News

Group seeks new POSGCD directors, says focus should be water conservation

Aquifer coalition upset that no notice given about expiring director slots
KEN ESTEN COOKE Report er Publisher

A group of c oncerned c itizens

are asking the Post Oak Savann

ah Groun dw ater Con servation

District (P OSGCD) to replace up

to si x current direc tors w hos e

terms expire Dec. 31.

POSGCD, made up of Milam

and Burleson counties, has 10

direc tors, five from each count y,

who are appointed by county

commissioner s.

A letter was sent to commis- sioners after members of the

Central Texas Aquifer Coalition

was upset no notice was given

in the district's last newsletter

about director positions being

avai lable.

Bill Graham sa id t he coal ition

numbers "at least 20 but less than

100" and is mostly from Milam County. Graham said they are

"act ively recruiting ever y day."

The coalition wants all six expiring directors replaced, including Jim Hodson, Kerry

Starnes and Jay Tumlinson f rom

Milam County, and Lee Alford,

Nathan Ausley and Jay Wilder

from Bu rleson Count y.

Boa rd members are chosen to

represent industrial, municipal

and agricultural interest s, along

with at-large positions.

The coalit ion claimed six points

in their letter to county commissioners:

• Direc tors are not fu l fillin g

t he pu r poses of the water code

that created the districts, "to

conserve, preserve and protect

the aquifers."

• The distr ic t ha s "b ec ome a cash cow" for administrators,

attor neys hydrologis ts and water

utilities" yet the "majority of landow

ners have not consented to a ny

withdrawal of their grou ndwater,

nor will they be comp ensated for

their water used by marketers."

• The district has become "a

per mit ting machine."

• The district may face laws

even if "trig ger poi nts" are

reache d.

• Directors do not listen to

public c oncerns.

• Directors are told what to

do by the general manager and

boar d attorneys.

The "last straw," coa lition organ

izer s say, w as when t he district

newsletter Recharge wa s printed,

it had no mention of director

positions b ei ng available.

Whether they will see any

change remai ns to be seen.

POSGCD Manager Gary Westbrook

said County C ommissioners,

who ma ke direc tor appointments

to the POSGCD board, are

happy with thei r appointments.

He said all directors serving

have expressed an interest in continu

ing to serve. Board members

also say t hey are me et i ng t he ir

state-required m ission and have

"followed state-mandated laws

and guideli nes."

An Austin America man arti that Blue Water, Sustainable Water Resources and End-Op

have sought as much as 161,000

acr e-feet of water from t he Carr

izo-Wilcox aquifer from the Post Oak Savannah and Lost

Pi nes Groundwater Conservat ion

Districts.

Lost Pines GCD Man ager Joe

Cooper stated, "...we won't poss

d ish out t hat much water,"

adding th at the amount "would

take us beyond our limit in 40 to

50 years."

Groundwater districts have limited

authority to regulate pumping

as Texas is still governed by

a "law of captu re" rules.


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2009-11-26 digital edition



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