Texas Adopts New Groundwater Management

Texas Adopts New Groundwater Management

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 8:00am

LUBBOCK TX (October 26, 2016) – Representatives of seven groundwater conservation districts unanimously adopted new Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) for relevant aquifers in Groundwater Management Area # 2 (GMA # 2) at an October 19 meeting at Brownfield.

A total average drawdown of approximately 23 to 27 feet for the period 2012-2070 was adopted for the Ogallala and Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) Aquifers within the GMA. In addition, a total average drawdown of 27 feet was adopted for the Dockum Aquifer for the same 58-year time period.

This provides for a single DFC for all of GMA # 2. It replaces the total average drawdown and “50/50” DFCs adopted in 2010.

“Planning ahead is essential for success in managing groundwater in the Panhandle South Plains area. The GMA # 2 representatives are doing their best to bring common sense solutions to these real world challenges,” said Voting Delegate Ronnie Hopper of Petersburg.

Both DFCs were based upon examination/evaluation of 16 scenarios by a groundwater consultant using the High Plains Aquifer System (HPAS) groundwater availability model.

Each district in GMA # 2 conducted hearings to receive public comments about the proposed DFCs prior to adoption. Only one oral comment and one written comment were received.

“Adoption of these new Desired Future Conditions will have no major impacts upon groundwater users in the region,” said Jason Coleman, GMA # 2 Administrative Officer. “The DFCs are for planning purposes only. None of the groundwater conservation district rules have changed as a result of adopting the new DFCs,” he said.

The process of adopting a DFC was established by the Texas Legislature in 2005, and requires groundwater conservation districts to establish DFCs for relevant aquifers at least once every five years. This is only the second time that groundwater conservation districts have established DFCs.

GMA # 2 includes the following counties: Andrews, Bailey, Borden, Briscoe, Castro, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Gaines, Garza, Floyd, Hale, Hockley, Howard, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Parmer, Swisher, Terry, and Yoakum.

The groundwater conservation districts in GMA # 2 are the Garza County Underground Water Conservation District, High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, Llano Estacado Underground Water Conservation District, Mesa Underground Water Conservation District, Permian Basin Underground Water Conservation District, Sandy Land Underground Water Conservation District, and South Plains Underground Water Conservation District.

More information about GMA # 2 is available at www.gma2.org.

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