The Gonzales County Underground Water Conservation District, at their Nov. 8 district meeting, selected a hearing examiner regarding the preliminary hearing for contested cases protesting the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority’s (GBRA) request to drill three additional water wells in the Carrizo Aquifer.
A main concern at the meeting was the location of the meeting itself and weather to hold it in Gonzales or in Austin. The board members decided on holding the hearing in Gonzales, with the option to Zoom in on call.
At the Oct. 11 public hearing, many citizens voiced their concerns to the council. A spokesperson from GBRA was there.
“For us to go greater than 9,000-acre feet at additional capacity would require more infrastructure than we’re now prepared to move forward with at this time,” said Darrell Nichols, senior deputy general manager of GBRA.
“When we started our initial project of developing the Carrizo Aquifer, it was originally 15,000 acre-feet of our water rights that we had — but that started in 2018. There was a need for some additional water before our surface water could be fully developed and that was the reason for the application that we have.”
GBRA also confirmed that the 9,000-acre feet they opted for matched up with the infrastructure in the Carrizo Aquifer that they can reasonably accommodate.
Ted Boriak, a landowner north of Waelder, made public comment regarding at the Nov. 8 meeting expressing his discontent on Nichols’ failure to respond to landowners regarding this issue.
The three proposed wells would increase GBRA’s authorized production and exportation limits under its existing permits by a total of 9,000 acre-feet. Though the public hearing was mainly aimed at citizen concerns and comments, GBRA confirmed that the 9,000-acre feet they opted for matched up with the infrastructure in the Carrizo Aquifer that they can reasonably accommodate.
Sources also have raised concerns to the Inquirer about water well levels in Nixon, which have reportedly fallen by as much as 25 feet in the past six years. This is an ongoing, developing story which the Inquirer will be following.