Groundwater Stewardship Awards
The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District will present stewardship awards in the Fall of 2013 to deserving individuals, organizations, companies or agencies that have invested exemplary effort towards the protection and conservation of water resources in the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. The Stewardship Awards happen every other year (odd years), and we are currently soliciting nominations.
The District will accept nominations in these categories:
- Water Conservation - Honors efforts to use water wisely. Home owners, water suppliers, businesses, and builders/developers are all eligible for this award.
- Water Quality Protection - Honors efforts that focus on water quality issues such as water monitoring, sampling and testing, pollution prevention (such as creek cleanups), and land use practices to reduce non-point source pollution.
- Education - Honors efforts to educate individuals, neighborhoods, school groups, professional contacts, or an entire community about water-related issues.
- Research - Honors efforts that lead to improved understanding or advanced practices in areas such as groundwater, hydrogeology, water treatment, alternative water supplies, well drilling, or structural and non-structural best management practices to reduce non-point source pollution.
- Innovation, honors efforts that incorporate new and creative practices or represent outstanding efforts in communication and partnership toward the betterment of the aquifer and related environmental issues.
- Permittee of the Year - Honors a District permittee who is an exemplary steward of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. The permittee of the year will have demonstrated a continued commitment to education, water quality protection, and water conservation. The District will nominate and choose the winner of this award.
An individual, group, company or agency may be nominated in any one category, and anyone can nominate a deserving entity. The District's Board of Directors will select the recipients; awards may not be given every year in every category, and categories may be added if needed. Download the nomination form and submit it online today!
2012 Permittee of the Year: Village of San Leanna
The Village of San Leanna has proven to be a model permittee in many ways and the staff of the BSEACD seeks to recognize and commend its efforts by awarding the Village the 2012 “Permittee of the Year” Award
2011 Groundwater Stewardship Award Winners
At its Oct. 13, 2011, meeting, the Board of Directors of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District selected the 2011 Groundwater Stewardship Award winners and approved the District Staff’s selection of the Permittee of the Year. General Manager Kirk Holland noted that “this year the nominated candidates were all exceptionally strong, and it was difficult to identify a single winner within each category.” The Board and staff are proud to honor these exemplary efforts to conserve and protect the groundwater resources of the area:
Permittee of the Year
Arroyo Doble Water System
Nean Grubert, Arroyo Doble Water System (ADWS) owner and operator, has been proactive in working in cooperation with the District on outreach efforts to inform end-users of aquifer conditions, rule changes, and conservation suggestions, exemplifying the notion that “we are all in this together”. ADWS has aggressively implemented the measures of the UDCP to ensure compliance with pumpage limits during drought, and has a consistent history of timely submitted and accurate meter readings and fee payments and prompt response to all District correspondence. Arroyo Doble has proven to be a model permittee in many ways and the Staff of the BSEACD wishes to recognize and commend their efforts by awarding them with “Permittee of the Year.”
Water Conservation – Residential
John Gula, Cimarron Park Homeowner
This homeowner was nominated by a representative of his water utility, Cimarron Park Water Company, Inc., for exceptionally low monthly water use and no well on the property. This homeowner has been responsibly using water for years with no formal recognition. Native landscaping creates a beautiful wilderness feel.
Water Conservation – Business/Permittee
Onion Creek Club
General Manager David Woods and Superintendent Michael Moore have found the balance between maintaining an attractive, playable golf course and environmental stewardship. They have maximized water efficiency by installing a state-of-the-art irrigation system that adapts to conditions on the (and of the) ground and have minimized total irrigated acreage by setting aside land for native bird habitat (certified with Sanctuary Status for the Audubon International Society).
Water Quality Protection
City of Austin Water Quality Protection Lands Program
The City of Austin Water Quality Protection Lands (WQPL) Program protects approximately 21.7% (over 26,500 acres) of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. The WQPL Program manages lands to enhance native habitat and quality of water recharging the aquifer, works with surrounding landowners to increase awareness and protection of the lands, and engages volunteers to involve the public and extend City of Austin resources.
About two years ago, Pat Reynolds manufactured a well sounder (aka eline) to monitor water levels in his well and those of his neighbors. He has continued to measure levels and report those data to the District helping staff hydrogeologists better understand aquifer conditions. He has provided a parts list, wiring schematic, and pictures of his well sounder to allow others to build a similar system. This innovation directly benefits well owners in the District by offering a low-cost solution to water level monitoring. District staffplan to build several to loan to neighborhood groups.
Clean Water Fund
Through its Central Texas Water Conservation Project, the Clean Water Fund has visited over 41,000 households, engaged neighborhood and community groups, and distributed over 50,000 educational pieces on the benefits and methods of water conservation. By promoting a ‘culture of water conservation,’ the Clean Water Fund has played a major role in protecting Central Texas water resources—groundwater supplies in the District, in particular. Their door-to-door canvassing project in the District substantially increased drought awareness and provided conservation practices to a set of groundwater users that otherwise might not get such information.
Matt Turner and Heather Tuček
As volunteers for the Texas Cave Management Association (TCMA) and the UT Grotto, Matt Turner and Heather Tuček have made outstanding contributions towards aquifer education through their cave immersion education. Matt Turner, current volunteer manager for TCMA’s Whirlpool Cave Preserve, guides cave trips and coordinates exploration, education, and research access to the cave. Heather Tuček also assists in dye traces and karst preserve patrols. Their efforts help build public support to protect water quality and the rare species in the Edwards Aquifer.
Hydrogeologic Atlas of the Hill Country Trinity Aquifer, Douglas Wierman, lead editor
This hydrogeologic atlas synthesizes the work of three groundwater conservation districts, numerous volunteers, agencies, and foundations. The atlas serves as an excellent reference for geoscientists, citizens, and governmental agencies to make informed decisions about the Trinity Aquifer in Central Texas. The Hydrogeologic Atlas of the Hill Country Trinity Aquifer and Doug Wierman’s efforts greatly increase awareness and knowledge of groundwater resources in Central Texas.
Mike Passarello’s Master's thesis extends and synthesizes decades of research on the hydrogeology of the Barton Springs segment to produce a multi-model evaluation of aquifer response to changing recharge. Mike combined field observations, spatial data, recharge interpretations by other scientists, working knowledge from the BSEACD staff, and groundwater availability models to test scientific hypotheses and integrate information so that outputs can be used to inform policy and management of the aquifer.
The Bowie High School Culinary Arts program hosted the 2009 awards ceremony in November 2009.
View a slideshow of the 2009 Groundwater Stewardship Awards Ceremony
Read about the winners of the 2011 Stewardship Awards
Read about the winner of the 2010 Permittee of the Year
Read about the winners of the 2009 Stewardship Awards
Read about the winners of the 2006 Conservation Awards.
Read about the winners of the 2005 Conservation Awards.
Read about the winners of the 2004 Conservation Awards.