HaysCARD - Water
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A Challenging Future

Because of a pervasive drought in the Texas Hill Country, the need for available surface and groundwater is hitting a peak. CARD has reviewed the current groundwater conditions for western Hays County and has found the following:

  • The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD), which regulates pumping by water supply companies, has agreed to a modeled available groundwater (MAG) pumping of 9,600 acre feet per year (3 billion gallons) for all users, both permitted and exempt.
  • 50% of the current water draw is being pumped by the 6,500 exempt private wells that are not regulated.
  • The pumping rate approved by the HTGCD will cause a 19' average drawdown of the local aquifer over the 50-year planning cycle. Many private wells, area springs such as Jacobs Well, and spring fed waterways like the Blanco River and Cypress Creek are at risk of going dry if this pumping rate is carried out as planned.
  • Because private wells are not regulated by the HTGCD, and with the growth expected in Western Hays County over the next 50 years, studies show that private wells will consume 95% of the available groundwater, leaving only 5% for public water supplies.
  • It is crucial that our area's limited groundwater supply be managed properly so that it can serve both the needs of western Hays County's existing development and anticipated growth.

One solution proposed for western Hays County is to pump groundwater and/or surface water from other areas of Texas. Although plans to pump groundwater into western Hays County have been developed and approved by the Commissioners Court, the various river authorities have already fully committed available surface water from area lakes and rivers to their end users. Other aquifers in Central Texas are possible alternative water supplies; however, these sources have limited reliability, which became apparent when the directors of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District in Bastrop County reduced the groundwater pumping permits that allow the transfer of water from their local aquifer. This action set a precedent for many similar ventures and indicates that other methods of solving water shortages will have to be found.

Because we all live, work, and play in this beautiful part of the Texas Hill Country and want to continue to enjoy the lifestyle that we have today, we need to reduce the amount of water we use. We live on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert and arid conditions are now the norm; therefore, we suggest the following ways to reduce water use:

  • In many urban areas 70% of water consumption is used for outside irrigation. In the Hill Country, we must limit the use of water for outside landscape irrigation, decorative ponds, recreational lakes, and swimming pools.
  • Landscaping for Hill Country residences and commercial development should use xeriscape design and drought tolerant plants and ground cover. New low-water-use turf grasses are available and have been very successful in Hill Country landscapes.
  • For homes with adequate roof area, rainwater collection with properly sized storage tanks will provide a reliable and pure source of water for residential use. State and local governments should encourage/require installation of rainwater collection systems on all new home construction. Incentives are needed to encourage the conversion of existing homes to rainwater, as well as public education programs that demonstrate the great advantages of rainwater.
  • Current State law limits the ability of large buildings to use rainwater as a water supply by requiring very expensive treatment and testing processes, much higher than for well water supply. Changes in State law to allow/encourage rainwater use for commercial applications would make collecting rainwater more attractive than using well water.
  • Large buildings (schools, grocery stores, warehouses) within the Hill Country generate huge quantities of rainwater runoff. Through capture and storage, this water could supplement the groundwater used by local water supply companies without large expensive pipeline systems.
  • Development regulations within area cities and Hays County should recognize that water availability is the limiting factor for future growth and set regulations accordingly. New subdivisions can be built with guidelines that limit the amount of ground covered by concrete or asphalt, and preserve open space for aquifer recharge and outdoor recreation. Homes can be built with rainwater collection as the primary water supply source, rather than well water. Highly treated wastewater can be used for landscape irrigation.
  • Landowners with larger tracts can dedicate conservation easements to preserve open space, protect endangered species, and enhance aquifer recharge while the owner enjoys a tax benefit. Information on how to implement easements should be made available to the general public.

For the Hill Country to remain viable and for our property to hold its value, we must all be responsible for improving water availability—individuals as well as those who develop and implement policy. Recognizing the limits of the land and water in this region and finding ways to work together, we can determine the solutions that will support life in the Texas Hill Country for many years into the future.


CARDtalk: Permeable Pavers - More Than Meets The Eye (8/18/19)

CARD Alert:Central Wimberley Wastewater Project Workshop (6/14/19)

CARDalert:Aqua Texas Not a Done Deal (12/13/18)

CARDalert:Sharing CARD Publications (7/19/18)

CARDalert:Wimberley Citizens for No Aqua Texas to Host Rally 7/13/18)

CARDtalk: TESPA Meeting about EP (5/10/18)

CARDtalk: Coming This Week - Wastewater Project Collection System Kickoff (4/15/18)

CARDtalk: Coming This Week - Wastewater Project Collection System Kickoff (4/15/18)

CARDtalk: Understanding The E. coli Test Results.html(1/17/18)

CARDtalk: Good News from Texas Water Development Board (10/19/17)

CARD call to action: Please Send One Email to Stand Up for Wimberley (10/12/17)

CARDtalk: Petition Signers Support City Council Action (7/26/17)

CARDtalk: Blanco River/Onion Creek Water Forum (7/9/17)

CARDtalk:The Voters Spoke but the Clock Keeps Ticking (5/30/17)

CARDtalk: Just the Facts (1/5/17)

CARDtalk: CARD Hosts Town Hall Meeting: Protect Our Wimberley Valley (12/27/16)

CARDtalk: Why Aqua Texas Wants Control of Wimberley's Future (11/30/16)

CARDtalk: One More Time (10/31/16)

CARDtalk: Wimberley Speaks Up (10/27/16)

CARDtalk: Wimberley's Central Sewer System - A $1 Million Vote to Decide the Future of Wimberley (10/17/16)

CARDtalk: Wimberley's Central Sewer System - Now IS The Time (6/16/16)

PETITION: "Say No to Aqua Texas" (6/10/16)

CARD Call to Action: PETITION DRIVE: "Say No to Aqua Texas And Yes To The Already Approved Wimberley Wastewater Treatment Plan" (6/10/16)

CARDtalk: 7 Reasons to Tell City Council Members:
"Don’t surrender Wimberley’s wastewater control to Aqua Texas" (5/29/16)

CARDtalk: Need for Realistic Flood Elevation Maps (5/26/16)

CARDtalk: Jack Hollon Wins Groundwater Stewardship Lifetime Achievement Award (2/6/16)

CARDtalk: TESPA challenges Temporary Permit for Needmore Water, LLC (11/9/15)

CARD Call to Action: CARD Urges Complete Evaluation and Public Meeting about Needmore Application (10/9/15)

CARDtalk: What should be the new drawdown of the Trinity Aquifer? Special Public Meeting (9/19/15)

CARDtalk: What should be the new drawdown of the Trinity Aquifer? Special Public Meeting (9/19/15)

CARDtalk: HB 3405 Passes but EP War Not Over (5/23/15)

CARD Call to Action: EP won a battle, let’s win the war (5/19/15)

CARDtalk: Electro Purication Challenged by Legislation and Law, So where are we now on EP? (5/13/15)

CARD Call to Action - TESPA Says Electro Purification Wells Require HTGCD Permit (4/9/15)

CARDtalk: CITIZEN ALERT - A Possible Interim Water Supply for Buda (4/6/15)

CARDtalk: REPORT - Your petitions go to the State Capitol (4/2/15)

CARDtalk: CITIZEN ALERT - Misinformation Campaign Against Wimberley Citizens and Our Property Values (3/26/15)

CARDtalk: CITIZEN ALERT - TESPA Announces Water Defense Plans at Meeting on Saturday, March 21 (3/17/15)

TESPAtexas.org (3/3/15)
Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association website

Excellent Website devoted to threat to Trinity Aquifer

CARDtalk: CITIZEN ALERT - TCEQ Public Meeting On Draft Permit for Wimberley Water Reclamation Plant Proposal (3/4/15)

Dallas Morning News: Water tug-of-war has Central Texans fearing they’ll be sucked dry (3/1/15)

TESPA Press Release PDF (2/25/15)

CARD Hays Water Defense Resolution PDF (2/24/15)

The New Water Wildcatters by Patrick Cox, PhD (2/22/15) (Download)

Austin Business Jourmal: Buda's water woes focus of Capitol groundwater fight (2/12/15)

CARDtalk: Report on Feb 10 Wimberley Town Hall Meeting on Electro Purification Project (2/11/15)

CARDtalk: IMPORTANT MEETINGS ALERT for Hays Property Owners (2/3/15)

CARDtalk: CALL TO ACTION for Hays Property Owners (2/2/15)

Our Water and the Threat to the Heart of Our Existence by Patrick Cox, PhD (1/30/15) (Download)

Texas Tribune: Friday Night Football Returns to Water Politics (1/30/15)

Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District: Trinity Well Drilling (outside District) (1/27/15)

Texas Tribune: Groundwater Wars Brewing in Austin's Suburbs (1/23/15)

Excellent Website devoted to the unregulated pumping threat to Trinity Aquifer (1/22/15)

CARDtalk: Citizen Alert - Unregulated Pumping Threatens Trinity Aquifer (1/14/15)

CARDtalk: Central Texas Water Tug-of-War #1 (11/18/14)

CARDtalk: Water Crisis Meeting in the Rearview Mirror (9/19/14)

CARDtalk: Water Crisis - What Happened at the Water Crisis meeting? (9/16/14)

CARDtalk: Water Crisis - What's on tap at Thursday's Water Crisis meeting? (9/6/14)

CARDtalk: Water Crisis - Learning to value fresh water from people without enough (9/5/14)

CARDtalk: CARD Supports Wimberley Water Reclamation Plant Proposal (8/20/14)

CARDtalk: Water Crisis - The Cost of Water (8/8/14)

CARDtalk: Water Crisis - Available? Or Not? (8/1/14)

CARDtalk: Water Crisis - Trouble Ahead (7/25/14)

CARDtalk: Announcing Community Water Meeting September 11 (7/8/14)

CARDtalk: Important Decision Ahead for Woodcreek (6/6/14)

CARDtalk: Hays urgently needs a Regional Water Plan (4/12/14)

CARDtalk: Hays County Considers Remote Water Authority (3/28/14)

CARDtalk: Hays County Water Security - At What Price? (2/21/14)

CARDtalk: Hays County Rainwater Fund Proposed (2/3/14)

*Water: Conservation or growth?

*TCEQ Map of Water Systems under Water Use Restriction

CARDtalk: Got Rainwater? (9/3/13)

CARDtalk: A Response from CARD to Water Symposium at Wimberley VFW hall (8/3/13)

*Florida to Sue Georgia in U.S. Supreme Court Over Water

CARDtalk: Create a Separate GMA for Jacob's Well (2/16/12)

CARDtalk: TWDB Turns Down WVWA Appeal (3/1/12)

Jacob's Well becomes vortex for development fight

Here's MUD in Your Eye: Massive Development for 5,000 Acres...

Citizens angry over Isaac's MUD attempt

*Water, MUD and Beer: Recipe for Explosive Hill Country Development Fight

*Wimberley Water Wars - Community activists protest Needmore Ranch development

CARDtalk: MUD meeting report (4/26/13)

CARDtalk: Needmore Ranch MUD Approved with Amendments (5/10/13)

CARDtalk: Wimberley City Council Commits to Central Sewer System with $650,000 Design Project

Council Approves Waiver for COs

Drought Forces WWSC to Implement Stage 3

*Five Key Lessons (and Challenges) from the Great Texas Drought

*Protecting water in Texas: a promise kept or broken?

* Links to original source

More in our Archives...

© Copyright 2008-19 Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development
PO Box 2905, Wimberley, TX 78676   Email: info@hayscard.org
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