20Alert! - THE GRINCH was back this Christmas!
Let's be clear -- brought you this news very close to Christmas, and for that we apologize ---but we weren't THE GRINCH!
The LCRA recently threatened legal action against the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District if the district did not set a Final Hearing date for the contested LCRA Permit to pump 25,000 ac-ft/year at the
Griffith League Boy Scout property in Bastrop County.
January 10, 2021 Update!
As of this past week, no date had been set for an LCRA public hearing; however,
SAWDF is aware LCRA was still pushing this week for an all-virtual hearing, in January, at the worst point in the pandemic so far.
While holding a virtual hearing may be in keeping with directives from the Governor and State Bar to hold judicial proceedings virtually during the pandemic, and not in person, unless all other alternatives are exhausted, LCRA should be willing to postpone until the public -- their future neighbors at the Boy Scout Ranch --- can speak to the full board, in person.
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?
At the December 2020 Board meeting, the LPGCD reluctantly voted to have legal counsel pursue a date in January. Even though it is the height of COVID-19 infections across the nation, the LCRA demanded a hearing date. SAWDF views this as a move by the LCRA to limit public participation. More than 500 citizens attended the first public hearing on the permit. That will be hard to duplicate in a "virtual" hearing, given the limited internet connections, and even the poor telephone reception for virtual meetings, in rural Bastrop and Lee counties.
SAWDF will publish the hearing date and how you can participate
as soon as we receive the details.
January 10, 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.
His, 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.)
Review our NEWS blog for previous items of interest on these subjects and other matters pending at Lost Pines --- and check back for more updates, including, we hope, maps related to drawdowns and affected wells.
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!
The Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund (SAWDF) has announced the kickoff of its #GivingTuesday 2020 campaign on December 1, with the possibility of matching funds from Facebook and a central Texas environmental fund.
#GivingTuesday on December 1 was a global day of generosity that simply encourages people to do good ---whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes --- thank you for your support!
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