Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA-12) Review (2013-16)
Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCD) within a designated Groundwater Management Area (GMA) are required to work together to develop and adopt Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) for the aquifers within their territorial jurisdiction. The following page outlines the process that the GCDs must follow in developing and adopting the DFCs.
Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA-12) is located over the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer
Environmental Stewardship’s Executive Director, Steve Box, attended the twelve meetings held between July 2013 and April 2016 where presentations regarding the nine items listed below were considered. Environmental Stewardship provided a number of documents and presentations to the District Representatives and their consultants, ES commented on the items for consideration listed below, describing specific concerns, requesting additional information and actions, and making recommendations. These documents, along with the presentation, are available on the GMA-12 website and are also on this website (see ES comments on GMA-12 Proposed DFCs).
Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA-12) is composed of five GCD with (link to website):
Brazos Valley GCD – Brazos and Robertson counties
Fayette County GCD – Fayette County
Lost Pines GCD – Bastrop and Lee counties
Mid-East Texas GCD – Freestone, Leon and Madison counties
Post Oak Savannah GCD – Burleson and Milam counties
The Texas Water code requires that the GMA develop DFCs that “provide a balance between the highest practicable level of groundwater production and the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of groundwater and control of subsidence in the management area.”
There are I nine items that must be considered by the GMA in developing the DFCs, per the Texas Water Code:
CONSIDERATION 1 – “Aquifer uses or conditions within the management area, including conditions that differ substantially from one geographic area to another:”
CONSIDERATION 2 – “The water supply needs and water management strategies included in the state water plan:”
CONSIDERATION 3 – “Hydrological conditions, including for each aquifer in the management area the total estimated recoverable storage as provided by the executive administrator, and the average annual recharge, inflows, and discharge:”
CONSIDERATION 4 – “Other environmental impacts, including impacts on spring flow and other interactions between groundwater and surface water:”
CONSIDERATION 5 – “The impact on subsidence:”
CONSIDERATION 6 – “Socioeconomic impacts reasonably expected to occur:”
CONSIDERATION 7 – “The impact on the interests and rights in private property, including ownership and the rights of management area landowners and their lessees and assigns in groundwater:”
CONSIDERATION 8 – “The feasibility of achieving the desired future condition:”
CONSIDERATION 9 – “Any other information relevant to the specific desired future conditions:”
Following adoption of proposed desired future conditions (DFCs) the GMA-12 Districts are required to provide “a period of not less than 90 days for public comments” Proposed DFCs were adopted by resolution the GMA-12 at its April 15, 2016 meeting. “After the public hearing the district shall compile for consideration at the next joint planning meeting a summary of relevant comments received, any suggested revisions to the proposed desired future conditions, and the basis for revisions.” The Districts are then required to prepare an “explanatory report for the management area and submit to the development board (TWDB) and each district in the management area.
The Explanatory Report must:
(1) identify each desired future condition;
(2) provide the policy and technical justifications for each desired future condition;
(3) include documentation that the factors under Subsection (d) were considered by the districts and a discussion of how the adopted desired future conditions impact each factor;
(4) list other desired future condition options considered, if any, and the reasons why those options were not adopted; and
(5) discuss reasons why recommendations made by advisory committees and relevant public comments received by the districts were or were not incorporated into the desired future conditions.
ES Comments on Proposed DFCs:
Environmental Stewardship provided comments to Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (both oral and written) on May 20, 2017. As required by the Texas Water Code, these comments are to be considered and responded to as described above according to the Texas Water Code.
GMA-12 Final Explanatory Report
11/22/17 Waiting on receipt of final copy of report
GMA-12’s way of avoiding comments on DFC process:
To avoid Environmental Stewardship’s comments to the GMA-12 representatives between the start of the review in 2013 and the end of the review in 2016 (excluding final summary comments to the Lost Pines GCD in 2016, GMA-12 decided that the review process only included the final summary comments and summarily ignored all of Environmental Stewardship’ comments during the 4 year review period … a questionable judgement on what the law requires.