's water level. The figures at the bottom display precipitation and groundwater level changes over the years; note the rapid response time of the aquifer to the changes in precipitation.

Explore the Edwards Aquifer Karst Mapping Application, with data layers for Groundwater and Surface Water Quality and Quantity, Critical Habitat for the Karst Threatened and Endangered Species, Precipitation data and more.

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