Wetland Conservation and Management for the Texas Central Coast

Supplemental Water

A solar-powered, 5-inch water well at Mad
Island WMA. This well will provide supplemental
water for two small wetland impoundments.

Most wetland projects depend on rainfall to provide quality habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds. Drought is part of the natural wetland cycle. However, wide-spread, long-term drought coupled with historic wetland losses from human-caused impacts can greatly reduce wetland habitat availability for wildlife. Wetlands with a supplemental water source can provide a wildlife oasis in times of drought. Large or multiple wetland projects require large volumes of water delivered by a large well (8-inch diameter or greater) or an irrigation canal district. However, large water wells are expensive to install, maintain and operate. The cost of purchasing irrigation water can be cheaper relative to a large well, but water may not always be available. Supplemental water can be delivered to smaller projects with 4-6 inch diameter wells. Solar-powered wells are ideal for small wetland projects as new systems are capable of producing 50-70 gallons per minute from a 4-6 inch diameter well. Smaller wells may not maintain optimal flooded conditions during a drought, but the supplemental water will ensure higher soil moisture, and thus, faster recovery time for the wetland when rain returns.