Travis County Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District for a Southwestern Travis County Hydrogeology Project on July 3. The county will provide $100,000 for the project, from funds earmarked to study regional water issues.
The project provides opportunities for the county to address “a huge data gap” about groundwater in the southwest portion of Travis County, said Brian Hunt, senior hydrogeologist with the Barton Springs District. Plans to inventory wells, sample groundwater and map the geology of the region will provide a better understanding of the groundwater resources of the Trinity Aquifer and help estimate current and future groundwater demand, he said.
“I’m very excited about the deliverables,” County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said. “This is going to fill a lot of gaps in knowledge.”
Outcomes include maps, charts, educational materials and outreach efforts to inform the public. Hunt said a technical document—a Hydrogeologic Atlas of Western Travis County—and digital data will be made available as well.
A public presentation, “Groundwater 101,” summarizing the Trinity Aquifer’s hydrologic and hydrogeologic characteristics, usage and options for management will take place two months after the study begins.
“I’m thrilled by the public aspect of this information,” Eckhardt said. “We’re developing a common understanding and a common data set for any of our local governmental entities, private entities [and] the public to use to better understand how we’re impacting our natural world.”