Alternative Title

NCKRI Symposium 2: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst


George Veni



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Publication Date

May 2013


pg(s) 433-440 Government Canyon State Natural Area (GCSNA) is located on the northwest edge of San Antonio, Texas, USA. Ninety percent of the 47.04 km2 property is located on the recharge zone of the karstic Edwards (Balcones Fault Zone) Aquifer. Urban development is encroaching onto the Edwards Aquifer karst and threatening groundwater quality and karst ecosystems. GCSNA has served as a model for karst management by: * defining existing resources; * restoring impacted resources; * monitoring and protecting groundwater quality and quantity by encompassing 62% of the 30.46-km2 Government Canyon watershed on the Edwards Aquifer recharge and contributing zones, and over 23 km2 of adjacent karst watersheds; * preserving the unique cave fauna; * limiting all development to non-karst areas; * using state-of-the-art construction techniques and infrastructure to minimize water and ecological impacts; * monitoring land use conditions for an adaptive resource management plan; and * establishing contiguous buffers around the core resource area. This approach was made possible by designating GCSNA as a karst preserve in order to most effectively manage all of its resources. Karst attributes of GCSNA predominantly determine the location, type, magnitude, and management of its most significant natural and cultural resources. Federally listed endangered invertebrate species and the county's largest known bat population occur in its caves. Springs and deep canyons provide habitat for a diverse flora and fauna, including the endangered Golden-cheeked warbler. These springs and species, along with chert deposits and natural trails through rugged terrain, have supported human occupation since prehistoric times. Springflow and streamflow rapidly recharge the Edwards Aquifer to maintain this sole source system as a sustainable regional water supply. Partnerships with multiple agencies and volunteers have minimized individual costs, provided more thorough and complete assessment of karst resource issues, and developed public educational programs on the values of karst. Open Access - Permission by Publisher See Extended description for more information.


Conference Proceeding


University of South Florida





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