The "Blue Hole"

The "Blue Hole"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What we mean by "headwaters"

Consider these definitions we use for "headwaters": 


headwaters (with a little "h") – generically, the upper tributaries of a river; the source of a stream or river; specifically, the area or place where the San Antonio River begins.



headwater spring – the historic mainspring called the San Antonio Spring, or Blue Hole, once the 6th largest spring in Texas; described in the 1850’s as a fountain spring, giving birth to the San Antonio River: “The whole river gushes up in one sparkling burst from the earth,” according to Frederick Law Olmstead who visited the area in 1857.

The Blue Hole, or San Antonio Spring
(Note the blueish tint that gives the Blue Hole its name.)


For thousands of years,
Native Americans have called this
once magnificent spring
Yanaguana,” which means
“up-flowing waters of the spirit.”






headwaters basin -- the spring-filled basin surrounding the Blue Hole with many smaller and medium size springs contributing flow to the river at its source; contains pre-historic deposits and artifacts dating back 12,000 years indicating a very long history of human presence; generally includes the lower Olmos Basin, all of the Incarnate Word property (congregation, sanctuary, retirement center, and university), the Episcopal Diocese’s Cathedral Park, 200 Patterson Condominiums, parts of the Alamo Heights neighborhood, and the upper end of Brackenridge Park.


HEADWATERS BASIN:
A Field of Springs

Adapted from Gunnar Brune's Springs of Texas
The Blue Hole is the farthest red dot to the east.
See more where this came from on Gregg Eckhart's Edwards Aquifer website






Headwaters Sanctuary – that centerpiece of the headwaters basin that the Incarnate Word Sisters established as a nature sanctuary in 2008 when they deeded 60 acres of land including the Blue Hole to the nonprofit Headwaters Coalition, Inc., a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. It is bounded by Olmos Creek and Dam, Highway 281, and envelopes the UIW athletic complex.

The Headwaters Sanctuary (blue line) is bounded by Olmos Creek and Dam
and surrounds the UIW athletic complex.



Now you know:  we never suggested there was a controversial storm sewer planned to outfall at the headwater spring (the Blue Hole).  However, there is a very controversial, over-sized storm sewer -- with all its pollution, trash and high volume, high velocity stormwater -- scheduled for construction very soon in the Brackenridge Park part of the headwaters basin. This fact should have us all alarmed!


Stay tuned!


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