Rusty Middleton commented (Feb. 21, p.8) [“Opinion: LCRA’s Water Marketing Ambitions Could Lower the Colorado River Below Austin
”] on the close relationship between water wells, aquifers, and rivers and on how wells can affect rivers without actually pumping water from them.
We have an example of that close to home. Some homeowners in Tarrytown have drilled wells into the Edwards Aquifer so they can water their lawns in times of drought.
If the wells did not exist, the water they pump would flow into Lady Bird Lake via springs and then on down the river. Thanks to the wells, water goes on to St. Augustine instead.
Legally, this is permissible. Hydrologically, it means more water must be released from the Highland Lakes to maintain legally mandated downstream flow in the Colorado River. Morally, it raises the question of whether wealth should allow certain individuals to hog a scarce resource.