Local water officials adopt management plan

PRESIDIO COUNTY — At a brief meeting in Presidio city on Thursday, the Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District unanimously adopted its proposed groundwater management plan for 2020-2025.

Management plans like this, which run on a five-year basis, are a core responsibility of water districts like PCUWCD, said Carolyn Macartney, general manager for the district.

Before the management plan can become official, it first needs to be submitted for review by the Texas Water Development Board. PCUWCD says it doesn’t yet have a timeline for that review.

PCUWCD first publicized its proposed management plan last year, as readers may recall. The then-22 page report outlined the district’s proposed responsibilities for the next five years, which include everything from investigating 100 percent of complaints and reports of “wasteful practices” of water every year and registering all new wells to monitoring drought conditions.

The water district then submitted that draft to the Texas Water Development Board, which sent them back a corrected and annotated version. “They’re paying really close attention,” Macartney said. Those edits helped inform the revised plan, which was published last month and covers much the same territory.

With the revised plan, the PCUWCD also accepted written comments. But with only two — one regarding spelling mistakes and another suggesting better calibration of water meters — the board unanimously voted for the revised resolution.

The PCUWCD is responsible for oversight of groundwater resources in Presidio County, which include the Igneous Aquifer and the West Texas “bolsons,” or bolsones, which are smaller pockets of groundwater resources. (See above.) Rather than formulating a broad vision for districts, management plans just lay out the minimum responsibilities that districts like PCUWCD must perform.