We are the key to protecting our water

Mountain City residents emerged from their homes this past weekend amid blue skies and sunshine. It is a fine first week in February. 

“Save our Wells” signs went up in many yards, sparking more interest in the story of Electro Purification, the private water firm from Houston drilling test wells in a small unregulated area off FM 150 near Wimberley. 

Our citizens have really shown concern over this situation though most didn’t think there was anything they could do to make a difference. While I will be the first to admit it looks like an arduous undertaking, there is still strength in numbers. 

Last Thursday’s Hays County Commissioners Court special meeting had a huge turnout including our neighbors from Driftwood, Wimberley, San Marcos and Dripping Springs. All the political figures you would expect to find at a meeting like this were in attendance, but keep in mind that the key element is you and me – along with as many interested parties as we can find.

This meeting seemed to capture the spirit of the community with concerned homeowners, landowners and elected officials coming together to find solutions to the water issues at hand. Judge Bert Cobb said, “We can’t kick the can down the road any further.” 

Our state representative, Jason Isaac, vowed to draft a house bill; he followed through with filing House Bill 1191 this past Friday. Now begins the task of trying to decipher exactly what that bill really means to Hays County. Does it lend the kind of protection we need and will it stand up in court?  This bill must pass in the house and the senate. I urge everyone interested to call Senator Donna Campbell’s office and ask her to co-sponsor a companion bill for HB 1191.

Protecting regions that are not currently covered by a groundwater conservation district is imperative in the short term – this was the loophole Electro Purification exploited. This is how they will set up shop and how they plan to pump out of the ground 1.8 billions gallons of water a year, distributing it through pipelines to the Anthem Development, to Buda and over to the Goforth Utility District.

One other piece of potentially positive news: a public notice from Feb 9 in an Austin newspaper, which read:

“This shall serve as notice of intent to introduce in the 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session: (1) a bill to be entitled An Act relating to the territory and authority of the Barton Springs-Edward Aquifer Conservation District to Certain well for the production of groundwater. (2) a bill to be entitled An Act relating to the territory and authority of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District to regulate certain wells for the production of groundwater; (3) other legislation expanding the territory and authority of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District or the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District to regulate certain wells for the production of groundwater in Hays County, Texas, not presently within or of the territory of either of those conservation districts.” 

Please try to attend as many of the upcoming meetings this week as possible:

Wednesday, February 11th – Hays-Caldwell Public Utility Meeting @ 3pm (Kyle Public Works Building, 520 E RR150) **On the agenda

Thursday, February 12th, – Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District @ 6pm (Manchaca Volunteer Fire Dept @ 655 W FM 1626, Austin)

Wednesday, February, 18th – Goforth SUD @ 7pm (8900 Niederwald Strasse, Kyle) **On the agenda

Thursday, February 26th – Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District @ 6pm  (Church of Christ, 470 Old Hwy 290, Dripping Springs)

Below are some useful websites as you do research and learn more about the issues:

Save Our Wells (www.SaveOurWells.com) 

Hill Country Alliance (www.hillcountryalliance.org) 

Barton Springs / Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (www.bseacd.org)

Edwards Aquifer Authority (www.edwardsaquifer.org) 

Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (www.haysgroundwater.com)

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (www.tceq.state.tx.us) 

Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency (https://hcpua.wordpress.com) 

 

Have a great week and live well, Mountain City.

As always, you are invited to submit tidbits to ptom5678@gmail.com Subject (TIDBIT).

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