While the primary mission of HCC is to preserve water quality through land conservation, a secondary goal is to provide area scientists with adequate facilities to conduct aquifer research experiments. At the Wenzel Borheim Rock Quarry, scientists are getting a chance to do just that thanks to joint effort between HCC and the following partners:
Area scientists had been eyeing the 85-acre Wenzel Tract for years, because this area contains an abandoned quarry uniquely suited for an innovative, large-scale aquifer enhancement project. In May 2002, Hill Country Conservancy acquired the property and embarked on a water conservation project that will use the quarry to capture and hold diverted storm flow until it can be absorbed or recharged into the aquifer.
Additional water will be “captured” for recharge by constructing a diversion channel from Little Bear Creek, which runs within 500 feet of the quarry rim. The channel will be engineered to capture a portion of the creek’s stormwater runoff following heavy or prolonged rain. Dye tests in the area have concluded that this water, once in the aquifer, will linger up to a year, increasing aquifer storage and Barton Springs’ discharge during times of drought or low flow.