GBRA (Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority) Drilling requested three additional wells in the Carrizo Aquifer, pumping water to Hays County and the I-35 corridor. Gonzales Underground Water Conservation District aims to assure landowner wells in that area that GUWCD is a part of a groundwater management area comprised of several other districts and counties and meticulous planning goes into water management.
GUWCD is a part of a groundwater management area that is comprised of several other districts and counties and, together, extensive planning goes into each one of the aquafers, according to GUWCD.
“That model is created every five years and is updated and plans for 50 years into the future,” said Laura Martin, General Manager at GUWCD. “We have another planning area, the South Central Planning Region Group that is comprised of needs, population needs and utilities. In order for a large project to occur, it has to be in the regional (Region L) plan before any type of movement going forward. There’s a lot more planning involved than the company water wanting to come in and take all of their water, that doesn’t happen.”
Proper swift funding goes into this planning. Concerns such as environmental concerns, cultural considerations, cost considerations, points of delivery, and even historical sites go into Region L.
“It’s not just somebody wanting to come and dig some holes, it’s very well thought out and very well planned,” Martin said.
At a recent Commissioners Court meeting, concerns were raised about the availability of water after word got out that a subdivision would be on 420 acres of homesite near the Waelder area requiring 42 homesites. Precinct 2 Commissioner Donnie Brzozwski, at the meeting, believed this would require an additional 42 water wells.
“It matters where the subdivisions are being built, because most likely if there are 42 domestic wells that need to be drilled, they’re probably going to be in the Queens City Aquifer from that zero to 450 range.” Martin said. “Not in that Carrizo Aquifer, where the large production facility is being drilled. It’s completely different zones and there’s a layer of confinement between the two.”
Martin said there may be some drawdown with 42 different wells if everyone is pumping all at once and she believes a public utility would be prudent. According to the plan, there should be enough water for everyone.
There are caps on the amounts of water that people are allowed to have. For domestic household use, it’s 25,000 gallons a day. People may also request a permit based on their acreage they have.
“We don’t want to limit anyone’s use of water, because people own their water under the ground. We don’t own our surface water, but we do own the water that’s under our land, it’s very important to protect those rights for the landowners,” Martin said. “But also make sure there’s enough for everybody by setting those limits, yes you do own the water, but if you want to exceed the exempt amount, then there’s a permitting process and a request that needs to be made.”
Unfortunately, there’s areas of Texas that don’t have much representation for their water and landowners, according to Martin. She said, therefore local representation is important.
“It’s important to have representation and coverage, because at the state level, there’s not much. So that local representation is important,” said Martin. “There’s areas (of Texas) that’s different. The Panhandle is different than the coast, this area is pretty plentiful in water, (Gonzales County) is very blessed.”
Water level reports will be gathered in September, and the report will be in October at the GWUCD meeting.