Protecting the Natural Resources of the Lost Pines Region
Category Archives: Groundwater
Underground water that is usually accessed by humans by drilling a well. Groundwater that emerges at the land surface is a spring, and groundwater that emerges below another body of water such as a river, is often referred as “base-flow”. Groundwater is found in underground reservoirs called aquifers.
Surface water impacts focus of March 7 hearing in Milano, TX
Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA12) is located over the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer Group.
Bastrop, Texas. March 7, 2012. The Texas Water Development Board held a groundwater hearing on March 7, 2012, in the Milano Civic Center, Milano, TX. Environmental Stewardship presented evidence on its appeal of the adopted desired future conditions of Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA-12). The hearing focused on the damage to surface water and water rights resulting form over-pumping the aquifers. The public was encouraged to attend but did not have the opportunity to comment at the hearing. Interested persons had 10 business days in which to submit sworn written evidence. Other interested party evidence was provided by George Rice (Hydrologist), Neighbors for Neighbors, Curtis Chubb, Ph.D., and Environmental Stewardship.
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is expected to render a decision on the appeal at their June 21, 2012, Board Meeting to be held in Austin, TX. The staff recommendations should be available to the public on June 14.
Quality and Quantity. Where do we stand?
To manage the groundwater in Bastrop County on a sustainable basis the amount of water returned to the aquifers (recharged) needs to equal the amount of water withdrawn (pumped). Naturally, groundwater is recharged from rainfall and surface waters such as Bastrop Lake and the Colorado River. However, as we develop the land — converting its uses in ways that cause water to “run off” the land, into the river, and out to the Gulf of Mexico without being returned to the ground — less rainwater gets stored in the ground for future use.
If, at the same time more water is pumped than is being recharged, the resource in being used in a non-sustainable manner … the resource is being “mined” like coal or oil. Unlike coal and oil, there is a connection between the surface and the groundwater. When the water table declines, there is likely to be an impact on the plants, wildlife, and humans that inhabit the surface and depend on water for their livelihood and survival. It is the connection between groundwater and surface water that keeps our plants alive, our rivers, streams, and springs flowing, our economy robust, and our quality of life at the level we currently enjoy.
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 issues 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. Continue reading →