By Camelia Juarez
The draft rules for the Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone are available for public comment until Sept 23. The rules will be voted on Sept 25.
The new rules were drafted with the help of a variety of stakeholders and the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation district.
The location of the Jacob’s Well Groundwater Management Zone will be shown on the map at http://haysgroundwater.com/management-zones.
Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District director Linda Kaye Rogers said these rules were designed to protect the water in whole area long term in spite of the growth.
“Jacob’s Well very much says what is happening in that whole zone. If that well gets really down, so will other people’s wells too. This was not only protecting the flow of Jacob’s Well, it will try to ensure that 20-30 years from now that people who have private wells will have water,” Rogers said.
Current well owners within the zone will be required to provide monthly groundwater production reports and will have a pumping baseline based on previous pumping in a nondrought year. Additionally, permit holders will not be allowed to ask for increased pumping privileges, unless their business can prove business growth needing more water.
Anyone seeking a new permit within this zone is not allowed to create any business-use wells in the Middle Trinity, unless a business can prove they have already made an investment to begin a business and their business depends on water usage.
The rules do not affect private well owners, however they cannot turn their private well into a business well in this zone.
During a drought season, the district will notify permit holders of possible curtailments based on the flow meter at Jacob’s Well.