February 10 Update
SAWDF plans to be at the February 12 virtual meeting of Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA-12), (see agenda on Events Page), where five groundwater district members (parts of 14 counties, including Lee and Bastrop) are engaged in the current review of "Desired Future Conditions" of each district in GMA-12 --- aka "how much drawdown can we stand" over the next sixty years, determined on a rolling basis every five years.
SAWDF wants them to know what's going on with
Lee County wells.
Go here soon for all the details we have for the now CONTINUED JANUARY 28, 2021 final public hearing on the LCRA permit for 8 billion gallons (25,000 acre-feet) per year of Bastrop County groundwater. We have lived to fight another day! (We think that day will be sometime in the last week of February. Stand by.)
To cut to the chase, the Lost Pines District listened to the Protestants, who disputed LCRA's claim that Lost Pines had no choice but to issue the
full permit for 25,000 acre-feet/year!
The District's Board of Directors --- consisting of your neighbors who were appointed by the County Judges of Lee and Bastrop counties --- heard from a handful of public speakers in the public comment segment before the hearing convened, including SAWDF.
SAWDF had hoped prior to the hearing that the District would see the obvious wisdom in reducing the permit to a reasonable amount, if not denying the permit altogether --- the District has to have a very good reason to deny the permit; however, there is evidence in the record the permit should at least
be reduced if not denied.
We were impressed by the obvious preparation and collaboration to present a united front in the
Protestants' presentations --- stay tuned!
In a sign they are interested in exploring alternatives to LCRA's "slam dunk, give us the permit", the Board emerged from executive session and voted to continue the hearing to further consider the Protestants' arguments this evening.
The Board's legal counsel questioned the Protestants
at the end of the hearing, and before the Board retired to Executive Session, to explore whether 8,000 acre-feet, without the ability to exceed that amount without a new application, would satisfy the Protestants (he later indicated he would not recommend a solution that could not survive an appeal).
Go here to download the video of the January 28 hearing.
AND DID YOU KNOW LEE COUNTY WELLS ARE ALREADY EXPERIENCING SERIOUS PROBLEMS FROM PUMPING FOR SAN ANTONIO IN NEARBY BURLESON COUNTY! Public comment raised this issue! Why are we still permitting if wells are going dry?? Go here for details. See our
We didn't hear from anyone who tried and failed to get into the LCRA hearing --- let us know if we should have heard from you. Email email@example.com if you had problems joining the hearing -- your experience will be valuable for us to know!
Nothing has changed, including LCRA's arrogance. They threatened to sue the District if it didn't move forward with their application....and by the way, when was the last time that the LCRA came into our affected communities and explained their plans and why they feel it necessary to raid Bastrop County's groundwater? THEY NEVER HAVE.
What are they not telling us about their desperation to go forward?
What's the big hurry, except to intimidate all of us, as well as the Lost Pines District?? Didn't LCRA promise the Sunset Commission during the 2019 legislative session, they would do a lot better on community relations and outreach after so many people complained about being blind-sided by LCRA's groundwater project in Bastrop County?
We believe LCRA should have been willing to postpone until the public -- their future neighbors at the Boy Scout Ranch --- can speak to the full board, in person.
Read about a new concern...
January 21, 2021 Update on Well Failures
Go HERE for SAWDF's updated media release on the biggest reason why Lee County Judge Paul Fischer always urges the Lost Pines GCD to "go slow" in its permitting. If you caught the Jan. 14 Lexington Leader and Giddings News & Times, you'll see our release on the front pages, and you will also see that the Lexington Leader reached out to Mr. Wayne Iselt --- Wayne and his family are legendary local well drillers, and Wayne and his family are running ragged to answer all the calls for well issues.
Judge Fischer's, and our, fears about local effects of heavy pumping are coming true, and he is absolutely right to advise caution; until we know the extent of what's happening to wells in this district, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the district should not permit any mega-projects, including LCRA!
We hope to soon have more updates on both SAWDF and Lost Pines GCD activities with respect to the status of wells in the district.
We have received numerous reports of wells in northeastern Lee County suddenly experiencing significant drops --- in some cases over 100 feet --- in water levels. (Burleson County is also experiencing well declines.)
We are still looking for landowners in either Lee or Burleson counties willing to give us a "survey" of their wells --- go here to read our information email and find our Well Survey form --- adapt it or add as much info as you want, if it doesn't fully tell your story, especially if you are experiencing problems --- we need to hear from you! (LCRA parties, we probably have all your information at this time, but do update us if you have new information.)
Go here to read our December 23, 2020 update about why Lee County wells are declining and stay tuned for further updates --- including maps of affected wells.
Thank you to all who donated during December! There is still time to donate!
Go HERE to DONATE before January 31.
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