Setting the Desired Future Condition of the Aquifer(s)
Texas Water Code—36.108(d)
Not later than Sept. 1, 2010, and every five years thereafter, the districts shall consider groundwater availability models and other data or information for the management area and shall establish desired future conditions for the relevant aquifers within the management area.
Texas Water Code—36.108 (d-2)
Each district in the management area shall ensure that its management plan contains goals and objectives consistent with achieving the desired future conditions of the relevant aquifers as adopted during the joint planning process.
Texas Water Code—36.108 (f)
A district or person with a legally defined interest in the groundwater within the management area may file a petition with the commission requesting to join in the planning process or the process failed to result in adequate planning, including the establishment of reasonable future desired conditions of the aquifers…
Texas Water Code—36.108(l)
A person with a legally defined interest in the groundwater in the groundwater management area, a district in or adjacent to the groundwater management area, or a regional water planning group for a region in the groundwater management area may file a petition with the development board appealing the approval of the desired future conditions of the groundwater resources established under this section. The petition must provide evidence that the districts did not establish a reasonable desired future condition of the groundwater resources in the groundwater management area.
Texas Water Code—36.108(o)
The districts shall submit the conditions established under this section to the executive administrator. The executive administrator shall provide each district and regional water planning group….with the managed available groundwater in the management area based upon the desired future conditions of the groundwater resources established under this section.
Texas Water Code—36.001(25)
“Managed available groundwater” means the amount of water that may be permitted by a district for beneficial use in accordance with the desired future condition of the aquifer as determined under Section 36.108
Texas Water Code—36.1132
A district, to the extent possible, shall issue permits up to the point that the total volume of groundwater permitted equals the managed available groundwater if administratively complete permit applications are submitted to the district.
What is GMA #2?
Groundwater Management Area #2 (GMA #2) is one of sixteen designated GMAs in Texas. The Texas Water Development Board established the boundaries of the sixteen GMAs in 2003. A GMA is an area suitable for management of groundwater, and largely follows hydrologic boundaries.
The process of adopting a Desired Future Condition (DFC) was established by the Texas Legislature in 2005 and requires groundwater conservation districts within their respective GMA to establish DFCs for relevant aquifers at least once every five years.
Texas Water Code 36.001 states that groundwater management areas may be created “to provide for the conservation, preservation, protection, and recharging of the groundwater, and of groundwater reservoirs or their subdivisions.”
Visit gma2.org to view meeting notices, meeting minutes or GAM runs.
Groundwater Conservation Districts are the State’s preferred method of groundwater management
The Texas legislature has committed to groundwater conservation districts the duty of groundwater management. This management is accomplished through the rules developed, adopted and promulgated by a district.
The 79th Legislature adopted legislation that requires joint planning by districts within a management area.
The Southern Ogallala Regional Groundwater Alliance (SORGA) was formed in April 2004 between the seven groundwater conservation districts (map) of the southern Ogallala region. This region has been designated Groundwater Management Area (GMA) #2 by the Texas Water Development Board. The initial SORGA agreement outlines the programs, rules, and activities common among the districts. The Alliance agreement provides for the continuity and consistency of District Rules, as well as coordination and cooperation of District programs within GMA #2. The Alliance provides a framework for joint studies and other projects benefiting a significant portion of the southern Ogallala Aquifer.
The Alliance covers a land area of approximately 11.2 million acres. Of this, about 3.4 million acres are irrigated cropland. Irrigation comprises about 95% of the annual groundwater usage. Several irrigation methods are commonly used within the region. Cultural practices, soil characteristics, and crop type are factors affecting the feasibility of various irrigation methods. About 2.8 million acres are irrigated using high-efficiency center pivots. The remaining acres are irrigated using furrow, sprinkler or subsurface drip irrigation.
Proper management of groundwater requires a commitment to understanding the dynamic aquifer conditions.
Within SORGA there are approximately:
- 1,800 Water level measurement wells
- 1,400 Water quality monitoring wells
- 450 Rainfall measurement sites.
The availability of this information provides unique opportunities for data analysis and a greater understanding of groundwater resources within the region.