Water Quest Report: Priority Groundwater Conservation Areas
CBS 7 News
February 14, 2013
WEST TEXAS - Residents of two west Texas counties have just been informed that they have to form a Groundwater Conservation District. Over 20 years ago two agencies conducted studies and designated south Midland County and northern Upton County as a priority groundwater conservation area. Changes in legislation now require all of these designated areas to be managed by a conservation district. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or The TCEQ is mandating that residents in these areas to form a groundwater conservation district.
"Back in 1990, this area was considered a critical area, where it was determined that either they were currently experiencing or would be within thirty years critical groundwater issues," said Darrell Peckham, Water Quest Inc.
Protecting the quantity and quality of the water is the purpose of creating a district. The residents can form their own district, join an existing one or the TCEQ will form one for them and the burden of funding the district will be put on the residents.
"Through taxation or through fees or a combination of both," said Peckham.
But Hydrogeologist Darrell Peckham says a groundwater conservation district ultimately protects the residents, who rely on the water below ground.
"Having an understanding of the resource and the potential impacts of activities like increased water use or the oil and gas activities," said Peckham.