Aquifer District Welcomes New and Returning Board Members

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 18, 2020
For more information, contact: Vanessa Escobar, General Manager at (512) 282-8441 or vescobar@bseacd.org

On November 12, 2020, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s Board welcomed two new Directors and one returning Director at its regular Board Meeting. Following the canvass and statutory director installation activities, new directors Christy Williams and Dan Pickens now join current Director Blake Dorsett on the Board with new four-year terms. A total of five Directors serve on the Board of the BSEACD, also including Blayne Stansberry of Precinct 2, and Craig Smith of Precinct 5, whose current terms expire in 2022.

As of the candidate filing deadline, there were no opposing candidates for the election in Precinct 1 or Precinct 3. Outgoing District Director Mary Stone stepped down from her directorship in Precinct 1, allowing new candidate Dan Pickens to run unopposed. In Precinct 3, incumbent Director Blake Dorsett also ran unopposed. Votes for Precinct 4 Director were tallied in both Travis and Hays Counties following the election on November 3, 2020 which named Christy Williams the official winner against incumbent Director Dr. Robert (Bob) Larsen. The final official election results were 75.69% for Christy Williams and 24.31% for Bob Larsen in Travis County, and 78.02% for Christy Williams and 21.98% for Bob Larsen in Hays County, according to the County Election Results websites.

The District thanks outgoing Directors Mary Stone and Bob Larsen for their years of public service and dedication to the District. Mrs. Mary Stone served on the Board for 12 years as Director of District 1, and presided as Board President twice in addition to participating on various subcommittees. Her leadership in 2015 was critical for the passage of HB 3405 which incorporated eastern Hays County within the District boundary. During Dr. Robert Larsen’s 17-year tenure as Director of District 4, he also presided as Board President in addition to participating in various subcommittees. Dr. Larsen advocated for alternative water supplies to reduce pressure on underground fresh water supplies. They both have played integral roles in continuing the District’s mission and legacy of protecting groundwater resources in the region.

***ALARM STAGE DROUGHT NOTICE ***

On October 8, 2020 the Barton Springs / Edwards Aquifer Conservation District declared an Alarm Stage Drought which requires the Utility to reduce water usage by 20%.

• A drought surcharge will be added to customers’ water bills for usage in excess of 15,000 gallons per month.

• The following water rates will take effect for usage after the November meter reading (estimated to be November 16, 2020).  The statement received about January 1, 2021 will reflect these increased rates.

The base rate is $42.00 and includes 2,000 gallons.

Usage Cost Per 1,000 gallons
2,001 to 10,000 $3.00
10,001 to 15,000 $3.50
15,000 to 20,000 $6.00
20,001 to 30,000 $9.50
30,001 to 50,000 $15.00
50,001 to 100,000 $21.00
100,000 up $30.00

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding and please make every effort to help us conserve water.

Aquifer District Declares Stage II Alarm Drought

 

Aquifer District Declares Stage II Alarm Drought

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 9, 2020
For more information, contact: Vanessa Escobar, General Manager at (512) 282-8441 or vescobar@bseacd.org

On October 8, 2020, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s Board of Directors declared Stage II Alarm Drought at its regular Board Meeting. The District Lovelady Monitor Well passed below it’s respective drought trigger in late September. Only one of the two drought stage triggers needs to be reached for a drought declaration to be made. The District acknowledges that indoor use may be heightened in some cases due to COVID-19 responses, however it is still a shared duty to reduce all non-essential water use during drought.

The last groundwater drought declaration commenced on July 12, 2018 and ended on October 11, 2018. Recharge in late 2018 and early 2019 associated with above-average rainfall helped maintain water levels in area aquifers until recently. Since July of 2019, both flow at Barton Springs and the water level at the Lovelady Monitor Well have been declining. As of early April 2020, both have been hovering near trigger levels. Recent rainfall has not generated enough runoff to sustain creek flow in the creeks and rivers that recharge the aquifers.

Declaration of Stage II Alarm Drought requires all District permittees to implement mandatory measures specified in their User Drought Contingency Plans (UDCPs) to meet monthly pumpage reduction requirements.

    • 20% for Edwards Historical and Conditional Class A permittees,
    • 50% for Edwards Conditional Class B permittees,
    • 100% for Edwards Conditional Class C and Class D permittees, and
    • 20% for Trinity and Alluvial/Austin Chalk Historical permittees

End-user customers served by water utilities on groundwater wells are required to comply with their utility’s water use restrictions for this drought stage. Generally, restricting outdoor water use, including limiting landscape irrigation, pool filling and refilling, and non-essential water use such as water fountains, is sufficient to reach monthly pumpage targets for Stage II Alarm Drought. November is the first month that permittees will need to meet reductions in pumpage. Permittees should refer to the monthly drought allocations listed in their User Drought Conservation Plan (UDCP) and Drought Target Charts.

Useful Links:
Drought Media Toolkit
Press Release Archive
Drought Status Page
Drought Management Page

BSEACD is a groundwater conservation district charged by the Texas Legislature to preserve, conserve, and protect the aquifers and groundwater resources within its jurisdiction, which includes parts of three central Texas counties. It is governed by a Board of five elected directors and staffed with hydrogeologists, groundwater regulatory compliance specialists, environmental educators, geospatial systems specialists, and administrative support personnel.