DOMESTIC MUNICIPAL AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION
The Cross Section
Volume 58 -- No. 2 THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR WATER! February 2012
A Monthly Publication of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1, Lubbock TX
Water future Directors set Feb. 21 public hearing to receive comments
depends on regarding district rule enforcement policy/penalties
careful plans The Board of Directors of the
High Plains Underground Water
penalties for minor/major
violations of District rules, and
Conkwright, general manager.
“A fine of $15 per acre-foot in
Conservation District will hold a defines violations relating to excess of the APR is proposed for
commentary is reprinted with Feb. 21 public hearing to discuss, groundwater production in excess calendar year 2014 and 2015. It
permission of the author. It originally consider, receive public comment, of the allowable production rate increases to $25 per acre-foot in
appeared in the Jan. 3 edition of the and potentially act on adoption (APR). 2016. The proposed policy will
Austin American-Statesman. Tom establish civil penalties that are
Mason is an attorney with Graves of an enforcement policy/penalty In addition, the proposed policy
Dougherty Hearon & Moody in Austin. schedule for violations of district includes a temporary moratorium substantially lower than the
He is the former general manager of rules. on civil penalties for violations of maximum amount authorized by
the Lower Colorado River Authority The public hearing begins at certain district rules relating to the state law,” he said.
10:00 a.m. in the A. Wayne Wyatt Allowable Production Rate during A copy of the proposed
By Tom Mason Board Room of the High Plains calendar years 2012 and 2013. enforcement policy and civil
Water District office, 2930 Avenue “Temporary provisions in the penalty schedule may be requested
Whether you see a glass of proposed enforcement policy state by e-mail at email@example.com,
Q, in Lubbock.
water as half-full or half-empty that no fines will be assessed in may be reviewed during regular
Comments may be presented
depends on whether you are calendar years 2012 and 2013 business hours at the High Plains
verbally or in written form.
pouring or drinking. for persons who produce ground- Water District office in Lubbock, or
The proposed enforcement
Most of us in the greater water in excess of the allowable is available on the District web site
policy discusses general guide-
Austin region get our drinking production rate,” said Jim at www.hpwd.com.
lines, defines and establishes civil
water from Lakes Travis and
Buchanan, and as we start the
New Year, our glass is almost
Understanding the recent rule amendments:
District clarifies purpose and meaning of rule revisions
The past year brought us
the hottest summer and driest
The High Plains Underground 50 percent of the amount of ground- well systems that were drilled and
12-month period in recorded
Water Conservation District No. water that was available at the time completed before January 1, 2012,
Texas history, and our state cli-
1 (“District) adopted revisions the 50/50 Management Goal was to have additional time to install
matologist has warned that the
to its rules on July adopted in 2010 still available 50 water meters.
drought could last until 2020.
19, 2011, in order years later, in 2060. All wells or well systems that
The December rains, while wel-
to comply with the District Board members and were drilled and completed before
come, came nowhere close to
mandate in state law staff have attended numerous January 1, 2012, will be required to
ending the current drought. What
that it implement its meetings across the District after have approved flow meters installed
is a thirsty state to do?
50/50 Management the rules revisions went into effect by January 1, 2016, except those
On Jan. 5, the Texas Water
Goal. and have identified several areas wells of any size that are used only
Development Board published
The 50/50 of the rules that need additional for domestic purposes (household
See WATER SUPPLY Page Three Management Goal explanation in order to clarify the use) or that are equipped to produce
was adopted by purpose and meaning of its rules no more than 17.5 gallons per minute
the District for the revisions. do not have to be metered.
In This Issue Ogallala Aquifer as its desired
condition of the aquifer in 50 years,
Myth No. 1 - All producers
must have meters installed on all
During this transitional period,
groundwater use may be estimated
1 Board of Directors set
Feb. 21 public hearing
as required by state law.
The 50/50 Management Goal
wells by January 1, 2012.
Truth No. 1 - Based on
using one of the three alternate
measuring methods that have been
3 HPWD rules regulate
groundwater use by
means that the District’s goal
is to have at least 50 percent of
comments received as the rules
revisions were being developed,
approved by the District. Only new
wells drilled and completed after
oil and gas industry the groundwater resources in the January 1, 2012, are required to have
the District included a significant
4 January 2012 U.S. aquifer still remaining in 50 years; transition period in the rules to an approved flow meter installed
Drought Monitor Map or, more specifically, to have at least allow producers that have wells or See DISTRICT Page Two
Visit the high plains water district’s web site at www.hpwd.com
Page 2 THE CROSS SECTION February 2012
District addresses common misconceptions about recent rule revisions
Continued From Page One water a producer may use, they don’t on July 19, 2011, the District now the manufacturer’s installation
actually have to do it. regulates the oil and gas industry specifications, then a simple,
prior to the start of pumping. Truth No. 4 - The District is to the maximum extent allowed by inexpensive modification may
Myth No. 2 - The District is required by state law to actually state law in Chapter 36 of the Texas be made to the well to allow for
going to fine producers $10,000 per achieve its groundwater manage- Water Code. Due to the concerns verification of meter performance.
day for over-pumping. ment goals, which are established raised by this issue, a separate article When selecting a meter to
Truth No. 2 – The District through the joint planning process is included in this issue of The Cross install on a particular well, it is
included language in its rules with other groundwater districts in Section explaining specifically what important that current plumbing
specifying the maximum $10,000 the region, by implementing rules the oil and gas industry must do to design is considered as different
per violation penalty under state and enforcing them. comply with the District’s rules. meters have different installation
law in District Rule 3.10(a)(1) only These groundwater resources Myth No. 6 - In order to in- requirements.
to be consistent with Texas Water are either going to managed through stall a meter on an existing well, a The diagrams and schematics
Code § 36.102(b). local control by the District or by producer is required to make major for installations on existing wells
While Texas law theoretically the State of Texas through some changes to the plumbing of wells are included in the District’s Meter
allows the District to assess a state agency out of Austin if we fail in order to comply with meter Specification and Approved Meter
penalty in this amount, the District to do our job. installation requirements. List, which may be found on the
will adopt an Enforcement Policy State law is very clear that Truth No. 6 - The District District’s website at www.hpwd.
and Civil Penalty Schedule that t h e Te x a s C o m m i s s i o n o n has worked closely with meter com.
specifies enforcement policies Environmental Quality (TCEQ) manufacturers, meter installers, The District is committed to
and penalties that are much, much can regulate our groundwater out of producers, and other ground- working with producers and stake-
lower than the $10,000 per day per Austin if the District fails to imple- water conservation districts with holders to ensure that accurate
violation amount provided in the ment and enforce rules that are similar metering programs, to information on the rules is
Water Code. designed to achieve the management develop installation procedures that provided to the public and to
Furthermore, the District is goals for the future of the aquifer. will result in accurate measure- provide clarification behind the
proposing to adopt a two-year See Texas Water Code §§ 36.3011 ments of groundwater used without purpose and meaning of the
moratorium (suspension) on and 36.303. requiring costly replumbing of District’s rules revisions.
ALL penalties for over-pumping In addition to that state mandate, wells. If you have any questions or
violations, and then gradually stair- it’s a pretty darned good idea for the As long as the meter installed ideas for a future “myths and truths”
step in the amount of the violations future of the citizens of the South is on the District’s approved meter article, please email them to info@
over time based upon the number of Plains and the Panhandle, as well list, and is installed so that it meets hpwd.com.
violations a person has had. That as their children and grandchildren,
proposal will be considered by the
District Board at a public hearing
that we manage and conserve some
of our water resources for the next
HPWD Board elects 2012 officers
on February 21, 2012. generation. The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District Board of
Myth No. 3 - The District Myth No. 5 - The District is Directors elected 2012 officers at their Jan. 25 regular meeting.
does not have the authority to requiring production limits and flow Precinct Four District Director Robert Meyer of Canyon was
regulate the amount of groundwater a meters for irrigated agriculture but at re-elected President and Precinct Three District Director Carroll Cook
producer may use. the same time is not doing anything of Friona was elected Vice-President.
Truth No. 3 - The authority to regulate the use of groundwater Precinct One District Director James Powell of Lubbock was
of the District to conserve, pre- by the oil and gas industry. elected Secretary-Treasurer. He succeeds Precinct Five District
serve and protect the groundwater Truth No 5 - With the amend- Director Bruce Rigler of Plainview, who has served in that position
resources within the boundaries of ments to the District rules adopted since 1996.
the District is found in Chapter 36
of the Texas Water Code.
With respect to whether or
not the District has the authority The Cross Section
to regulate production in order to CARMON McCAIN, Editor BOARD OF DIRECTORS
conserve water for future use, Information/Education Group Supervisor James Powell, Secretary-Treasurer, Precinct 1 . Lubbock
Jim Copeland, Member, Precinct 2 ................... Anton
Texas Water Code § 36.116(a)(2) Telephone: (806) 762-0181 Carroll Cook, Vice-President, Precinct 3 ......... Friona
expressly states that the District can Fax: (806) 762-1834 Robert Meyer, President, Precinct 4 ............. Canyon
regulate the production of ground- Web: www.hpwd.com Bruce Rigler, Member, Precinct 5 ................... Plainview
water by setting production limits DISTRICT STAFF
on wells, limiting the amount of THE CROSS SECTION (USPS 564-920) is a Jim Conkwright.................................................Manager
monthly publication of the High Plains Underground Patty Bryant......................................... Permit Group Supervisor
water produced based on acreage Water Conservation District No. 1, 2930 Avenue Q, Gerald Crenwelge.....................Field Data Coordinator
or tract size, limiting the amount of Lubbock, Texas 79411-2499. Periodicals postage paid at
Billy Barron .......................................... Field Technician
water that may be produced from a Terry Bridges ........................................Field Technician
defined number of acres assigned Articles printed in The Cross Section are not copyrighted C. J. Campbell .....................................Field Technician
and may be reproduced without permission if proper Liz Casias .........Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
to a well site, limiting the maxi- credit is given to the water district as the source of Kathryn CdeBaca ......................... Executive Secretary
mum amount of water that may be the article. Irma Clark ...............Administrative Assistant (Amarillo)
Lee Cranmer ...................................... Field Technician
produced based on acre-feet per The Cross Section welcomes your comments. Please Jim Crownover ................................... GPS Specialist
acre or gallons per minute per well Tucker Retires send Letters to the Editor to The Cross Section, High
Plains Underground Water Conservation District
Rob Goodwin ......................Field Technician (Amarilllo)
Mark Hamilton ................................... Field Technician
site per acre, managed depletion,
Rita Tucker retired Jan. 31 after No. 1, 2930 Avenue Q, Lubbock, TX 79411-2499. Greg Holder ........................................ Field Technician
or by using any combination of the almost eight years as a member
Letters addressed to The Cross Section become the Pat Kunkel.................................................Bookkeeper
previously-listed methods. of the HPWD staff. She served as
property of the newsletter and it owns all rights to their
use. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.
Jed Lebbrandt ...................................... GIS Specialist
Mike McGregor...............................Project Coordinator
Myth No. 4 - Even if the receptionist and also did data entry Juan Pena...........................................Field Technician
District does have the authority for the district's Permit Group. We
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The
Cross Section (USPS 564-920), High Plains Water
Gray Sanders......................................Field Technician
Sherry Stephens............................Executive Assistant
to regulate the amount of ground- wish Rita all the best! District, 2930 Avenue Q, Lubbock, TX 79411-2499. Keith Whitworth............................................Draftsman
February 2012 THE CROSS SECTION Page 3
Water District rules also regulate groundwater use by oil and gas industry
As mentioned in the “Myths required to comply with the oil and gas operations that is exempt
and Truths” article in this issue of Allowable Production Rate, which by state law from the District’s
The Cross Section, the High Plains requires water use to be limited to permitting requirements.
Underground Water Conservation 1.75 acre feet per Contiguous Acre The District has no discretion in
District regulates groundwater use beginning in 2012, 1.5 acre feet per that matter.
by the oil and gas industry to the Contiguous Acre beginning in 2014, That exemption only applies
maximum extent that it is able to and 1.25 acre feet per Contiguous when the water well is used solely
under state law. Acre beginning in 2016. to supply groundwater to a rig that
Most groundwater used in oil That is the total amount of is actively engaged in oil or gas
and gas operations is subject to the groundwater that may be produced drilling or exploration where the
exact same permitting, metering, per surface acre of land, regardless water well is located on the same
reporting, and production limit of whether the landowner owns both oil and gas lease with the rig and the
requirements as any other type of the surface estate and the mineral person holding the permit issued by
water well or water use in the state or whether the mineral estate or the Railroad Commission for the oil
District. oil and gas lease is held by a separate or gas well is the owner or operator
This includes all water wells person than the owner of the surface of the water well.
used for oil and gas production of the land. In that limited situation, the
activities, as well as water wells In other words, there’s no water well is exempt from the
used for oil and gas exploration and double dipping on the Allowable District’s requirement to obtain a
drilling activities in many, if not Production Rate just because a permit, as mandated by state law,
most, situations. person sells a mineral estate or lease but must still comply with the
This means that oil and gas for oil and gas production. D i s t r i c t ’s w e l l r e g i s t r a t i o n ,
operators must obtain a permit There is, however, a very metering, and production reporting
to produce groundwater and are narrow class of water use related to requirements.
Plan now to incorporate water-efficient practices into area landscapes
Outdoor water use can account the Texas Smartscape web site at can thrive on less water. ■ Homeowners with automatic
for 50 to 80 percent of home water www.txsmartscape.com ■ Position sprinklers so that sprinkler systems should regularly
use in the spring and summer. ■ Reduce water evaporation driveways and sidewalks are not check spray nozzles to make sure
Much of this water is often by irrigating at proper times. irrigated. Check spray patterns for they are operating properly. Be
wasted by inefficient landscape Evaporation losses can be 60 percent variations caused by changes in sure to replace any broken sprinkler
watering practices, including or higher during the day. You can water pressure. heads, valves, seals or pipes.
runoff. reduce this by irrigating in early ■ Consider rainwater harvesting ■ Install a rain/freeze
The High Plains Underground morning or late evening. Be sure to to collect/store water for future use sensor on your automatic landscape
Water Conservation District follow your town or city landscape in your landscape. irrigation system which will turn it off
encourages area residents to plan watering ordinances, if applicable. ■ Use mulches to retain soil during rain events. Letting a
now to incorporate water-efficient ■ Do not water landscapes moisture, reduce runoff, moderate sprinkler system operate when
practices into their landscapes to avoid on windy days. Wind drift and the soil temperature, and to slow raining wastes water!
water waste—especially if drought evaporation increase water losses. weed growth. ■ Adjust the run time and
conditions persist across the region. ■ Consider use of drip ■ Use a low-angle sprinkler that frequency of automatic landscape
As of Feb. 6, unofficial National irrigation to water narrow parkway throws large drops of water—rather sprinkler systems to respond to
Weather Service precipitation totals areas or reduce turf in those areas than one that sprays a fine mist that changes in rainfall/temperature
for Amarillo and Lubbock were with water-wise plant varieties that can evaporate quickly. changes.
0.27 of an inch and 0.01 of an inch,
respectively. These totals are -0.58
and -0.77 below normal values of Water supply project proposals will be costly, controversial
0.85 and 0.78 of an inch for this Continued From Page One covers an acre of land one foot to waste time fighting would be
date. deep). selfish and short-sighted. With
“We all hope that the 2011 its 2012 State Water Plan that
reflects years of work by 16 According to the 2012 plan, tough choices ahead, we need to
drought does not continue into keep these things in mind:
different regional planning groups water management strategies
2012. However, if it does, towns 1. Water conservation is the
from across Texas. recommended by the regional
and cities will likely restrict
It projects that by the year planning groups, including 562 new fastest and least expensive way
landscape water use in accordance
2060: water supply projects, could provide to make more water available.
with their drought contingency plans.
■ Texas’ population will almost an additional 9 million acre feet It is a key assumption of the
It is important for area residents to
double, to more than 46 million of water per year at a cost of $53 new water plan, but most agree
be aware of such restrictions and
follow them to conserve people. billion. that conservation alone cannot
water,” said HPWD Manager Jim ■ Water demand will increase Many of the proposals will be meet projected water demands
Conkwright. by 22 percent, but existing water controversial — especially when it over the long term.
With that in mind, here are a few supplies will decrease about 10 comes to large new reservoirs and 2. We need to focus on water
outdoor water conservation tips to percent, largely because of declin- financing major projects. need, not water greed.
consider this spring and summer: ing groundwater production. Mark Twain said that “whiskey Water is a shared, finite
■ Incorporate “water-wise” ■ Texas will need 8.3 mil- is for drinking and water is for fight- resource that everyone needs
plant varieties into your landscape. lion acre feet of additional water ing,” and some claim that we are to survive, and we must work
These plants are native or well- supply (an acre foot of water is about to enter a period of intense, toward a collective sense of
adapted to climate conditions in 325,851 gallons, the amount that jealous infighting over water. Yet See TEXANS Page Four
your area. Learn more by visiting
Page 4 THE CROSS SECTION February 2012
U.S. Drought Monitor January 31, 2012
Valid 7 a.m. EST
| Conservation Conversation
News briefs and other conservation-related information
S S L
DEATH—Dr. Bill J. Ott of Lubbock, 89, died Jan. 27, 2012.
Born in Wewoka Oklahoma, Ott earned his B.S., M.S., and PhD
S S degrees in soil chemistry and plant nutrition from
Oklahoma State University. During his career,
S Ott was assistant professor of agronomy and
professor of soils at Panhandle A&M College at
L SL Goodwell, director of the Panhandle Experiment
L Station at Goodwell, director of the East Texas
Research and Extension Center at Overton, and
Intensity: Drought Impact Types: SL
resident director of the Texas A&M University
D0 Abnormally Dry
D1 Drought - Moderate
Delineates dominant impacts OTT Research and Extension Center at Lubbock. He
S = Short-Term, typically <6 months
D2 Drought - Severe
D3 Drought - Extreme
(e.g. agriculture, grasslands) was preceded in death by his wife and son. Survivors include two
D4 Drought - Exceptional
L = Long-Term, typically >6 months
(e.g. hydrology, ecology) grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, a daughter-in-law, and a sister.
The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions.
Local conditions may vary. See accompanying text summary
for forecast statements. Released Thursday, February 2, 2012 TALL ENROLLMENT--Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ Author: Eric Luebehusen, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Program is seeking applicants for its new class which will begin in
Temporary Relief From Drought July. TALL is a two-year leadership development program managed
The current U.S. Drought Monitor Map indicates recent precipitation has provided by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Applications for the newest
temporary relief from drought in some portions of Texas--including the Panhandle, class, Class XIII, are due March 15. Application forms are online at
Central Texas, and North Texas. Reprinted With Permission. Source: National http://tall.tamu.edu.
Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Texans must work together to solve issue of dwindling water supplies
Continued From Page Three 4. New reservoirs alone won’t important part of our water gas plants), and it takes energy to
reasonable water use so that solve our water problem, and future, but inconsistent regulations treat and pump water.
everyone — cities, farms, many of the reservoir proposals by different local groundwater The 2012 State Water Plan is a
business, bays and estuaries — in the new water plan may never districts, many of them inadequately major achievement.
gets their fair share. be built. funded and under-resourced, along Now we need to exert the will
3. Water is not going to get Large reservoirs are extremely with the unsettled state of Texas to end the water wars and begin
any cheaper. expensive, and Uncle Sam’s wallet groundwater law, create uncertainty to work together on solutions that
Apart from conservation, most is shut tight. Condemning land for that hampers long-term investment. cross political and river basin
water strategies take significant major projects is contentious and 6. Finally, successful water boundaries — solutions that put
dollar investments. Delay and costly in a private property rights planning must be aligned with the state’s interests ahead of special
indecision are not our friends; state like Texas, and important carefully considered energy interests. We must do it as if we
we should invest now in order to environmental concerns have to be choices. believed our state’s future and our
avoid even higher water bills in addressed. It takes water to produce most children’s lives depend on it. And
the future. 5. Groundwater will be an energy (such as cooling for coal and in truth, they do.
Address Service Requested
FEBRUARY 2012 ISSUE
LUBBOCK TX 79411-2499
2930 AVENUE Q
CONSERVATION DISTRICT NO. 1
HIGH PLAINS UNDERGROUND WATER
PERIODICALS PERMIT THE CROSS SECTION (USPS 564-920)