Letter from the General Manager – May 2024

Westbay and District staff finishing the installation of the multiport equipment in Zilker Park on Friday, May 24.

As I write, the District is completing the installation of our newest multiport well in Zilker Park. With a grant from the City of Austin’s Barton Springs Salamander Conservation Fund, the new multiport well marks the 8th in the District’s extensive network of monitoring wells. This new well, situated close to the iconic Barton Springs Pool, will enhance our understanding of the water quality, including dissolved oxygen, coming from the different strata of the aquifer that feed the springs and provide sustenance for the two federally-listed salamanders. The District’s partners, the City of Austin and the U.S. Geological Survey, will also benefit from the new well and data that will eventually flow from it.

Not far away, the new Garrison Park well will also add to our understanding of aquifer water levels and, to a more limited extent, water quality in the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. For both new wells, the District benefited from additional funding support from Magellan Midstream Partners, which was recently acquired by ONEOK. Look for a report to come later this year about our initial findings from these new wells.

Summer weather is upon us and we’re hoping for more rain in the days and weeks ahead. The District remains in Stage II Alarm drought and next month will mark 24 months of consecutive drought. While everything around us is green and growing thanks to some recent rain, our well monitoring network indicates that our aquifers haven’t received the recharge they need.

Be sure to check out the District’s new website. We think you’ll find it much easier to access the information you need. And please let us know if you can’t find something you’d like to know.

Yours in conservation,