Groundwater conservation discussed at Lions Club meeting

June 5, 2014

At Tuesday's weekly meeting of the Sweetwater Lions Club, a presentation was given by club member Dale Adams.
Adams has been the manager of the Wes-Tex Groundwater Conservation District for five years. He also serves as board member of the Texas Groundwater Management Association for Region 7 and the Brazos Regional G Water Planning Group within the Texas Water Development Board.
Additionally, Adams has obtained a Texas Water Law Certificate, in which yearly continuing education is required.
The mission of the Wes-Tex Groundwater Conservation District is "providing the conservation, protection, the enhancement of recharge, and the prevention of waste of groundwater within the District by developing and implementing an efficient, economical and environmentally sound conservation program with full consideration and respect for the individual citizens of the District."
The main aquifers in the state of Texas are the Ogallala aquifer, in which traces are found in Nolan County in the northwest part. Covering most of the county is the Edwards-Trinity aquifer and is shared with Taylor and Coke counties.
The Edwards-Trinity boasts a "safety factor," in that the amount of sand in the aquifer determines how fast the water is retrieved. This particular aquifer can only retrieve water so fast, which results in water not being lost.
Part of the Dockum aquifer is found at the western part of the county, which is the source of water Sweetwater uses to obtain water and is shared with Mitchell County. A portion of the Blaine aquifer is positioned to the north of Nolan County.
A breakdown of the aquifers within the county was shown through some hydrology work done by Daniel B. Stephens. Information for this model can be obtained by going through the formations in the well and well logs, injecting dye to the formation and tracing its path for size and capacity, or by using a seismograph.
And because the aquifers are not completely flat, the water depth changes from one place to another. Additionally, one aquifer does not run into another aquifer.
Adams also shared information regarding the passing of State Bill 332 in 2011, which reaffirmed the "rule of capture" in Texas which states that water found on a property belongs to the land owner. However, District 122 State Representative Lyle Larson has been challenging the rule through his proposal of a new bill in the legislature in which all water within the state has to be piped to areas where the population is.
Adams did note, however, that the Texas Water Code makes that proposal impossible to accomplish and urged club members to contact their state representatives to voice their opposition.

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