ES Challenges Recommendations and Offers Sane Path Forward

This is INSANE but there is a SANE PATH FORWARD.   Yes, it is insane that the Lost Pines GCD is on the verge of permitting five and a half times (5.6) more water from the Simsboro aquifer than is available, however,  Environmental Stewardship has provided a sane path forward …but it is up to you and your local elected officials to demand a sane path forward. 

Demand that the Board deny these permits until they have
adequate legal findings to support an informed decision. 

The total amount of Modeled Available Groundwater (MAG) from the Simsboro Aquifer by 2010 is 29,556 acre-feet/year per the Lost Pines Management Plan.  Lost Pines is currently considering permit applications for 119,199 acre-feet/yr which is 4 times more water than is available for pumping.  Adding the current 45,365 acre-feet/year already permitted brings the total to 164,884 acre-feet/yr which is 5.6 times the amount of water currently available (without considering Environmental Stewardship’s ecological concerns).

So far, the General Manager has recommended approval of ALL the applications that have been presented to the Board of Directors. See Permit Concerns for copies of GM Recommendations.

Environmental Stewardship requested and has obtained a legal opinion from the prestigious water law firm of Lowerre, Frederick, Perales, Allmon and Rockwell Attorneys at Law regarding the recommendations of General Manager Joe Cooper to grant the requested permits.  In summary, they found that “In processing these applications, Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (LPGCD or District) has not complied with the requirements of Texas Water Code § 36.113(d). This provision of the Water Code requires that the District consider certain factors when granting a permit. As discussed below, the District has not considered these factors in a manner that would support issuance of the requested permits.”  “Since the District has not considered these impacts, the District has failed to consider a factor which the Legislature has required it to consider. Thus, any decision to issue the permits would be arbitrary and capricious.

“By statute, the District bears a duty to consider such impacts. If the GAM is not a good tool for this purpose, then the District bears a duty to find a tool that enables a meaningful consideration. If more detailed information would allow the GAM to be used, then the District bears a duty to develop this information, either through its own efforts or by requiring that an application include such information,”  opined Mr. Eric Allmon.

It is up to YOU, the citizens of Bastrop and Lee counties to demand that your local elected officials insist that the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District stand up to its DUTY to protect the aquifers of our region and take the SANE PATH FORWARD.   Write , call, or visit your county Judge and Commissioner and demand that the Lost Pines GCD uphold the laws of the State of Texas by acting on their duty as prescribed by the State Legislature.


ACT TODAY, TRULY THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE to influence the decision of
the Lost Pines Board of Directors. After the vote on April 17, the rest will be HISTORY

Provide your concerns in writing to your County Judge, County Commissioner, and the Lost Pines Board AND attend the meeting in Giddings, TX on April 17, 2013:  Click on the email address below to make your comments directly.  Please copy Environmental Stewardship at

Judge Paul E. Fischer (Lee County)
200 South Main, Room 107
Giddings, Texas 78942
Phone: 979-542-3178
Fax: 979-542-2988


Judge Paul Pape (Bastrop County)
804 Pecan Street
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: (512) 332-7201
Fax: (512) 581-7103

Click here for list of Bastrop County Commissioners

Lost Pines Board of Directors
908 Loop 230
PO Box 1027
Smithville, Texas 78957

Please make sure you put “Comments to LPGCD Board of Directors” in the subject fieldand address your comments to Mike Talbot and Board Members.
If you share our concerns below, please put
“I share Environmental Stewardship’s concerns” in the subject line.


will VOTE on the following applications at their next Board Meeting

Heart of Texas Suppliers, LP
Lower Colorado River Authority
Forestar (USA) Real Estate Group, Inc.
Regular Board Meeting 6:00 P.M.
Giddings City Hall, 118 East Richmond St., Giddings, TX 78942


will hold a public hearing and vote on the following applications 

End Op , LP

Manville WSC
Hearing 7:00 P.M.

Giddings City Hall, 118 East Richmond St., Giddings, TX 78942

Current Simsboro Aquifer Applications Pending:
–  45,000 acre-feet/yr          Forestar Group      Vote on April 17
–  10,000 acre-feet/yr          LCRA                    Vote on April 17
–  56,000 acre-feet/yr          End Op                 Hearing and Vote on April 17
–    3,226 acre-feet/yr          Manville WSC        Hearing and Vote on April 17
–    3,360 acre-feet/yr          Heart of Texas      Vote on April 17
–    1,613 acre-feet/yr          City of Bastrop      Approved March 20
Currently Permits in the Simsboro Aquifer 
–  23,627 acre-feet/yr            Aqua WSC
–    6,653 acre-feet/yr            Manville WSC
–  11,023 acre-feet/yr            Lee Co. WSC
–       100 acre-feet/yr            Lee Co. FWSD
–         67 acre-feet/yr            Hunters Crossing
–    3,850 acre-feet/yr            Alcoa (currently pumping 6201 acre-feet/yr)
  45,365 acre-feet/yr        TOTAL PERMITS FOR SIMSBORO WELLS
164,884 acre-feet/yr        TOTAL SIMSBORO APPLICATIONS + PERMITS
             4.4 times the Available Water in 2010 MAG for the Simsboro Aquifer
5.6 times the Available Water in 2060 MAG for the Simsboro Aquifer


A FEW FACTS From the Lost Pines Management Plan

–  Total Available Groundwater (MAG) in the District by 2060 is 58,888 acre-feet/yr.

–  Bastrop County projected water demand by 2060 is 65,266 acre-feet/yr.

–  Lee County projected water demand by 2060 is 6,603 acre-feet/yr.   

–  Current discharge to surface waters from all aquifers is 78,612 acre-feet/yr.  

–  Net recharge to all aquifers (recharge – discharge) is 7,249 acre-feet/yr.   

–  Current pumping for all aquifers in the District is 47,811 acre-feet/yr (website)

–  Current permits for all aquifers 73,000 acre-feet/yr (Austin-American Statesman) 


Click here for NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING (March 20 meeting, 4 pages)
Click here for NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING (April 17 meeting, 2 pages)
You are encouraged to TAKE ACTION NOW to let your voice be heard by the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors.  Attend the meeting on Wednesday evening and/or send them an email expressing your concerns.  If you share our concerns, please tell the Board so they know that we have your support too. 

Finally, we need your financial assistance.
  Unfortunately it takes money to get legal opinions and to keep you informed.  Please consider making a generous contribution today.  See the side-bar below “Please Donate Now!” to get more information on how you can help.  Thank you.