Cities unconvinced by Workman’s groundwater bill

Though a bill has been filed by state Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) to create a groundwater conservation district in southwestern Travis County with the goal of monitoring and protecting the area’s supply of ground water, few stakeholders if any are satisfied with the shape and power of the proposed district .

But the proposed Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District differs from the existing districts in some notable ways. While other groundwater districts provide for some exemptions for regulated wells, the proposed Travis County GWD would exempt all private residential wells for domestic use under 10,000 gallons per day, and wells used for “conventional farming and ranching activities,” the bill states.

“It won’t have adequate funding, and there are too many exempt wells for the district to be effective,” Charlie Flatten of Hill Country Alliance said. “A big part of a district’s job is science and monitoring … they can help people understand when the water is low and when there’s enough. This bill does not give enough adequate funding to even rent an office and hire an engineer.” Read more from Statesman.com