January 2018 BSEACD News

Upper Onion Creek Dye Trace Update

Initial hydrogeologic studies identified that segments of upper Onion Creek recharge surface water and have an influence on the water levels and chemistry of the groundwater in the Middle Trinity Aquifer. Hydrogeologic and dye-trace studies are currently being conducted to determine the fate of surface water in Onion Creek recharging the Trinity Aquifers.

One question is to determine if recharged surface waters re-emerge further downstream in springs or migrate deeper into the aquifer to discharge from wells, or both. To address these questions, scientific staff from the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD), City of Austin (CoA), Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD), and the Meadows Center for the Environment (Texas State University, TSU) met in 2016 and 2017 to plan a dye-trace study of the upper Onion Creek watershed. Plans for the tracing were also done in consultation with Ozark Underground Laboratory.

Initial dye trace data support previous findings demonstrating clear surface and groundwater interactions along Onion Creek. These results indicate that Onion Creek is hydrologically connected to shallow springs and also to deeper Middle Trinity Aquifer wells and have rapid groundwater flow velocities.

District GM Accepts Position with Texas Water Development Board

John Dupnik announced his resignation at the January 11th Board meeting.  He has accepted a new position at the Texas Water Development Board as the Deputy Executive Administrator of  the Office of Water, Science and Conservation.

John joined the District in 2005 as Regulatory Compliance Team Leader then in 2013 he was hired by the Board as the General Manager.  John reflects, “My years and experience with the District have been formative and professionally rewarding in every way. The District maintains a reputation as one of the model groundwater conservation districts in the state and I’m proud to have played my small part in its success. I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the Board for their support and guidance and to the staff for their passion and professionalism. Together we’ve earned the trust of our community and accomplished so much. This next chapter in my career is a great opportunity to apply what I’ve learned at the District to address the formidable future water challenges we face in our state. I very much look forward to continuing to work with the District in this new capacity.”

The Board will review and approve a transition plan at tonight’s Board meeting.  A job announcement will follow soon.  Board President Blayne Stansberry comments, “John and the entire district team under his management have been invaluable at furthering the scientific understanding of our local aquifers, implementing policies that protect our shared resource, and operating a District that has become a well-respected GCD. I am pleased that John will be able to put his exceptional talent and skills to work for the State of Texas. Although John’s leadership will be missed at the local level, the district staff are an amazing group of intelligent and highly capable people who will continue to uphold the high standards of the BSEACD that John helped achieve.”

Once the GM position is posted, it will be available on the Spotlights section of the District Home Page.

Austin Cave Festival is BACK on Sat., Feb. 10!


Mark your calendars!  Austin Cave Festival is back and better than ever on Saturday, February 10th.  Join us at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center for cave-focused fun.  Learn about cave critters, groundwater recharge, how to help protect water quality, and test your caving skills through virtual, simulated, and real caves!

The Wildflower Center is hosting this year’s event with the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, the City of Austin (Austin Water Wildland Conservation Division, Parks and Recreation Department, Watershed Protection Department) and in collaboration with Texas Cave Management Association, Texas Speleological Association, and many other organizations.

Groundwater Stewardship Award Winners

At its December 14, 2017 meeting, the Board of Directors selected its 2017 Groundwater Stewardship Award winners. The
District presents these stewardship awards every two years to deserving individuals, organizations, companies or agencies that have invested exemplary effort towards the protection and conservation of water resources in the District.

We are proud to honor this year’s winners:

Permittee of the Year

Ruby Ranch Water Supply Corporation

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Dr. Jack Sharp

Aquifer Advocate Award:

Will Conley

Water Quality Protection:

Protect Our Water

Innovation Award:

City of Austin Watershed Protection Dept.

Education Cave Restoration Team

Education Award:

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Dept.

Sheffield Education Center

Photos of this year’s ceremony will be posted on the Groundwater Stewardship Awards page.

Summer Camp and College Scholarship Contests Open

Each year the District, in collaboration with our permittees offers scholarships for two age groups:

For each contest, students must reside in one of the eight school districts overlapping the District boundary. These eight independent school districts are: Austin, Del Valle, Dripping Springs, Eanes, Hays Consolidated, Lockhart, San Marcos Consolidated, and Wimberley.  The camp scholarships are open for students ages 9 through 15.  The college essay contest is open for juniors, seniors, and recent graduates.

The District would like to thank Creedmoor-Maha WSC, Goforth SUD, and Texas Lehigh Cement Company for donating all or a portion of their Conservation Credits to the scholarship fund. The scholarship program would not be a success without these generous donations!  Thank you!!!


Upcoming Events, Meetings, & Deadlines

Thurs., Jan. 25:  BSEACD Board Meeting
Thurs., Feb. 1:  Permittee Meter Readings Due (details)
Thurs., Feb 8:  BSEACD Board Meeting
Sat., Feb 10:  Austin Cave Festival (details)
Mon. Feb. 19:  Office closed for Presidents’ Day
Thurs., Feb 22:  BSEACD Board Meeting
Thurs., Mar. 1:  Permittee Meter Readings Due (details)
Thurs., Mar. 8:  BSEACD Board Meeting
Wed., Mar. 21:  Scholarship Applications Due (details)
Thurs., Mar. 22:   BSEACD Board Meeting