District Rules – Groundwater
During the last Evergreen UWCD board meeting we received public comments (we welcome public input) that indicate a lack of understanding of our responsibility regarding permits. A citizen from another county stated that one of his neighbors was producing groundwater (well water) without a production permit and possibly causing this citizen’s well to decline. The Evergreen district is not a police force. We are a State Legislature enabled district to protect and conserve the local groundwater for the benefit of the district’s citizens. It is the water well owner’s responsibility to request groundwater permits from our district. It is in the public’s best interest to have every well permitted or registered, otherwise, we have no way of knowing what the district water use is and possible impact to others.
We operate under Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code law passed by the State Legislature. We are a four (4) county district with elected board members and a technical staff to review all permit requests for groundwater production. The district’s rules are approved by the Texas Water Development Board as mandated by the legislature’s Texas Water Code, Chapter 36.
For the benefit of all, here is a brief summary of the Evergreen UWCD Rules:
1) Wells that produce less than 25,000 gallons per day are exempt from regulation by state law. These are considered “Domestic and Livestock” wells and generally are for home use and livestock watering. The Evergreen only asks that you register these wells with the district office to ensure we know the overall water use in the district.
2) Wells that produce more than 25,000 gallons per day, agricultural irrigation, industrial use, municipal use, etc. i.e. large wells, require Evergreen permits. Permits are issued subject to our production and spacing rules: 2 acre-feet per surface acre per year; spacing 1 ft. distance from another well for every gpm, i.e. 1000GPM well must be 1000 ft away from the next closest well.
The permits are for 5 years and renewable. They are reasonable and well known to local water well drillers and most large water users. From all reports these are adequate for agriculture and other uses.
I would urge everyone that uses groundwater to be aware of these rules and have all wells permitted (or exempt wells registered). There is no penalty for requesting a permit on an existing well that has not been permitted. It is just in everybody’s best interest. Also any wells you would like monitored please contact our district office (830-569-4186).
Jay Troell, P.E.
Note: This is the personal opinion of the author and not necessarily the position of the Evergreen Underground Water Conservation District Board of Directors.