Stage II Alarm Drought - 20% Reduction in Pumping

Gary Franklin (resigned 4/1/2014)

Gary Franklin - Board Vice President and Precinct 2 Director
Board President and Precinct 2 Director

Director Profile:

What brought you into the environmental and groundwater resources management world?

I have been involved in this field since college with both my academic and professional pursuits. My first post-graduate job was working as a Chemist at an Applied Environmental Research Institute that studied the Environmental Impact of pollutants. After completing my graduate degree, I came to Austin and worked toward Water Quality assessment of groundwaters in aquifers across Texas. I gave up the travel for a desk job at an Environmental Laboratory to field samples for analysis.

 What would you like to see the District accomplish in the next 5 to 10 years?

The District is on track to establish a Managed Available Groundwater (MAG) in the next few years that will correlate the quantity of water that can be pumped from the aquifer to meet our desired future condition (DFC) of maintaining flow at Barton Spring during the next big drought.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for the District?

Issues about Water are often polarized where the biggest challenge is to find common ground between the developmental and environmental communities while maintaining the mission of the District. The biggest challenge is attempting to maintain adequate water supplies for all users from a finite source while meeting the demands of rapid population increase that also brings both increased water demand and threats from urbanization.

How do you and your family conserve water?

Appliances - Both the front-loading washing machine and dishwasher are Energy Star rated.
Toilets - are low-flow dual flush option for additional water savings.
Native Landscaping - Our neighbors were horrified when I rented a sod cutter to remove the turf grass, but they were surprised to see that native drought tolerant plants can be quite attractive.

What would people be surprised to learn about you (you choose whether that is professionally or personally)?

I spend considerable time visiting caves in Texas and Mexico. Underground exploration links my knowledge of geologic and hydrologic systems to the applications that I have studied since college.

Other Information

  • I moved to Kellywood Estates in South Austin after getting married in 1999. My wife Melinda, a dog, some rabbits, and a group of resident turtles. 
  • Degrees – All from Tarleton State University: B.S. Biology, B.S. Chemistry, and a M.S. Environmental Science
  • Experience
    • Chemist -Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research
    • Water Quality Program Coordinator – Texas Water Development Board
    • Project Manager – LCRA Environmental Laboratory Services
  • Membership
    • Austin Geological Society
    • Underground Texas Grotto
  • Hobbies
    • Austin Music
    • Native Landscaping