It is often argued that water is one of humankind’s most precious resource, utilized by all people throughout the globe as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
History has shown that Hays County, even when occupied by indigenous populations, is a hub for clean and fresh water. Today, residents across the county consider water as one of the most valuable and vital resources, often in the center of political and civil discussion.
Mary Stone, a member of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) board of directors, has committed the last decade of her life protecting the very resource that, at times, is neglected and abused.
Stone, whose term expires in 2020, said there is still a lot of work to be done at the water district. With new threats posed on the aquifers at every turn, technology will lead the way to protect the Hill Country’s groundwater.
“Every water district needs to be adequately funded so research can be conducted on groundwater research,” Stone said. “Without science, it’s difficult to fight your cause. We need good science to support our findings.”
Stone said the district is looking into different forms of water storage, including a new practice where water could potentially be transferred from one Aquifer to the next during times of drought, and pumped back when the resource is needed.
Additionally, Stone said there is potential for desalination on the east side of I-35, where the groundwater is typically concentrated with high volumes of salt. This could potentially add an additional source of water to the citizenry of Hays County.
Vanessa Escobar, the senior regulatory compliance coordinator at the BSEACD, said Stone’s commitment to the district is evident through her passion on not just the board of trustees, but various boards she serves on.
Throughout her active involvement in Hays County, Stone said she is proud of her work with youth soccer programs for her children, education initiatives and environmental coalitions.
“I consider her to be a great mentor, and I am happy to know there is someone in my community who knows how to take reasonable approaches to listen to others and find solutions,” Escobar said. “Mary clearly loves working to help others and that shows through in her dedication to every committee she sits on and every meeting she attends.”
Stone said she will continue fighting the good fight to protect the natural resources of Hays County, with focus and intensity.
“If we don’t manage our water resources accordingly, what’s going to happen to the next generation of Hays County residents,” Stone said. “It’s all about resource management so we can ensure that those who call this place home can enjoy the natural resources we have grown to love.”