Groundwater Awareness Week

Tnatl groundwater awareness week logohis week marks National Groundwater Awareness week, so I wanted to talk about groundwater in general, and some groundwater facts for Round Rock.

Generally speaking:

  1. Groundwater is the water that soaks into the soil from rain or other precipitation and moves downward to fill cracks and other openings in beds of rocks and sand. It is, therefore, a renewable resource, although renewal rates vary greatly according to environmental conditions.
  2. It also is an abundant natural resource.
  3. Of all the freshwater in the world (excluding polar ice caps), 95 percent is groundwater. Surface water (lakes and rivers) only make up three percent of our freshwater.

Round Rock specific:

  • We take groundwater from northern Edwards Aquifer.  This is the same Edwards Aquifer that the City of San Antonio relies on.
  • The City currently has 3 active wells and 3 in reserve;
  • The current water level is 25-ft below the surface, or 175-ft above our pump. Thanks to recent rains, levels have held pretty steady this winter.
  • The City used 688,340,000 gallons of groundwater in 2014 which was 10.69% of the total water produced.
  • On average, we use between 1 and 3 millions gallons per day of groundwater, so a pretty small portion of our daily water use.

You can help recharge the aquifer, by keeping water on your property during rain storms and allowing it to soak into the ground, rather than runoff your property.  This can be accomplished by creating rain gardens, which capture the rain in a low area in your yard and should all soak into the ground within 48-hours.  You can also capture the water in barrels or tanks and then slowly release the water on your yard or landscape a few days after the rain happened.  The whole point is to keep the rain on the yard and not let it run off into the storm sewer.  The rain becomes groundwater, which will penetrate down to the aquifer.