One Landowner’s perspective on a landmark water decision

The following article provides the history of creating the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District and one landowner’s perspective on a landmark water decision

Bastrop County Courthouse

This Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District or Lost Pines District) will consider and possibly act on its option to appeal Judge Carson Campbell’s January 4, 2018, ruling to the state court of appeals.  (Click here for agenda)

Judge Campbell’s order ruled that the District erred in denying party status to four landowners and REVERSED the District’s decision. Campbell also REVERSED the permit to pump 46,000 acre feet of groundwater per year that was given by the District to Recharge Water, L.P. and REMANDED the case back to the Lost Pines District for proceedings consistent with the Court’s decision.

Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District considers appeal of Judge’s decision in favor of Landowners

 The Board will meet on Wednesday January 17, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at Bastrop City Hall, 1311 Church Street, Bastrop,TX.    We request that you attend and/or write to the District urging it NOT TO APPEAL the trial court ruling upholding private property rights.   This Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District…

Judge Rules for Landowners In Groundwater Export Dispute

Bastrop County Courthouse

BASTROP January 4, 2018 – A state district judge in Bastrop has ruled in favor of Environmental Stewardship and three other landowners in their suit against the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District).  Judge Carson Campbell’s order rules that the District erred in denying party status and reverses the District’s decision.  The order further reverses the permits for 46,000 acre feet per year of groundwater given by the District to End Op (now Recharge Water, L.P.) and remands the case back to the District for proceedings consistent with the Court’s decision.

 

The following is a press release from the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund (SAWDF) regarding the decision:

Judge Hears Arguments on Landowners’ Right to Protest Groundwater Export, Ruling to Come

BASTROP – A state district judge in Bastrop on Wednesday heard arguments for and against the contention that four landowners are entitled to a new hearing because they were wrongfully excluded by the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District from participating in a 2013 administrative hearing.

The 2013 hearing resulted in a permit  to water marketer End-Op LP (now known as Recharge Water) that allows massive amounts of groundwater to be pumped and exported from Lee and Bastrop counties. The Oct. 18 hearing was part of a legal challenge to that permit.

Judge Carson Campbell ruled in favor of the landowners from the bench Wednesday on the question of whether he even has the authority to review the District’s decision to exclude them. A ruling on the landowners’ right to protest the permit is pending from Judge Campbell.

ES becomes a Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliate

Environmental Stewardship became a Waterkeeper Affiliate organization on September 23, 2016. As a new Waterkeeper Affiliate, Environmental Stewardship works to protect and preserve the Texas Colorado River, associated aquifers, and the bays and estuaries of the Texas Gulf Coast by combining its first-hand knowledge of the waterway with an unwavering commitment to the rights of the community, to ecological health of waterways and aquifers, and to the rule of law.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Steve Box in Austin, TX.

“Waterkeeper Alliance is thrilled to have Steve Box, Executive Director, to be the eyes, ears, and voice for this vital watershed and community,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Every community deserves to have swimmable, drinkable, fishable and flowing water, and Mr. Box is the right leader to fight to protect the surface water and groundwater supplies in the Colorado River basin.”
For more information on see our webpage ES’ Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliation.  

Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund (SAWDF)

New Group Launches Fight To Protect Local Groundwater and Aquifers

BastropCoCourthouse2

Bastrop County Court House

ELGIN – Veterans of a long-standing fight to protect the area’s groundwater have joined forces and launched a new organization to help lead that effort.

The new group, the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund (SAWDF), includes volunteers from the League of Independent Voters, Environmental Stewardship, Sierra Club and Neighbors for Neighbors.

SEE END OF THIS POST FOR LINKS TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

SAWDF response to Bastrop Advertiser’s misleading article on July 21, 2016.

Environmental Stewardship Celebrates a Water Achievement in the Central Texas

Groundwater Availability Model improvements will include groundwater-surface water integration for the Colorado River and the Central Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer

After seven years of advocating for action on groundwater-surface water interaction  gma_12issues in Central Texas, we are on the verge of a major step forward in our efforts to protect the Colorado River and its tributaries from over-pumping of groundwater.   A recent contract between the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and INTERA Incorporated will play a vital step in helping planners understand and manage this important ecological and hydrological relationship, thereby achieving one of our major goals – to establishing a science link between groundwater and surface water to inform policy and management decisions.  …

Hearing on End Op’s Obstruction Attempt; Beal flies under radar

The Honorable Carson Campbell of the 21st Judicial District Court of Bastrop County will hold a hearing on End Op, LP’s “request for declaratory judgment on lack of jurisdiction.” (See background below).  The hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at the Bastrop County Court House, 804, Pecan Street, Bastrop, TX 78602.  The public is invited to attend.  Landowner attorneys will argue before the judge for dismissal of the request.

That’s a lot of legalese.  Basically, End Op is attempting to throw a stick in our spokes and derail our appeal in state court to gain “party status”. This is End Op’s ongoing attempt to deny local landowners their due process rights to oppose End Op’s permit application to export 46,000 ac-ft/yr (almost 15 billion gallons) of groundwater from Bastrop and Lee counties to feed the thirst of the  I-35/TX-130 growth corridor.  End Op has yet to find customers for that water after years of hustling.

Local Water Marketer Beal flies under the radar

LCRA Water Management Plan in final review at TCEQ

The TCEQ is in the final phase of reviewing the LCRA’s application to amend its Highland Lakes Water Management Plan (WMP).   Stakeholders from all sides of the issues made oral comments and submitted written comments during the month-long comment period that ended last week.

Environmental Stewardship (ES) provided both oral and written comments urging protection of the Colorado River and Madagorda Bay by guaranteeing “essential life support” level environmental flows.  ES also urged the TCEQ and LCRA to take a leadership role in doing the studies necessary to understand why more rain in the contributing watershed for the Highland Lakes has resulted in less inflows.

Board Delivers Verdict after LCRA Whines

The Lost Pines Board, at its January 21st meeting, delivered its decision on the LCRA’s application to amend Condition (1) of its groundwater pumping operating permit after LCRA whined that the Board was paying too much attention to the public’s concerns, especially Environmental Stewardship.…