Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Most of the passionate people who make known their objections are too hearty and well intentioned to give up and let the HTGCD Board destroy the valley
Note: Ms. Knight was one of dozens of Wimberely area citizens who attended the board meeting of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Monday in Dripping Springs. She is a member of the board of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association and also serves as a director of the Wimberley Chapter, League of Women Voters. She is speaking here on her own behalf.
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By Dorothy Knight
The headline says it all – the HTGCD Board meeting held Monday, Feb. 21 was another exercise in futility for the Wimberley Valley Citizens who voiced their concerns and provided many good reasons for the Board to table the requested three-year permits from Wimberley Springs Partners and Wimberley Water Supply Corporation.
Despite testimony from two dozen citizens who requested that the HTGCD wait for determination of the Managed Available Groundwater (MAG) for this region to be set by the Texas Water Development Board in the spring before taking action, the District Board ignored all appeals and acted in accordance with the now famous disregard for the public they are supposed to serve. Less than half a dozen citizens voiced support for the action taken.
The lack of concern for the scientific evidence needed to make sound decisions and the disregard for advice from professional hydrogeologists who cautioned that a water budget needs to be established and incorporated into the district’s management plan before making such decisions are glaring indicators of the road ahead for the Wimberley Valley.
The metaphor invoked by David Baker, vice-president of the HTGCD Board, is that it is granting increased usage of water that is already allocated. It is a form of deficit spending that threatens to dry up not only Jacob’s Well but the whole of Cypress Creek in years to come. The following statements reveal why that is an accurate assessment.
The Wimberley Springs Partners were granted their permit with an increase of 250 acre feet per year, with an additional 250 acre feet guaranteed following a year of adequate rainfall, deemed to be 32” or more. The additional 500 acre feet that could be pumped annually by Wimberley Springs Partners will certainly guarantee the development of the 1,300 platted lots owned by WSP will take place, all in the recharge area for Jacob’s Well.
The three-year permit granted to Wimberley Water Supply Corporation allocates an additional 8% in water usage, from 695 acre feet a year to 750 acre feet. In justifying the request for increased water allotment, Tom Haley, the general manager of WWS, stated that additional water might be needed for growth, including an HEB or other businesses that want to open in Wimberley. Is this an omen of the future of this valley?
Disgruntled citizens who came to the meeting and bared their hearts and souls in both their pleas and threats to protest are settling in to determine their next strategy. Action must be pursued or the alternatives that threaten the resources we now protect will predominate.
Most of the passionate people who make known their objections are too hearty and well intentioned to give up and let the HTGCD Board destroy the valley.
Posted by RoundUp Editor at 12:35 PM