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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star


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Main Point: Water supply needs to be on Texas State minds


San Marcos entered Stage 4 drought restrictions for the first time since 2014 on Aug. 27. Stage 4 signifies a critical water shortage and record low levels in Edwards Aquifer and Canyon Lake. As of Sept. 10, Canyon Lake was 67.1% full, showing a downward pattern as a year ago, the levels were 86.6% full. 

University officials last sent information regarding the drought to students on July 20, over one month ago. At this time, San Marcos was still in Stage 3 restrictions. 

Texas State is the 7th largest university in the state, and students, faculty and staff members can be reached through mass emails and social media platforms. Protecting San Marcos’ water supply ought to be a priority for Texas State. The university can start by better educating its students, faculty and staff about Stage 4 drought restrictions and what Texas State community members can do to help the critical state of San Marcos’ water supply.

This is not to say university officials don’t have water infrastructure in mind, however Texas State needs to utilize its outreach tools, such as mass emails or social media, to put the critical water state at the forefront of other Texas State minds. 

One of the main draws of attending Texas State is the beautiful campus and the river that runs through it. Students can often be found lounging at Sewell Park during time off class and on the weekends. Though students are grateful for the river on hot days, many take its presence for granted.

Students can conserve water by first following the drought restrictions listed by the city. In Stage 4, restrictions include limiting sprinkler use to certain days, not wasting water, covering swimming pools and restricting vehicle washing. 

Following the guidelines can look different for everyone as Texas State students live anywhere from dorms to houses. Some other simple ways to preserve water include shortening the length of showers, not washing your hands unless necessary and turning faucets off when it’s not needed. 

It is highly important for San Marcos residents to take the drought restrictions seriously as the Edwards Aquifer provides drinking water to over 1.7 million people. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some deep aquifers can take thousands of years to replenish, which can be detrimental to those relying on them for everyday needs.

While drought restrictions are an important concept to learn about, Keisuke Ikehata, a Texas State civil engineering professor, believes maintaining water is a vital step students should be making a contribution to. 

In 2021, Ikehata began working to purify wastewater, brackish lake and groundwater, stormwater and seawater in the San Marcos area with a team of engineering students. Carlos Espindola, a civil engineering graduate student, has been a part of the water purification team since May 2021. He and Ikehata recommend students stop littering and learn about their water environment. 

“Be aware of what you’re discharging and anything that you’re doing,” Espindola said. “At the Meadows Center…they had a lot of information about the water planes and the Edwards Aquifer, so be aware of all the different resources that you can read about.”

According to Jan De La Cruz, conservation coordinator for SMTX Utilities, the drought’s conditions for the future are unknown, meaning it is important for students to take the restrictions seriously before it gets worse.

“It’s hard to predict. I think we have to prepare for the worst,” De La Cruz said. “We’re all hoping for… some weather shift changes coming up… but there’s no guarantees.”

A situation that has always been worrisome is now dire and it is important that every person does what they can in hopes of slowing down the effects of the drought.

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