Stage II Alarm Drought - 20% Reduction in Pumping
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Demand Reduction

While comprising arguably one of the most stringent drought management programs in the state, the District’s current droughttime curtailment requirements may not achieve the Edwards Aquifer’s Desired Future Condition (DFC). The adopted DFC is 6.5 cubic feet per second (cfs) of monthly flow at Barton Springs during a recurrence of the drought of record, a flow that is believed to be close to the minimum amount that assures the survival of the population of the endangered salamander species dependent on the spring discharges during such extreme drought conditions. (The lowest recorded springflow, during the 1950s when little water was being withdrawn by wells, is 9.6 cfs on one day and about 11 cfs on a monthly average basis.) The DFC spring flow corresponds to a monthly average “allowable” groundwater withdrawal rate from all wells of about 5.2 cfs; but under the District’s most stringent pumping curtailment rules and current statutory authorities, the minimum authorized pumping achievable during an extreme drought is about 6.7 cfs. This 1.5 cfs “gap,” between what is needed and what is now programmatically possible, needs to be reconciled in the next revision of the District Management Plan and its implementation of the rules, regulations, and policies.

To assist the District in addressing this gap, we asked a broad, representative cross-section of interested citizens and affected parties to form a Stakeholders Advisory Committee (SAC) that generated ideas and provided analysis, comment, and other input on various strategies the District might employ to close the gap.  The outcome of this SAC directly influenced rule changes memorialized in the Rules and Bylaws revisions adopted by the District's Board of Directors on Oct. 10, 2012 (see link below).

SAC Members (status: complete):

  • David Yohe (Large Permittee, Water Utilities)
  • Cyndy Slovak-Barton (Small Permittee, Media)
  • Dave Cowan (Regional Water Planning)
  • Rick Broun (Other Groundwater Districts)
  • Hank Smith (E&C, Development)
  • Jennifer Walker (State Environmental Community)
  • John Mikels (Hydrogeology and GW Science)
  • Peter Sprouse (Groundwater Science, Karst Ecology)
  • Laura Raun (Public Relations)
  • Mario Tobias (Large Permittee, Water Utilities)
  • David Loftis (Permittee, Industry)
  • Robert Mace (TWDB, State Government)
  • Sarah Baker Faust (Local Environmental Community)
  • Stan Fees (Large Permittee, Municipalities)
  • Suzanne Pierce (GW Science, Use and Public Policy)
  • Tom Weber (County Government)
  • Mike Personett (Austin Watershed Protection)
  • Daryl Slusher (Austin Water Utilities)
  • Michael Moore (Large Irrigator)

Resources:

Adopted Rules and Bylaws that memorialize SAC input

The following pdf documents were made available for use in the SAC - Board Work Sessions: