As the headwaters for Cypress Creek, flow from Jacob’s Well is critical for the businesses, residents, and wildlife that call the Wimberley Valley home. Flow at Jacob’s Well also indicates the status of groundwater storage in the Middle Trinity Aquifer–the water supply for the majority of residents.
KUT’s Riane Roldan hiked, interviewed, and researched the community’s connection between groundwater, spring flow, creeks and rivers. The Watershed Association’s David Baker and Robin Gary are featured in her segment “Jacob’s Well Is A Source Of Life For The Wimberley Valley. What Would Happen If It Were To Stop Flowing For Good?” that aired on All Things Considered on Friday, June 18, 2021.
It’s a great 7 minute listen!
Jacob’s Well is more than just a swimming hole. It’s also a message bearer: It lets people know how much groundwater is in the aquifer beneath them.
And this year — for the fourth time in its recorded history — the water at Jacob’s Well stopped flowing for a couple days. For months, it was at a dangerously low flow-rate. And even though the recent rains have replenished it some, the threat of drought and extreme summertime heat is not far from the minds of the people who call the Wimberley Valley home.
“When this stops flowing, everybody starts paying attention,” Robin Gary, managing director of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, says.
Jacob’s Well is also the headwaters for Cypress Creek, which flows through downtown Wimberley. Gary says if the water were to stop flowing for good, it would have a major impact on the local economy, which is fueled by tourism.
“Everyone around here is groundwater-dependent. It’s a groundwater community,” she says. “When spring flow drops to such low levels, it’s indicative of a larger issue.”