Success Reining in Proposed DFCs

WaterDefenders make significant progress reining in Proposed Desired Future Conditions

GMA-12 votes against Lost Pines’ Conservation DFC

Figure 1. Graphic provided to the Lost Pines Board of Directors to demonstrate the concerns and requests from WaterDefenders Coalition (November 8, 2021, based on Scenario S-15)

We want to thank the Lost Pines Board of Directors for taking a strong stand in its recent vote to adopt conservation based Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) for the Simsboro aquifer. At the November 30th GMA-12 meeting we were able to confirm that the District will be able to adopt DFCs that are 10% more conservative for all aquifers as soon as they get certification back from the Texas Water Development Board that the adopted DFC are administratively complete, that their is agreement on the results of the pumping file, and Modeled Available Groundwater has been calculated for each aquifer.

Here is a brief summary of what happened over the last month.

After a major victory for conservation and consideration of domestic/livestock wells and surface waters by Lost Pines GCD Board (see below), the Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA-12) representatives  voted against Lost Pines’ request at the November 12th meeting.

With the recent victory in hand, WaterDefenders went to the November 12th meeting hoping that all the member districts of GMA-12 would accept the “reasonable” actions taken by Lost Pines. However, we ended up with a decision by GMA-12 representatives that is a compromise.

General Manager, Jim Totten, made a motion to accept a pumping file [Scenario S-20] which would results in a new DFC of 183 feet average drawdown and about 30,300 acre-feet per year of pumping in the Simsboro formation for Lost Pines GCD.  While the motion was seconded by Post Oak Savannah GCD, it failed on 2-3 vote, yay-nay.

A second motion was made to accept a pumping file [S-19] which results in a new DFC of 240 feet average drawdown, and about 82,800 acre-feet per year (AFY) of pumping in the Simsboro formation for Lost Pines GCD. This motion passed 4-1, yay-nay.

However, this is a significant victory for WaterDefenders, stakeholders, landowners and surface waters in Lost Pines District.   Overall, this leaves us substantially ahead when compared to the Scenario S-12 that was initially proposed.  The reductions gained through WaterDefender efforts will result in a 54% reduction in pumping from the originally proposed DFC, and a 31% reduction in drawdown from the originally proposed DFC.

The battle over sound management heats up at GMA-12.

Comparison of impacts of Current DFCs vs. Proposed DFCs on Colorado River. Click on graphic to hear discussion of these impacts by Steve Box at GMA-12 Meeting on April 20, 2021.

Coalition formed to advocate for sound management  – not aquifer mining – as the only way to protect our local communities and the environment from groundwater over-pumping!…

Public Hearing: LCRA Groundwater Permit Application

PUBLIC HEARING LCRA’s Groundwater Permit Application January 28, 2021 at 6-9 PM Hybrid Meeting Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District’s Board of Directors will hold a Public Hearing on January 28th from 6-9 pm. The meeting will be held at the Bastrop Convention & Exhibit Center with a virtual connection for public participation. For the District’s…

ES Requests DFCs to protect Colorado River and Tributaries

Environmental Stewardship requests Desired Future Conditions be adopted to protect the Colorado River and its tributaries from impacts of groundwater pumping Environmental Impact of Groundwater Pumping on the Colorado River and its Tributaries   Environmental Stewardship’s Executive Director, Steve Box, presented a power point review of its request that Groundwater Management Area 12 establish standards to…

LCRA permit now pending with Lost Pines’ Board

Administrative Law Judges Rebecca S. Smith (right) and Ross Henderson (left) presiding over the contested case hearing on LCRA’s groundwater application.

The Administrative Law Judges recently issued a reply to exceptions filed by the parties clearing the way for a final decision on LCRA’s groundwater permit application. The reply includes some changes to the original Proposal for Decision (PFD). With these changes — which preserve Environmental Stewardship’s win on surface water issues — the District’s Board of Directors now have the guidance they requested and can take final action on LCRA’s pending permit application. 

Environmental Stewardship scores partial victory

Hearing on LCRA’s application for a groundwater pumping permit held before SOHA Judges in October, 2019.

We are pleased and grateful to claim a partial victory in the contested case hearing on LCRA’s application for a groundwater pumping permit.   The judges have issued a Proposal for Decision (PFD) that includes the recommendation that surface water monitoring must be done by LCRA as a part of the permit.  See the attached press release and summary of the key findings as they relate to surface waters.   

Environmental Stewardship provides scientific information on local environmental impacts

Environmental Stewardship provides scientific information on impacts on the Colorado River, aquifer formations, and exempt domestic wells. Groundwater pumping in the Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer group affects the Colorado River and its tributaries, the Carrizo, Calvert Bluff and Hooper formations, other aquifers, and landowners’ domestic wells.   Environmental Stewardship has been working with George…

Mark your calendars: Hearing on LCRA’s Application for Ground Water Permit

Mark your calendar:  Hearing on LCRA’s Application for Groundwater Permit. October 15-18 and 21-22 at 10:00AM, Bastrop Convention Center, Bastrop, Texas. We’ve been busy preparing for the Contested Case Hearing on LCRA’s application to pump 25,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year from Bastrop County. Yes, we have been missing in your inbox for months now…