Administration

EAHCP is a collaborative effort by the Edwards Aquifer Authority, the City of New Braunfels, the City of San Marcos, the City of San Antonio through SAWS, Texas State University, and Texas Parks and Wildlife

Science Committee

Science Committee Members

Tom Arsuffi

Tom Arsuffi
Professor & Director, Llano River Field Station, Texas Tech University

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Janis Bush

Janis Bush
Professor,
The University of Texas at San Antonio

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Jacquelyn Duke

Jacquelyn Duke
Sr. Lecturer,
Dept. of Biology, Baylor University

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Charles Kreitler

Charles Kreitler
Sr. Consultant,
LBG-Guyton Associates

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Conrad Lamon

Conrad Lamon
President,
Statistical Ecology Associates, LLC

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Glenn Longley

Glenn Longley
Former Prof. & Director, EARDC, Texas State University (retired)

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Robert Mace

Robert Mace
Deputy Exec. Administrator,
Water Science & Conservation, TWDB

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Doyle Mosier

Doyle Mosier
Former Director,
River Studies Program, TPWD (retired)

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Chad Norris

Chad Norris
Aquatic Biologist,
Water Resources Branch,
TPWD

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Jackie Poole

Jackie Poole
Former Botanist,
Wildlife Diversity Program, TPWD (retired)

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Floyd Weckerly

Floyd Weckerly
Professor,
Dept. of Biology, Texas State University

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The Parties, through the Implementing Committee, will establish and, in conjunction with the Stakeholder Committee. appoint an Adaptive Management Science Committee (Science Committee). To the extent possible, the Science Committee will be comprised of an odd number of not fewer than 7 or more than 11 members, as determined by the Implementing Committee, who have technical expertise in one or more of the following areas: (a) the Edwards Aquifer or its management; (b) the Comal Springs and River as defined by Subsection 3.4.2 of the HCP; (c) the San Marcos Springs and River as defined by Subsection 3.4.3 of the HCP; or (d) the Covered Species.

Membership on the Science Committee

The Implementing Committee and the Stakeholder Committee will each select an equal number of members of the Science Committee and will coordinate with one another in making selections in order to ensure balance and proper coverage of areas of expertise. The Implementing Committee and the Stakeholder Committee will jointly select one additional member of the Science Committee. In the case of a vacancy on the Science Committee, the committee, or committees, that made the initial appointment for that position will appoint a replacement member.

  1. Invitations to Serve.
    The Parties recognize that participation on the Science Committee is voluntary and cannot be compelled by the Service or the Parties. Any person to which the Implementing Committee or the Stakeholder Committee extends an invitation to be a member of the Science Committee will be requested to respond in writing to the Program Manager within 30 days of the date of the invitation advising of the acceptance of the invitation and to provide the invitee’s contact information. If an invitee does not timely respond with acceptance, that invitation will be considered declined and another qualified person will be invited to become a member of the Science Committee in the same manner as for the invitation that was declined.
  2. Authorization to Vote.
    Each member appointed to the Science Committee will be authorized to vote and such appointed member will become a member of the Committee on the date that the Program Manager receives the written acceptance of the appointment.
  3. No Alternate.
    No member of the Science Committee may designate an alternate to act for that member in the member’s absence.

Role of the Science Committee

The Science Committee will have the role in the AMP and the Program as described in this Subsection, as follows:

  1. Consult with, advise and make recommendations to the Program Manager, the Implementing Committee and the Stakeholder Committee on any AMP Decision upon request as provided in this Article;
  2. Provide independent and unbiased advice based on their best scientific judgment so that all AMP Decisions will be made consistent with the best scientific and commercial data available; and
  3. Participate in the meetings of the Science Review Panel and provide to the Panel such information as requested by that Panel or the Implementing Committee.

Operations of the Science Committee

  1. Meetings.
    The Science Committee will meet at any time upon the request of the Program Manager, the Implementing Committee, or the Stakeholder Committee. Meetings will be conducted at the official offices of the EAA or at any other location agreed upon by the Science Committee. The Program Manager will provide reasonable advance notice of the meetings via email to each member of the Science Committee and will post notice of any meeting on the EAA website. Meetings
    will generally be open to the public, but, with good cause, may be closed to the public at the request of the Program Manager or any two members of the Science Committee. Meetings of the Science Committee are not subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act, but the Committee and Program Manager will make reasonable efforts to provide notice of its meetings and conduct them open to the public as though they were subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act.
  2. Subcommittees.
    The Science Committee may be organized into subcommittees as jointly determined by the Program Manager and Implementing Committee.

Requests for Science Committee Evaluations or Recommendations

  1. Requests on Proposed Routine AMP Decisions.
    Requests by the Program Manager, the Implementing Committee, or the Stakeholder Committee for an evaluation or recommendation on a proposed Routine Adaptive Management Decision may be made to the entire Science
    Committee or the appropriate subcommittee of the Science Committee. However, for any proposed Routine Adaptive Management Decision that has significant potential to affect the overall well-being of a Covered Species, the decision-maker (the Program Manager or the Implementing Committee, as appropriate) will, if time allows, consult the Science Committee for input prior to making a decision or, if that is not possible, as soon as possible after making the decision and will adjust the decision as appropriate.
  2. Requests on Other AMP Decisions.
    For any proposed Nonroutine or Strategic Adaptive Management Decision, the Implementing Committee will seek a recommendation from the entire Science Committee prior to taking action on the proposed decision.
  3. Information Provided.
    The Program Manager will regularly inform the Science Committee of plans related to the applied research activities described in the HCP, including, but not limited to, Subsections 6.3.4 (applied research facility), 6.3.5 (Texas wild-rice
    enhancement) and 6.3.6 (monitoring and reduction of gill parasite), and, unless exigent conditions require otherwise, seek comments and recommendations from the Science Committee with regard to the research plans before the plans are implemented. The Program Manager will also inform the Science Committee and the Science Review Panel of the findings and results of the research activities.

Procedures

The Science Committee and its subcommittees will operate to the maximum extent achievable by a collaborative process designed to achieve consensus. In the absence of full consensus on any evaluation or recommendation, the Science Committee will provide a written summary of competing positions to the Program Manager or the Implementing or Stakeholder Committees, as may be appropriate. Each member of the Science Committee will have one vote towards consensus until participation is resigned, or forfeited by absence from three consecutive meetings. A quorum for any meeting of the Science Committee will be three-fourths of the total number of members for whom the
Program Manager has received the notification of acceptance described in Subsection 7.9.1.b. The Science Committee will elect a chair person and a vice chair and adopt procedures to govern its activities.

EAA Funding

The EAA, after consulting with the Implementing Committee, may enter into contracts with members of the Science Committee as, in the judgment of the EAA, are necessary and reasonable to secure the members’ services.

SB 3 also specifies that the Steering Committee appoint an expert science subcommittee composed of neither fewer than seven nor more than fifteen, but always an odd number of, members. Members had to have technical expertise regarding the Aquifer system, the threatened and endangered species that inhabit the system, springflows, or the development of withdrawal limitations. Initially, the Texas Legislature charged the Science Subcommittee (SSC) with preparing “initial recommendations by December 31, 2008” regarding:

  • The option of designating a separate San Marcos Pool, evaluating how such a designation would affect existing pools, and determining the need for an additional well to measure the San Marcos Pool, if designated;
  • The necessity to maintain minimum springflows, including a specific review of the necessity to maintain a flow to protect federally threatened and endangered species; and
  • Whether adjustments in the trigger levels for the San Marcos Springs flow for the San Antonio Pool should be made.

These recommendations were completed and submitted to the EARIP on November 13, 2008. The recommendations are included in a report entitled “Evaluation of Designating a San Marcos Pool, Maintaining Minimum Spring Flows at Comal and San Marcos Springs, and Adjusting the Critical Period Management Triggers for the San Marcos Springs.” (SSC 2008). The SCC concluded that it could not recommend segmenting the San Antonio Pool until the relationships among rainfall, recharge, down gradient water levels and springflow became more predictable. The SSC also found that minimum springflows are required within the context of a system flow regime for the federally-listed species at Comal and San Marcos springs. Finally, the SSC Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN found that the trigger levels for the San Marcos Springs should not be adjusted at this time. The full report is included in Appendix B. This report was peer-reviewed by an independent panel of scientists assembled by the Sustainable Ecosystems Institute. The report of the peer review team is attached as Appendix C. 1-21 found that the trigger levels for the San Marcos Springs should not be adjusted at this time. The full report is included in Appendix B. This report was peer-reviewed by an independent panel of scientists assembled by the Sustainable Ecosystems Institute. The report of the peer review team is attached as Appendix C.

The Texas Legislature also required the SSC to analyze species requirements in relation to spring discharge rates and aquifer levels as a function of recharge and withdrawal levels. Based on that analysis, the SSC was to develop recommendations for withdrawal reduction levels and stages for critical period management. This charge included establishing, if appropriate, separate withdrawal reduction levels and stages for critical period management for different pools of the aquifer as needed to maintain target spring discharge and Aquifer levels. The SSC submitted its final report in December 2009. (SSC 2009).

Based on its analyses, the SSC determined the following spring discharge rates incorporated into a flow regime would “sustain an overall trend of maintaining or increasing the population of the aquatic communities of the Comal and San Marcos springs, in particular the Covered Species,” i.e., a recovery standard.

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