Michelle Martinez, 210-207-6122
(San Antonio, TX – March 30, 2017) - On Thursday, City Council took an important step in protecting Edwards Aquifer recharge water quality for current and future San Antonio residents through its authorization for the City of San Antonio to acquire a conservation easement on the Middle Verde Ranch, a 2,830 acre property located in Medina and Bandera County.
The City’s Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP) obtains property rights from private land owners through purchase of property, conservation easements or donation of land over sensitive zones of the Edwards Aquifer. The EAPP was initiated in 2000 through voter approval of Proposition 3, a 1/8-cent sales tax venue for acquisition of lands over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone in Bexar County for parks and watershed protection. The program has been expanded to watershed protection outside of Bexar County and approved by voters again in 2005, 2010, and 2015.
The Conservation Advisory Board (CAB), a nine-member committee, which serves as City Council’s recommending body for EAPP activities, approved the recommendation for acquisition of the Middle Verde Ranch conservation easement in January 2017. “Middle Verde Ranch is one of the most important properties the City has obtained,” said Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. “Acquiring an easement on it will continue our outstanding record of protecting water quality for San Antonio residents and the Edwards Aquifer.”
“Through collaboration with private property owners the City of San Antonio continues to preserve the Edwards Aquifer as one of our most important natural resources,” said Xavier Urrutia, Parks and Recreation Director. “We are excited by the continued success of these efforts.”
A geological assessment conducted by Edwards Aquifer Authority confirmed that preservation of the Middle Verde Ranch property would provide very high water quality and high quantity benefits to the City of San Antonio because of its size, location and number of karst recharge features. The EAPP, in cooperation with Edwards Aquifer Authority, will conduct annual monitoring visits to ensure compliance with the easement. With City Council’s approval of the Middle Verde Ranch conservation easement, over 146,000 acres of watershed property located in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge and Contributing Zones is now perpetually protected from being compromised by rapidly encroaching development in Bexar and Medina Counties.