All told, the county and the county's taxpayers have generously contributed between $4 million and $5 million over the past three years to preserve Jacob's Well
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Anyone who knows anything about Wimberley knows that most all of the area's public drinking water comes from deep groundwater wells owned and operated by the Wimberley Water Supply Corporation and Aqua Texas. The protected Jacob's Well, as far as we know, does not serve as a direct source of drinking water for anything except birds and other wildlife.
The story also states in its lead paragraph that the $1.7 million grant to the Jacob's Well Natural Area (approved Tuesday by county commissioners in a 4 to 1 vote) will pay for 50 adjacent acres to "convert into a county-owned park." That misleads the reader. The new acquisition will not become a "park" in the normal sense, but a protected area with "controlled public access."
We often wonder where the View's management priorities are when such poorly edited articles are allowed to make it to final print – and on the front page no less. Not exactly the editor's fault. There's hardly anyone left at the paper with any broad knowledge or institutional memory about the area's history, culture, politics and natural resources. The place has been overtaken by people posing as newspaper experts (bookkeepers and such), so we can continue to expect a second rate product. Too bad, so sad.
The article aside, we have our own questions about the effectiveness of the county's grant in keeping Jacob's Well healthy and flowing. The real problem seems to be nearby drilled wells owned by AT (and many other surrounding so-called exempt private wells) that keep diverting underground water from Jacob's Well, all which pose a much larger threat during times of drought. All told, the county and the county's taxpayers have generously contributed between $4 million and $5 million over the past three years to preserve Jacob's Well. That's a lot of taxpayer payola for one protected natural area, but we imagine it will be worthwhile if it will lead to keeping the spring water flowing. Jacob's Well truly represents one of the region's last gasp efforts to save a major natural and historical water feature from extinction. The multi-million dollar question is, will it work?
Note: Here's a link to an interesting account of Jacob's Well told a few years back by Dan Misiaszek, a then- member of the San Marcos Area Recovery Team . . . http://www.smartdivers.com/jacobwell.html Google 'jacob's well wimberley' for more information .