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Current State of Groundwater Management, Larry French
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Current State of Groundwater Management, Larry French

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  • 1. Current State of Management in Texas Larry French, P.G. Director, Groundwater Resources Texas Water Development BoardPresented at the Texas Groundwater Summit August 28, 2012
  • 2. Groundwater ManagementFrom law (TWC §36.108 (d-2)), “…a balancebetween the highest practicable level ofgroundwater production and the conservation,preservation, protection, recharging, andprevention of waste of groundwater and controlof subsidence in a groundwater managementarea.”(in context of proposing desired futureconditions)
  • 3. Keep in mind…this is what is being managed.
  • 4. Data – the “blocking and tackling” of groundwater management• Needed to make appropriate management decisions.• What is the effect of management on the resource?
  • 5. The Groundwater Management “Equation”GCDs GMAs DFCs TWDB MAGs RWPG
  • 6. What is Groundwater Availability? Groundwater Policy Science Availability Desired GAM Modeled Future or other AvailableConditions tool Groundwater Goal: informed decision-making
  • 7. GCDs GMAs DFCs TWDB MAGs RWPG
  • 8. 99GCDs
  • 9. How is groundwater managed?• Permitting – Well spacing – Production limits• Desired future conditions• Modeled available groundwater
  • 10. GCDs GMAs DFCs TWDB MAGs RWPG
  • 11. 16GMAs
  • 12. GCDs GMAs DFCs TWDB MAGs RWPG
  • 13. Desired Future Condition• The desired, quantified condition of groundwater resources (such as water levels, water quality, spring flows, or volumes) at a specified time or times in the future or in perpetuity.• For “relevant” aquifers• Broad Policy Goal – Drawdown (most DFCs) – Spring flow (a few DFCs) – Storage volumes (High Plains)• Updated at least every 5 years
  • 14. In general, what are relevant* and non-relevant* aquifers?• Relevant: – Major (9) and minor (21) aquifers defined by TWDB* – Any other aquifer where groundwater production is now or expected to be managed by GCD (i.e., permitted)• Non-Relevant: – No large-scale production anticipated – Production will not affect conditions in relevant aquifer(s) – Look at proposed definition in draft TAC Chapter 356 rules*Fine print caution: these statements are “common practice” but not legally defined in statute or current rule
  • 15. Example:Non Relevant Major Aquifers in Region F
  • 16. DFC Balancing• Highest practicable level of • Conservation, preservation, groundwater production protection, recharging and prevention of waste of groundwater and control of subsidence
  • 17. GCDs GMAs DFCs TWDB MAGs RWPG
  • 18. Groundwater Availability Models (GAMs)• Approximations of reality• Objective of models: define groundwater availability – Groundwater district management plans – Regional water planning group plans
  • 19. Modeled Available Groundwater (MAG)• GCDs, to the extent possible, shall issue permits up to the point that the total volume of exempt and permitted groundwater production will achieve an applicable DFC Example: 100,000 acre-feet per year
  • 20. GCDs GMAs DFCs TWDB MAGs RWPG
  • 21. Districts in GMAsdecide Desired Future Conditions and deliver to TWDB TWDB provides estimatesof Modeled Available Groundwater to districts and regions Districts and regions include Modeled Available Groundwater in plans
  • 22. What’s new/next in groundwater management?• Data based – continued measurements and improved accessibility of the data (WIID)• Issues with non-relevant aquifers and deciding on the groundwater availability in these areas• GAMs – the next generation• DFCs – the next round underway (petitions have been resolved….but there is a lawsuit)
  • 23. Management Challenges• Brackish groundwater development• Energy development (fracing)• Legal dynamics and uncertainties
  • 24. Larry French, P.G.Director, Groundwater Resources larry.french@twdb.texas.gov 512-463-5067