Take action to protect groundwater in these Texas counties!

Published July 7, 2021


No water, no food … and no economy or future.

If you live in Bastrop, Brazos, Burleson, Fayette, Freestone, Lee, Leon, Madison, Milam, or Robertson counties in Texas, we need your help to speak up for sustainable water management!

Under Texas law, groundwater is owned by the landowner, and Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs) can regulate the pumping of the water. People with small wells just for their household & livestock use are exempt from regulation – but whether there is water for them to pump depends in large part on how the GCDs regulate the big commercial pumpers.

GCDs work together in Groundwater Management Areas (GMAs) to set the “desired future conditions” (DFCs) for the groundwater they manage. The DFCs reflect how much the aquifers will be drawn down over the next 50 years.

GMA-12 consists of 5 groundwater districts that cover Bastrop, Brazos, Burleson, Fayette, Freestone, Lee, Leon, Madison, Milam, and Robertson counties. Right now, GMA-12 is proposing a major increase in the average drawdown compared to the current DFCs … in essence, mining our aquifers.

Why? Because that’s how much drawdown is needed to allow big pumpers to keep pumping.

But the DFCs are supposed to balance groundwater pumping and the conservation of the aquifer, protection of other groundwater users, and the impacts on rivers and streams that are connected to the aquifers. The proposed DFCs throw that balance out the window in favor of pacifying big-money-interests who want profits now, without regard to sustainability.

The proposed DFCs threaten to dry up hundreds of domestic and livestock wells in each district. They will also reduce or stop essential inflows of groundwater that feed our rivers and streams through drought.

You can help stop this!

The proposed DFCs were developed by the district staff, and now must be approved by the Boards. If the Boards of two of groundwater districts vote against the proposed DFCs, then GMA-12 has to start over! And then we can work to set “desired future conditions” that consider sustainable management of the aquifers, protection of domestic and livestock wells, and resilience of our surface water sources during drought.

Here’s what you can do:
•       If you are in Burleson, Milam, or Fayette Counties: Go to the GCD Board meetings next week (July 12th and 13th). Where & when are posted in the notices for Fayette County GCD   and Post Oak Savannah GCD.
•       In any of the counties: Email written comments to your GCD. The deadlines and notices are all posted at https://www.environmental-stewardship.org/2021/04/26/gma12contacts/ (Click on the “notice” button for your district, and the document will have the details on how to submit comments.)
•       Urge your friends, neighbors, and city and county officials to send comments to your GCD.
•       Stay informed and engaged! Two of our allies, the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund and Environmental Stewardship, have been working tirelessly on this issue in a coalition called Water Defenders. We encourage you to check out their joint website that is focused on the GMA-12 issues . You can sign up for email alerts and donate to support their work.

Water Defenders is also hosting a community party to bring people together to discuss these issues and provide support on how to take action. Join them on July 18, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, in Paige, Texas. Details at https://independentleaguetx.org/event/waterdefenders-org-party/.

You also can read the latest blog post with more information: https://www.environmental-stewardship.org/2021/07/06/reject-the-proposed-desired-future-conditions-for-gma-12/.