U.S. Water News Online
SAN MARCOS, Texas -- Fearful of new taxes and loss of
property rights, a group of Central Texas Republicans want to abolish
the groundwater district that manages the sole water source for
thousands of residents dependent on wells for their supplies.
However, supporters of the Hays-Trinity Groundwater Conservation
District contend the agency is the last line of defense against
development-fueled overpumping that might dry up the aquifer.
The district, opposed by the Hays County Republican Party, was
created during the 1999 session of the Legislature to manage the
aquifer. The Trinity stretches from Medina County to the Oklahoma
Residents in a May 3 election must decide whether to keep the
district, one of several in Central Texas that manage the aquifer.
Randy Robinson, a district board member appointed by the county,
is fighting ratification. He says that worries about the aquifer's
capacity being threatened are exaggerated.
He argued that the data that led the state to designate the
Trinity a priority groundwater management area, and thus subject to
greater regulation, is based on the faulty assumption that recharge
into the aquifer is less than 2,000 acre feet.
``In terms of the amount of water we have available, I think we're
in good shape for a while,'' Robinson told the Austin
Contending his fellow board member has taken numbers out of
context in a political agenda, aquifer district board president Jack
Hollon disagreed with Robinson's interpretation.
Quoting a preliminary district study that has been questioned by
other district officials, Robinson said the aquifer's annual recharge
from rain is 22,000 acre feet of water, while wells in the Trinity
take out only 4,000 acre feet a year.
If Hays County residents vote down the district, they would make
their county the second in Central Texas to do so. Comal County voted
against the Southeast Trinity district in 2001.
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