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Posted on: July 29, 2019

Protecting the Trinity Aquifer

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Thousands of wells across the Hill country and western Travis county rely solely on the Trinity Aquifer for water. Current and future population increases are projected to exceed the carrying capacity of the aquifer, which could result in decreased spring flow and failing groundwater wells. The Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District (GCD), now pending confirmation by voters, will work to manage and protect the water of the Trinity Aquifer beneath Southwestern Travis County. It is a locally requested and created district with locally elected Directors. GCDs are the legislature's preferred method for managing aquifers and the new Southwestern Travis County District will be the 100th GCD in Texas.


The primary purpose of the GCD will be to create a management and monitoring program for groundwater use to conserve this valuable resource. A temporary Board of Directors, appointed by locally elected officials, is currently stewarding the GCD until the confirmation election and the election of Directors which will take place on November 5, 2019. Lakeway, Bee Cave and West Lake Hills residents will each elect one Director.


All local residents will be positively impacted by the benefits of protecting the Trinity Aquifer and the GCD will not create any new taxes. Residents who use their wells for household needs and who have wells that produce less that 10,000 gallons per day will be exempt from permitting and metering requirements. The GCD will regulate a small set of water users who pump large amounts of groundwater from the aquifer, including irrigated golf courses, commercial/industrial users, MUDs, WCIDs and public suppliers. The GCD encourages all owners to register their wells in order to help develop an inventory of existing wells and to assist in protecting their production. 


Since 1990, this area has been designated as part of the larger Hill Country Priority Groundwater Management Area (PGMA) by the Texas Legislature. At that time, this region was expected to experience groundwater shortages, land subsidence or contamination of groundwater within the next 50 years. We are currently 30 years into that window. Southwestern Travis County is the only remaining portion of the Hill Country PGMA that does not have a confirmed GCD in place to care for its aquifer.


For further information, please visit the Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District website at www.swtcgcd.com

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