Jacob’s Well rushes with water again, fueling excitement. But it might only be temporary.
"It’s like your long-lost friend has come out of a coma or something," David Baker, executive director of the nonprofit The Watershed Association, said after seeing water flowing out of Jacob’s Well on Thursday morning.
The popular spring-fed watering hole in Wimberley reached zero flow last summer for the sixth time in its recorded history. After 222 days of nearly zero flow, Jacob’s Well is now rushing with water after recent rainfall.
“It's restored itself temporarily with the cool weather, the recent rains,” Baker said. “Nobody's watering grass in the winter.”
Baker and Katherine Sturdivant, education coordinator for the Hays County Parks Department, said they stood by the water's edge this morning and admired the view. Baker shared videos of the water splashing over grass that had begun to grow in the barren pool. A gentle fog rolled around the grounds, and the sun peeked over the side of the hill.
The flow picked up on Monday and is the highest it’s been in over a year.
“It just shows you the resilience of nature,” Baker said.
He and Sturdivant said they don’t want this good news to make people forget about the region’s water supply issues.
“We call it the hydro-illogical cycle, where when it rains [people say], ‘Oh, everything's fine. Let's build another thousand houses,'” Baker said. “And then next summer it gets dry, and then in a month the spring dries up.”
He said water pumping from the local aquifer is an ongoing problem affecting Jacob's Well that was made only worse when the utility company Aqua Texas pumped nearly twice the amount of water it was allowed in 2022. A year-long battle led to a lawsuit against the district, with Aqua Texas disputing fines levied against it.
“We've got to look for solutions here because we can't just be ignoring the rules, ignoring the restrictions and not fixing the infrastructure,” Baker said.
Sturdivant said the Hays County Parks Department is still unsure if the park will be open for swimming in the summer, but staff are keeping a close eye on things.
“We're going to be having to monitor flow for a bit to make sure that it's going to hold at a continuous rate,” she said. “We're going to have to wait and see what this event is.”
But both agreed this is something to celebrate.
“There's a little boy who came downstream … I think he's 12 or so, and he was just beside himself. Teenagers that were walking up here … big smiles popped on their faces,” Baker said of the scene Thursday morning. “It's visceral, it makes the goosebumps on your arms stand up.”