AbstractOn December 28, 2011, the Edwards Aquifer Authority’s Board of Directors approved the recommendations of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program with respect to a historic Habitat Conservation Plan. The Habitat Conservation Plan could resolve decades of acrimonious rancor and litigation over the use of the Edwards Aquifer. It provides the protection required by the federal Endangered Species Act for 8 listed species stemming from the use of the Edwards Aquifer and associated Comal and San Marcos springs while recognizing the region’s ever-growing need for water. The plan was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders through a consensus-based process and submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on January 5, 2012, in support of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program’s application for an Incidental Take Permit. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service noticed the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public comment and conducted 7 public meetings to receive public comment. The public comment period closed on October 18, 2012. On February 15, 2013, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its Record of Decision approving the issuance of the Incidental Take Permit and the Habitat Conservation Plan. This paper discusses the history of the dispute over the use of the aquifer, previous attempts to resolve the dispute, the strategic plan for protecting the aquifer, and the decision-making process used to develop the plan.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).