TGR NEWS - December 2019
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TGR District Outlines Rules Change Process
Projected increase in aquifer pumping necessitates new district rules
As reported in last month’s newsletter, the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) has engaged a consultant to help the District review and establish new rules with which it will govern Trinity Aquifer protection in Northern Bexar County in the future. The process has taken some steps forward over the past 30 days and there is now a general outline on how the effort will go forward. Because the public and other stakeholders will be included in updating of TGR’s rules through a structured process, highlighting the development of the program in the TGR Resource newsletter will be a priority for the District.
“Transparency should always be a priority for government agencies such as the Trinity Glen Rose District,” said TGR General Manager George Wissmann. “Our goal is to both inform and involve the public and stakeholders in our District’s mission. We see the rules update effort as critical to the District’s long-term success and so we’re going to make every effort to keep everyone in the loop on each step we take. And this newsletter will be just one way we do that.”
At issue today is the fact that projected pumping from the Trinity Aquifer in future years will cause the District to exceed its protective pumping goals. The current TGR rules do not allow the District to regulate the amount of pumping from certain wells the Trinity Aquifer in the District. And, with the continued growth in the District and the growing requests for well drilling permits, the District decided it was necessary to take a hard look at issuing quantitative water withdrawal permits where allowed.
Here’s how the numbers are driving the need for the District’s new administrative rules.
Over the last 14 years, the Trinity Glen Rose District has averaged pumping 19,500 acre-feet per year, and the long-term planning projection is to keep pumping to less than 25,500 acre-feet. That goal is to ensure that the Trinity Aquifer can be sustained in perpetuity using 50-year planning horizons. The District was notified about a two years ago that a new water supply company was planning to possibly withdraw 17,000 acre-feet of additional water per year to supply water to developments north of Bexar County. That pumping alone would cause the District to exceed its annual 25,500 acre-foot regional goal, which the District agreed to as part of the State of Texas water plan budgets.Here are the next steps in the process.
The TGR staff and consultant will develop a matrix identifying the TGR rule differences in relationship to other Groundwater Management Area (GMA 9) member districts.
The next objective will be to develop fair, impartial rules and processes for operating permit determinations for wells classified as “non-exempt” within the TGR in accordance with its statutory authority. This step will also include stakeholder meetings to obtain feedback on the draft rules.
Next the District will establish individualized water well metering standards and rule requirements for all wells requiring meters. Domestic and livestock wells will not have a metering requirement.
And finally, the District will establish other rules that will strengthen the District’s ability to protect and preserve the Trinity Aquifer in Norther Bexar County.
All proposed rules must be developed to adhere to Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code, and, when possible, align with existing rules developed by other Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs) within GMA 9. The rules should also strive to achieve the desired future conditions that apply to the TGR as adopted by GMA-9 in the third round of joint planning.
Once the initial set of rules have been drafted, the District will host public hearings to obtain some feedback on the draft rules. From there the TGR Board of Directors will have to officially adopt the rules in order to implement them.
“Since we are early in the process, we don’t have a specific timeline for public meetings and eventual adoption of the new rules by the TGR board,” Wissmann explained. “However, because new pumping activity is projected to be occurring over the next few years, we view the rules update as our top priority for the District and so we will push ahead with our consultant, board, stakeholders and the general public to get this accomplished quickly.”
Another Successful Arbor Day at Stone Oak
The Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District staff set up a booth at the Stone Oak POA Arbor Day event to visit with attendees about the Trinity Aquifer and how they can help preserve and protect it. Throughout the day, about 250 trees were given away along with hundreds of bags of mulch. Above are some photos from this great event.
You can learn about these great events before they happen by signing up for the TGR Resource newsletter. Just click here to get on our mailing list. We promise not to inundate you with emails. We'll only send information to you that will help you save water and be a good steward of the Trinity Aquifer.
Did You Know...
There are two military bases, Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley, that use water from the Trinity Aquifer that is managed by the Trinity Glen Rose District in Northern Bexar County.