02-2012 Cross Section

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					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,
                                           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
                                           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
 two-thirds empty.
     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
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            
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:                                   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
                                                                                   Lubbock, Texas.
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                          ■ 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
                                                                         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
                                                 S          S
                                                                                                                                                     Oklahoma State University. During his career,
                 L                                                L
                                                                                                                       S                             Ott was assistant professor of agronomy and
                                                                                 L       S
                                                                                                                                                     professor of soils at Panhandle A&M College at
                                                                                                       L    SL                                       Goodwell, director of the Panhandle Experiment
                                                                   SL        L
                                                                                         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                               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                                               
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)

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