March 1, 2012
Today the Texas Water Development Board met to hear the WVWA appeal of the 30' DFC that was adopted by GMA 9 in 2010. Attached for your information are: CARD Letter to TWDB; City of Wimberley Resolution; and Will Conley Letter to TWDB.
The meeting was attended by a strong contingent of supporters of the WVWA appeal, members of the HTGCD Board and staff, Ron Fieseler with GMA 9, and TWDB staff. David Baker made an excellent presentation on behalf of the WVWA appeal. David Glenn recorded 18 public commenters at the hearing, most in favor of the WVWA position. Jimmy Skipton spoke in favor of the GMA 9 position. Ed Pope spoke for the WVWA position. Mark Key gave a short unintelligible comment. Will Conley made a statement of concern and referenced his letter sent earlier. Mayor Protem Steve Thurber presented the Wimberley Resolution. I presented the CARD letter.
The TWDB Board took action to find the DFC adopted by GMA 9 to be "reasonable", which means the challenge of the 30' DFC has ended for now. The Board was constrained from considering the requested action to include a Specific Groundwater Management Area for Jacob's Well by the agenda posting which included only the DFC consideration. Also the Board members considered the SGMA a local issue and asked locals to work with the HTGCD to develop a special management zone.
This ruling was not unexpected since the TWDB is constrained by their rules of procedure and is reluctant to rebuff their staff's recommendations. However, TWDB Commissioner Labatt from San Antonio spoke of the need for the Texas Legislature to relook at the state's law governing groundwater and bring them into reality consistent with the current understandings of groundwater hydrogeology/production - far different from the early 1900's when Texas groundwater law evolved.
GMA-9 coordinator Ron Fieseler appeared to support working with the HTGCD to consider some locally adopted actions to protect the viability of Jacob's Well. So we are back to the table with the current HTGCD Board and GMA 9 to seek any special consideration for Jacob's Well. However, we now have the support of the cities of Wimberley and Woodcreek (Mayor Eskelund also sent a supportive letter) and the statement of Commissioner Conley in the fight to save Jacob's Well. So this effort has brought us one step closer to success.
Thanks to all the CARD members and others for their support.
Supporting letters and resolution (PDF downloads):