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Rio Vista Falls, photo by TRPA Member Paula Goynes

San Marcos City Council Sept. 19, 6pm

Below is a message I just received from the San Marcos River Foundation.

Two very important items on the agenda for the San Marcos City Council tomorrow night.

Single-Use Disposable Container Ban and Leasing Water to Kyle

First of all they are discussing implementing a ban on single use containers (the same ban that the city of New Braunfels and the town of Martindale have – sometimes called a can ban).  It is time for such and ordinance in San Marcos. Please take the time to send an e-mail of support.

Second is the plan to sell the city’s unused Edwards Aquifer water to the city of Kyle. San Marcos uses water from Canyon Lake (which is pumped back to San Marcos from Lake Dunlap) in order to save Edwards Water so it can come out of the San Marcos Springs.  It seems like a horrible plan to sell that water to Kyle especially since that city has done so poorly in conserving water during this drought.  At the very least, Kyle needs to go to stage 4 water restrictions before they can get any of this water.

Thanks for your help!

Tom Goynes

Single-Use Disposable Container Ban:
Tuesday, September 19th at 6:00 PM (council chambers)
This coming Tuesday at 6:00pm, the San Marcos City Council will discuss the option of a single-use container ban in the San Marcos City Parks. Single-use containers that we throw away after 1 use are not only wasteful, they add a lot of trash to our river which makes its way down to the coast and out to sea eventually. Putting our drinks and food into reusable containers typically motivates people to keep better track of their belongings, and reduces the amount of things we throw away in our City Parks. This is a much-needed action if we’re going to prevent unnecessary litter from entering our rivers and parks and properly care for our natural resources. After this past summer, I’m sure a lot of you will agree that you’d support this action! Please email council if you can’t be there in-person to speak. If you want to speak in person you’ll need to fill out the link by 5:45 on Tuesday, and if you want to speak via zoom you’ll need to fill out the form before noon on Tuesday.
To Email Council:
To Sign Up to Speak:
Link to Agenda:

San Marcos Agenda Item #22: Leasing Water to Kyle
We want to note that there is another important agenda item on tomorrow night’s council meeting. Last year, the City of Kyle asked San Marcos to lease 125 acre feet of Edwards Aquifer water through the end of 2022. They ended up using between 63-87 acre feet out of the lease. This year they are back, asking for 310 acre feet to be used between now and the end of the year, which will bring in $348,000 to the City of San Marcos. To be clear, this is a groundwater lease out of the aquifer water that the City of San Marcos will not be using, and not a permanent sale of the City’s water rights, which is an important distinction. However, in the packet for the meeting, it is stated that there will be no impact to the aquifer, which is inaccurate. It would be much better for the aquifer if the extra water was left untouched, and not sold to the City of Kyle. However, it would be very un-neighborly to block Kyle from having fresh drinking water for their residents.

A little history: As recently as the late 1990’s, 100% of the water that the City of San Marcos used was from the Edwards Aquifer. The City has worked hard to diversify their water sources, and now 15-20% of the city’s water comes from the aquifer, and between 80-85% comes from surface water. San Marcos is also selling reclaimed wastewater to 3 major groups for non-potable uses.
There is a regional water group called ARWA that will bring an outside water source to the area, including both San Marcos and Kyle in 2024. Until that water comes online next year, the City of Kyle is in dire need.

All that to say, we know that our neighbors need clean drinking water. However, we also need to highlight the fact that they could be doing much more for water conservation and reuse, especially when large groups like Tesla are coming to their city. The City of Kyle did receive a grant for water reuse infrastructure, and we think this is a step in the right direction! They are currently expanding their wastewater permit, and we are contesting their wastewater treatment limits since the effluent is dumped into Plum Creek, which already has a multitude of water quality issues. We urge the City of Kyle to do more in the way of water conservation. We also urge them to update their development code to be much more protective of groundwater and the Blanco River. If you would like to write in to the City of Kyle Councilmembers to urge them to be more water-conscious for the sake of our natural resources, please email them at:

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