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The Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program Update
Southwest Region, August 31, 2008
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The Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (RIP) has made great strides since the signing of the MOA around Christmas of last year.  Since then, the collaborative group of stakeholders has hired a program director, established a scientific subcommittee, formed subcommittees on finance and public outreach, and has recently formed a subcommittee to review the potential to improve aquifer recharge.  The Aquifer Recharge subcommittee meets prior to the general RIP meeting, usually on the fourth Thursday of the month.

The RIP was recently awarded a $127,470 grant through the Texas Water Development Board to assess the biological needs and impacts to three of the federally-listed species dependant on the Edwards Aquifer.  The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority also contributed $45,000 to the assessment.  A team of scientist lead by Utah State University’s Dr. Thomas Hardy will conduct the study on the fountain darter, Comal Springs riffle beetle, and Texas wild-rice.  Other federally-listed species at stake are the Texas blind salamander, San Marcos salamander, Comal Springs dryopid beetle, and Peck's Cave amphipod.

The RIP has set out an aggressive timeline to meet the requirements of the State of Texas Senate Bill 3 which mandated the establishment of an MOA between the Service and the RIP, the hiring of the program director, and the formation of a scientific subcommittee.  The expectation is that the RIP will produce a draft EIS and HCP by February 2011.

Contact Info: Bill Seawell, 512 490-0057, bill_seawell@fws.gov



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