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DFCs Demystified and GMA Status Update, Bill Hutchison
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DFCs Demystified and GMA Status Update, Bill Hutchison

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  • 1. DFCs Demystified and GMA Status Update Bill Hutchison, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.Independent Groundwater Consultant August 29, 2012
  • 2. Topics• What are DFCs and GMAs?• Groundwater Management in Texas• Initial Round of Joint Planning• Updated Joint Planning Process
  • 3. Acronyms• GMA = Groundwater Management Area• GAM = Groundwater Availability Model• GCD = Groundwater Conservation District• DFC = Desired Future Condition• MAG = Modeled Available Groundwater
  • 4. Groundwater Management in Texas• 1904 – Rule of Capture – Pumping a well and drying up a neighbors well results in no liability• 1949 – Groundwater Conservation Districts – Can limit, modify or discard Rule of Capture• 1997 – SB 1 – Groundwater Conservation districts are the preferred method of groundwater management
  • 5. Groundwater Management in Texas• 2001 – Groundwater Management Areas – Part of SB 2• 2005 – Joint Planning – HB 1763
  • 6. Groundwater Conservation Districts• Local management of groundwater resources• Preferred method of groundwater management• Can limit, modify or discard the Rule of Capture• Currently – 99 districts
  • 7. Groundwater Management Areas• SB 2 (2001) – TWDB designated 16 GMAs – Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCD) share management plans – Voluntary joint planning (if a GCD called for it)
  • 8. 1 2 6 8 11 3 7 5 12 4 9 14Groundwater 15 10 13Management 16Areas (GMAs)
  • 9. OgallalaGMA 1 & 2
  • 10. Pecos ValleyGMA 3
  • 11. Hueco &MesillaBolsonsGMA 5
  • 12. SeymourGMA 6
  • 13. Edwards-TrinityPlateauGMA 7 (3,4,9)
  • 14. TrinityGMA 8, 9, 10
  • 15. EdwardsGMA 10 & 8
  • 16. Carrizo-WilcoxGMA 11, 12,13
  • 17. Gulf CoastGMA 14, 15,16
  • 18. 19 MinorAquifers
  • 19. HB 1763 (2005)• Regionalized groundwater planning• Required annual review of management plans and accomplishments• Required joint planning
  • 20. Joint Planning• GCDs within a GMA were required to establish desired future conditions (DFC) by September 1, 2010• Each GCD has one vote
  • 21. 4 7 5 10 5 1 21 0 5 5 9 6Groundwater 9 14 8ConservationDistricts in 9Each GMA
  • 22. Joint Planning• Desired Future Condition (DFC) – Adopted by Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCD) within a Groundwater Management Area (GMA)• Modeled Available Groundwater (MAG) – Calculated by Texas Water Development Board – Pumping that will achieve a DFC
  • 23. Desired Future Condition (DFC)• Quantified conditions of groundwater resources• Specified time or times in the future• Broad Policy Goal – Drawdown – Spring flow – Storage volumes• Updated at least every 5 years
  • 24. Modeled Available Groundwater (MAG)• TWDB calculates based on DFC – Models – Water budget calculations – District provided data and information• Included in GCD Management Plans• One factor in permitting decisions• Replaces “Groundwater Availability” in Regional Water Plans
  • 25. Before HB 1763• Groundwater Availability – Groundwater Conservation Districts – Regional Water Planning Groups• Groundwater Availability Models – Tools to assist in developing estimates of groundwater availability
  • 26. After HB 1763• Groundwater Availability – Desired Future Condition (DFC) – Modeled Available Groundwater (MAG)• Groundwater Availability Models – Contribute to estimating MAG from DFC
  • 27. GroundwaterAvailability = DFC + MAG
  • 28. Groundwater = Policy + ScienceAvailabilityGroundwaterAvailability = DFC + MAG
  • 29. Model Runs• Simulations of changes in: – Groundwater pumping and/or – Drought conditions• Output examples: – Drawdown – Spring Flows – Storage Volumes
  • 30. Model Runs• Simulations of changes in: – Groundwater pumping and/or – Drought conditions• Output examples: – Drawdown – Spring Flows DFC – Storage Volumes
  • 31. Model Runs• Simulations of changes in: – Groundwater pumping and/or – Drought conditions MAG• Output examples: – Drawdown – Spring Flows – Storage Volumes
  • 32. Role of Models• Models will always be constrained by computational limitations, assumptions, and knowledge gaps• They can best be viewed as tools to help inform decisions rather than as machines to generate truth or make decisions
  • 33. Role of Models• Models will always be constrained by computational limitations, assumptions, and knowledge gaps• They can best be viewed as tools to help inform decisions rather than as machines to generate truth or make decisions
  • 34. Role of Models• Scientific advances will never make it possible to build a perfect model that accounts for every aspect of reality or to prove that a given model is correct in all respects for a particular regulatory application
  • 35. Takeaways• Groundwater management is more than just science• Model results are not data• Model results should be used by decision- makers to understand range of conditions
  • 36. Desired Future Conditions• Deadline to adopt initial DFCs was September 1, 2010• 74 DFCs adopted – First = December 17, 2007 – Last = August 30, 2010
  • 37. DFCs 3Adopted 2 4 9 1 4 9N/A 5 9 5 10 1 9 3 1
  • 38. Summary of DFCs
  • 39. Summary of DFCs
  • 40. Petition Process• Appeal the reasonableness of a DFC to TWDB• Who can file? – Person with a legally defined interest in groundwater in the GMA – GCD in or adjacent to the GMA – RWPG in the GMA
  • 41. Petitions Filed 2(2009 to 2011) 1 1 2 3 1 2
  • 42. 12 Petitions• Part of one petition was withdrawn prior to TWDB meeting after GMA 9 modified DFC• One petition was withdrawn prior to TWDB meeting (GMA 11)
  • 43. 12 Petitions• TWDB found 10 DFCs to be “reasonable”• TWDB found 1 DFC to be “unreasonable” – GMA 9 adopted a DFC that was neither the TWDB recommendation nor the original DFC
  • 44. Updated DFC Process• 2011 Legislative Session (SB 660)• TWDB Rules – Preliminary Draft (Comments due on August 31, 2012) – Draft Rules (September 2012) – Final Rules (December 2012)• No statutory changes to the TWDB petition process
  • 45. Updated DFC Process• Consider 9 specific factors• “Proposed” DFC• Public comments and public hearings• District summary reports• “Final” DFC• “Explanatory Report”
  • 46. Nine Factors1. Aquifer uses or conditions within the management area, including conditions that differ substantially from one geographic area to another2. The water supply needs and water management strategies included in the state water plan
  • 47. Nine Factors3. Hydrological conditions, including for each aquifer in the management area the • total estimated recoverable storage as provided by the executive administrator, • average annual recharge, inflows, and discharge
  • 48. Nine Factors3. Hydrological conditions, including for each aquifer in the management area the • total estimated recoverable storage as provided by the executive administrator, • average annual recharge, inflows, and discharge Only Data/Information that is Provided by TWDB
  • 49. Nine Factors4. Other environmental impacts, including impacts on spring flow and other interactions between groundwater and surface water5. The impact on subsidence6. Socioeconomic impacts reasonably expected to occur
  • 50. Nine Factors7. The impact on the interests and rights in private property, including ownership and the rights of management area landowners and their lessees and assigns in groundwater as recognized under Section 36.002
  • 51. Nine Factors8. The feasibility of achieving the desired future condition9. Any other information relevant to the specific desired future conditions
  • 52. In Addition….• The desired future conditions proposed must provide a balance between the highest practicable level of groundwater production and the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of groundwater and control of subsidence in the management area.
  • 53. In Addition….• The desired future conditions proposed must provide a balance between the highest practicable level of groundwater production and the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of groundwater and control of subsidence in the management area.
  • 54. In Addition….• The desired future conditions proposed must provide a balance between the highest practicable level of groundwater production and the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of groundwater and control of subsidence in the management area.
  • 55. In Addition….• The desired future conditions proposed must provide a balance between the highest practicable level of groundwater production and the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of groundwater and control of subsidence in the management area.
  • 56. Nine Factors and Proposed DFC• Statute requires that these nine factors (and the “balancing”) be considered prior to voting on a “proposed” DFC – (i.e. prior to any of the public hearings at the each of the Districts)
  • 57. Observation• GMA must consider the nine factors prior to adopting a “proposed” DFC• The final “explanatory” report requires documentation of these factors• Although not required in statute, a “preliminary” explanatory report would useful prior to adoption of the “proposed” DFC
  • 58. Recommendation• Develop sections of “explanatory” report as part of process• Technical memoranda circulated ahead of each GMA meeting
  • 59. Five Requirements of Explanatory Report1. Identify each desired future condition2. Provide the policy and technical justifications for each desired future condition
  • 60. Five Requirements of Explanatory Report3. Include documentation that the nine factors listed above were considered by the districts and a discussion of how the adopted desired future conditions impact each factor4. List other desired future condition options considered, if any, and the reasons why those options were not adopted
  • 61. Five Requirements of Explanatory Report5. Discuss reasons why recommendations made by advisory committees and relevant public comments received by the districts were or were not incorporated into the desired future conditions.
  • 62. Timing• “Not later than September 1, 2010, and every five years thereafter, the districts shall consider groundwater availability models and other data or information for the management area and shall propose for adoption desired future conditions for the relevant aquifers within the management area”
  • 63. Timing• “Not later than September 1, 2010, and every five years thereafter, the districts shall consider groundwater availability models and other data or information for the management area and shall propose for adoption desired future conditions for the relevant aquifers within the management area”
  • 64. “Every Five Years”• TWDB interpretation = five years from adoption• GMA 13 adopted DFCs on April 9, 2010• “Proposed” DFC deadline = April 9, 2015
  • 65. Updated DFC Process• Consider 9 specific factors• “Proposed” DFC• Public comments and public hearings• District summary reports• “Final” DFC• “Explanatory Report”
  • 66. Updated DFC Process• Consider 9 specific factors• “Proposed” DFC• Public comments and public hearings• District summary reports• “Final” DFC• “Explanatory Report”
  • 67. Updated DFC Process Before 4/9/2015• Consider 9 specific factors• “Proposed” DFC• Public comments and public hearings• District summary reports• “Final” DFC• “Explanatory Report”
  • 68. Updated DFC Process Before 4/9/2015• Consider 9 specific factors• “Proposed” DFC• Public comments and public hearings• District summary reports• “Final” DFC After 4/9/2015• “Explanatory Report”
  • 69. Proposed General Approach• Late 2012 to early 2013 – Monitoring data (Task 0)• Early 2013 to late 2014 – Technical memoranda covering “nine factors” and “balancing” – “Draft” explanatory report
  • 70. Proposed General Approach• Early 2015 – Vote on “Proposed” DFC• After “proposed” DFC – Public comment/hearings/summary reports
  • 71. Questions? Bill Hutchison 512-745-0599billhutch@texasgw.com