Texas Groundwater Summit Austin, TX August 29, 2012
The GCD Panel:Drought Management by GCDs Kirk Holland, P.G., General ManagerBarton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District August 29, 2012
The BSEACD Context: Small, karst aquifers prone to regular, multi-year drought cycles Public water supply is principal groundwater use, in burgeoning growth area Major aquifer is already beyond its Extreme Drought MAG
Other Types of Droughts Are NotNecessarily Groundwater Drought Aquifer water-level conditions may not reflect meteorological or agricultural droughts Consider drought acceleration potential in looking at water demand during actual groundwater drought Need to base drought management on actual aquifer water-level measurements and related drought-stage triggers.
Aquifer Characteristics DefineDrought Management Program Aquifer response to drought is dynamic; look at it as a system using real data Consider response times (to changes in pumping) as well as amounts of inputs/outputs, relative to triggers Strategies must be tailored to aquifer and regional conditions
“You can’t manage what youdon’t measure.” Meter actual groundwater use for non- exempt wells in some fashion Reporting frequency depends on what is required for effective management response Consider higher frequency reporting as drought deepens
Alignment of RegulatoryRequirements and GW Drought Reference DFCs to at least DOR = greater defensibility Well permitting is key: Build-in mandatory drought contingency requirements Renew permits with a drought-relevant frequency Use water balance for permit term; exclude truly speculative use Consider junior/senior permits once drought MAG is reached Carrots (conservation/compliance credits and rebates) and sticks (enforceable and significant fines)
The Take-away Points1. Differentiate Groundwater Drought From Other Types of Drought2. Tailor Drought Management to Aquifer Characteristics3. Measure Actual Use On Relevant Time Scale4. Integrate Drought Management Into The Regulatory Program
Contact Info: W F (Kirk) Holland, P.G. General Manager and COOBarton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District email@example.com (512) 282-8441
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