New Film Facility in Texas Raises Concerns
Hill Country Studio, a new film facility, is set to be constructed in San Marcos, TX. It will be located in the La Cima community, which is in between San Antonio and Austin. Construction for the new film lot will cost $267 million and the studio will be 820,000 square feet. The development is set to begin in 2023. However, environmentalists are concerned with the studio’s location – the new film lot will be built on a portion of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.
Environmentalists are championing developers to make careful decisions about the construction. They say the development could impact the aquifer system that has been set in place for many years. One suggestion is that the center be built with permeable materials so that the rainwater could seep through to the recharge zone. As of now the building requirements for commercial developments are required to use 19% of permeable materials, according to sfgate’s Dan Carson. Environmentalists warn that it is important to think carefully about what this construction could do to millions of people’s water supply – once the damage is done, there is no going back.
Protect the River is a local movement that works to protect the San Marcos river and the Edwards Aquifer. In one of their recent posts on Instagram they brought the issue to light, encouraging others to call and email San Marcos officials to make their voices heard. They informed their audience on how important the Edwards Aquifer is to the environment and to millions of people’s water supply. On Wednesday they hosted a virtual public forum where people could speak their opinion on the matter.
They also recently joined Twitter to expand their reach. Protect the River is continuing to work to stop further development of Hill Country Studio. While they work to stop the production of the film facility, they ask that people call or email the San Marcos City Councilors and City Managers to voice their opposition.
The Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for millions of people in south and central Texas, including those in San Antonio. The aquifer is approximately 8,800 square miles, according to their website. The Edwards Aquifer is divided into the contributing zone, recharge zone, and artesian zone. The contributing zone is located in the hill country. It gathers rainwater and drains it through the recharge zone. The water ends up being stored in the artesian zone, which is located in San Antonio. The water in the artesian zone is accessed through wells.
The Edwards Aquifer is important to the community and the endangered species it serves. There are decisions to be made concerning both sides. Opposition towards the development continues to grow, and reporting will continue as the story progresses.