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Update, Monday Aug. 24: The HTGCD has scheduled a public hearing on its water waste rule Thursday, Sept. 17, 5 p.m. at Dripping Springs City Hall. The public hearing also will include consideration of three water permits and several notice of violations. From the district, we are informed that three of its "canary" monitoring wells – Mt. Baldy, a second Wimberley Water Supply well, and at Henly Baptist Church – were showing drops of 20 to 30 feet at last check. These are some of the steepest drops in ten years and since the 2006 drought. Some good news . . . public water suppliers in our western hills have scaled back their pumping amounts around 17%, but are still far short of the preferred 30%.
Editor's Note: We received the dispatch below from an alert citizen who is clearly interested in the wellbeing of our aquifer and groundwater supply. The RoundUp did not attend the Aug. 20 board meeting. We appreciate the sharing of this news update and will be checking on its accuracy. The biggest agenda item was the district's retooling of its groundwater waste Rule #9. Scroll down about 7 stories and you can read the proposed rule. All citizens residing within the groundwater district are being encouraged to send in their comments.
The HTGCD meeting on the 20th was shorter than their usual 4 to 5 hour ordeals. This meeting kept to the agenda better than most due to President Doug Wierman’s parliamentary control. The main topic was the reading and discussing the proposed Rule 9. The language of the rule occupied the most time with some discussion of the choice of “shall” or “may” in paragraph A. Overall the rule seemed to sit well with those that chose to comment. Certain definitions of terms got some attention, particularly “Waste," “Unaccounted-for," and "Beneficial Purpose."
A question was asked as to what real punishment will be given to violators of the rule except just more paperwork. Doug Wierman said that he and Andrew Backus, who was not present, were discussing levying fines for the most egregious violators.
When the subject of water waste comes up the discussion always gets around to our old friends, Aqua-Texas and their infamous and mysterious 80,000,000 gallons loss per year in Woodcreek phases I and II, for which no one can account. Brent Reeh of Aqua-Texas was present but did not speak about Rule 9 except to complain that no one sent him a copy. Jim McMeans of C.A.R.D. spoke in favor of the rule and about Aqua-Texas’ transgressions and demanded that the board fix the problem.
He (York) looked tired and obviously misspoke when he said that he found out about the drought in July. When he talked about erosion being a big problem at the school, gasps were heard in the audience. The erosion is likely due to all the hundreds of sprinklers running zone by zone 24/7. Less than 1 inch of rain has fallen at the school in the last 90 days.
Two quick points: The RoundUp has not received any verification that Mr. York made such a statement about becoming aware of the drought in July. One attendee recalls being "surprised" by a similar sounding admission by York. We're checking on a transcript.
. . . and, a thunder storm in June reportedly washed away considerable hydro mulching from the school grounds, which forced the school district to start the grass seeding all over again – a big financial hit. A fair amount of sod, we are informed, was donated.