Public Notices


 

Press Release
(For Publication by January 30, 2013)

Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District Schedules Director Elections

On January 17, 2013, the Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District scheduled an Election for Director-At-Large and Directors of District Precincts 1 and 2. This Election will be held May 11, 2013. District Precincts are the same as Blanco County Commissioner Precincts and the Director-At-Large represents Blanco County as a whole. Directors serve four-year terms and are not paid a salary.
A candidate for Director-At-Large must be a resident of Blanco County and a candidate for Precincts 1 or 2 must be a resident of the precinct for which they are running. All candidates must meet other requirements of Texas Election Code Sec. 141.001.
The District will accept applications for a place on the ballot for these positions between February 4 and March 1, 2013. Application packets are available at the District Office, 601 West Main, Johnson City. For further information, or to request a packet by mail, contact the District Office: (830) 868-9196.

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Press Release
(For Immediate Release)

Groundwater District Declares Stage One Drought Conditions

At the December 6, 2012 meeting of the Board of Directors, Ron Fieseler, General Manager of the Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District, briefed the Board on declining aquifer levels in District monitor wells, decreasing flow in the Blanco and Pedernales Rivers, recent rainfall history, and extended weather forecasts. After some discussion, the Board of Directors urged General Manager, Ron Fieseler, to track conditions and declare Stage One Drought (Mild Drought) conditions for Blanco County groundwater users if condition did not improve by the end of 2012. Since conditions have not improved during the last month, the Mr. Fieseler has declared Drought Stage One for all of Blanco County with an effective date of January 1, 2013. This declaration will continue until further notice.

Under Stage One, the District's Drought Rules ask for voluntary reductions in groundwater use of 5-10% for all Blanco County groundwater users. District-declared drought conditions affect only well owners and those whose water supply is provided by water wells, such as the City of Johnson City. Individuals and public water systems that rely on other sources, such as rain water or surface water, are not required to comply with drought reductions required by the District, but may find it prudent to incorporate conservation measures in order to help reduce demand on their supplies. According to Mr. Fieseler, the 5-10% reduction in use is an easy goal to achieve and will help reduce the demand on the aquifer. Luckily, outside watering demands are at a minimum during the winter months so we have time to get used to water conservation techniques before the arrival of higher water use months. "The greatest water savings can be found by incorporating water-efficient landscape irrigation practices. Reduction goals can be easily achieved by watering established lawns and plants once every 5-7 days during times of no rainfall. Use of decorative or landscape water fountains or similar water features should also cease in order to conserve water," says Mr. Fieseler. He added that water is most effectively applied to lawns, shrubs, and trees between 8 o'clock in the evening and 8 o'clock in the morning when evaporative losses are less. If new landscape plantings are planned, he recommends considering drought tolerant species and using water-efficient irrigation techniques.

Rather than the normal monthly visits to the District Monitor Wells, District staff members will begin measuring water levels on almost a weekly basis due to the dry conditions. The District expects that cooperation in reducing groundwater usage by everyone, from private well owners up to the biggest users, should result in lower demands, and this may help put off the need to impose other, more restrictive Drought Stages.
Questions may be directed to the District Office in Johnson City at (830) 868-9196.

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Press Release
(For Immediate Release - August 27, 2012)

Late Summer Thoughts about Water Conservation!


With rainfall being scattered and usually unpredictable in Blanco County this year, it is probably time for us to continue to think about water conservation. Do we have cause to worry? As of right now, the answer is a cautious "yes". We are currently in a "No Drought" condition in Blanco County, and we are nearing the end of our summer season. Most Blanco County residents have been blessed with an occasional rain on their landscape which has done wonders to help preserve groundwater levels in our county. However, at least a few more weeks of hot weather remain. The Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District monitors the water levels in several Blanco County water wells. For much of 2012, the water levels in some of these wells held steady, but most wells showed a slow but steady decline. This is clearly related to rainfall...less rain equals less recharge. Slowing dropping water levels are a result of normal pumping demand by well owners when there is little or no replenishment from regular rainfall. Seems simple enough, and even though we have all been through it before and gotten through it, we need to keep in mind that as more and more people move into Blanco County, the demand on groundwater will increase. When pumping exceeds the ability of the aquifer to recharge, we can literally pump ourselves into an aquifer drought situation quicker than ever before. Living in a rural area and having to rely on wells, springs, ponds, and surface streams for a water supply tends to make residents more vulnerable to the whims of nature. It is a wise person who maintains some level of awareness that the next drought might be just one rainfall away…especially if that rain was a month or two ago!

We need to always be careful with our daily water use, particularly since we are only a few rainless weeks from being in another drought. If we all use water like we are in a moderate drought, the aquifer levels will remain higher for longer periods of time. It's a good habit to develop, and there is nothing wrong with getting some short-term benefits while water levels are still reasonably "normal". We all need to be aware of the need to eliminate wasteful habits, reduce unnecessary use, and get in the habit of conserving water in our daily lives. This is most important when we consider our outside water uses. Outside irrigation accounts for a huge amount of water demand and is where we can generate the most water conservation with the least effort. If we can get in the habit of watering only once per week, preferably at night, we can be more efficient in our outside watering. Training ourselves in this way will give us a jump-start in dealing with any potentially extended dry period. When the time comes to seriously reduce water usage, we will be less likely to feel deprived.

We all need to pay close attention to the weather patterns in the late summer and fall of 2012. If we receive periodic rainfall in sufficient quantities to provide recharge to our aquifers, then we will have little to worry about next year. If not, then the "next drought" may have begun. By then, I hope you will already be accustomed to using water wisely. In this way, any future drought will have less impact on you, your family, and your neighbors. From all of us in Blanco County, let me say, "Thanks in advance!"

Ron Fieseler, General Manager
Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District (830) 868-9196

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Press Release

(For Immediate Release - March 2012)

Groundwater District Removes Drought Conditions

The Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District has terminated the drought conditions for all Blanco County groundwater users. This declaration went into effect Monday, April 2, 2012. There are no restrictions on groundwater usage for Blanco County well owners at this time. According to Ron Fieseler, General Manager for the District, due to the recent rains, water levels in District’s monitor wells have risen several feet and are approaching more average levels. Most importantly, after several months of being in a no-flow condition, the Blanco River has now been flowing for several weeks and many smaller streams are flowing to some degree. Once the ground is well saturated, flowing streams provide significant recharge to the local aquifers. In addition, the rainfall patterns seem to be changing to a wetter profile that is expected to continue into the spring.

The Board of Directors and the Mr. Fieseler reviewed all this information and determined that both the current aquifer conditions and the expected weather patterns justified ending the County-wide Drought Conditions which have been in place since last April. "We are encouraged by the improved aquifer conditions, and hope that we can remain in No Drought status for an extended period," Mr. Fieseler said. He stated that the District staff and Directors will continue to keep a close eye on monitor well levels and local weather patterns as the summer of 2012 progresses. "If we find that drought conditions return to Blanco County, the District will be prepared to declare yet another drought and get the word out to conserve water and reduce or restrict pumpage as necessary", Mr. Fieseler added.

Even with the termination of Drought Conditions, Blanco County residents are encouraged to continue practicing water conservation measures, being particularly watchful of unnecessary outside watering. There is an old saying, “the next drought may begin after the last rain”. As growth continues to occur in Blanco County, and our overall water needs increase, we all need to keep this in mind.

If you have any questions about Drought Conditions, water conservation practices, or Blanco County groundwater resources, you are invited to contact the District at (830) 868-9196

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Press Release
(For Immediate Release - January 2012)

Regarding Groundwater District Downgrading to Drought Stage One

The Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District has reduced the Drought Status in Blanco County from Stage 3 down to Stage 1. This decision was based on current weather conditions, recent rainfall events, and lower groundwater demand during the winter months. General Manager Ron Fieseler says that Blanco County is still in a drought situation, but we have a few months during the winter where we can catch our breath and see what happens between now and spring. He reports that water levels in District monitor wells have shown modest increases. However, unless the county gets some extensive rain along with continued flow in local creeks and rivers, Fieseler says that we could again see falling water levels and find ourselves returning to a more severe drought condition by late spring or early summer. Under Drought Stage 1, Blanco County residents are asked to voluntarily reduced groundwater usage by 5-10%. The District hopes that many residents will continue to incorporate the same water conservation habits they practiced during Stage 3 Drought.District employees will continue to visit District monitor wells on a weekly basis and will be prepared to recommend future changes should the need arise.

Questions may be directed to the District Office at (830) 868-9196.

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Press Release
(For Immediate Release-August 2011)

Drought Stage Three Declared by Groundwater District

With at least two months of a hot Texas summer left, the Blanco water situation is becoming a serious concern. Water levels continue to decline in District Monitor Wells. Some well owners have had to lower pumps or, in a few cases, drill new and deeper wells. Rainfall is almost non-existent. There is no significant flow in Blanco County creeks and rivers. Future weather forecasts call for more of the same. Drought indicators for surface conditions are generally reporting extreme drought for Central Texas and these conditions are not expected to improve in the foreseeable future. The hydrograph of one District Monitor Well shows that for the third time in the last 5 years, our aquifers are approaching the point where we can expect water levels to drop rapidly.

The Blanco Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors authorized the District's General Manager, Ron Fieseler to make some final water level observations and declare Drought Stage Three for Blanco County as of August 1, 2001, and will continue until further notice.
Under Stage Three, the District's Drought Rules set a conservation goal of 20-50% reduction in groundwater use. Groundwater users can achieve the conservation goal reductions by following one or more of the water conservation methods listed below. Many well owners have already reduced pumpage by 20% or more as a result of conservation efforts implemented under Drought Stage Two. The Groundwater District appreciates these efforts, but now finds it necessary to ask groundwater users to try even harder to conserve water as we all try to get through this summer of drought.

Stage Three Severe Drought:
Conservation Goal: 20-50% reduction in groundwater use
Usage Reduction Measures:
• Continue, or increase voluntary reduction in various uses
• Check for and correct all plumbing leaks
• Water outside lawns, trees, shrubs once every 5 to 7 days
• Water at night between hours of 8pm and midnight using hand-held hose with automatic shut-off nozzle or automatic timer
• Hose end sprinkler systems prohibited
• Wash vehicles at car wash only as needed
• No washing of buildings, driveways, streets, patios, or other outdoor surfaces except as required for human or animal health and safety needs, or for fire prevention
• Watering for dust control only when required by law
• Livestock watered in leak-proof troughs strongly recommended
• Pumping groundwater into livestock ponds is discouraged
• Persons providing groundwater to ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools, or other surface impoundments for holding water can maintain no more than 50,000 gallons in storage.

The City of Blanco obtains surface water from Canyon Lake. Johnson City provides its customers water from wells that pump from the Ellenburger Aquifer. Both cities have a TCEQ-approved Water Conservation and Drought Plan. In accordance with these plans, each city will notify its customers of any increase or decrease of drought conditions under their drought plans. Customers are required to comply with water use restrictions imposed by either city. If you are unsure of current water use restrictions, please contact the Water Utilities Department at your City Hall for further information.
General Manager Ron Fieseler points out that outside water demand is the largest use of groundwater, whether it is domestic landscaping, ball fields, agricultural crops, hay meadows, ponds, or a golf course. As a result, the largest reduction in groundwater use can be achieved by using the common-sense conservation measures for outside uses described above.
The District asks everyone to remember that our Blanco County groundwater is our most valuable resource. Please use it wisely.

If you have any questions or concerns about water wells, Drought Conditions, water conservation practices, or Blanco County groundwater resources, you should contact the District directly. The District is the primary source in Blanco County for aquifer questions, water level records, water quality data and testing, individual well records, and overall geology and hydrology information. The District Office is located at 601 West Main in Johnson City and the office phone number is (830) 868-9196. You can also email the General Manager, Ron Fieseler, at: manager@blancocountygroundwater.org.

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Press Release
(For Immediate Release-June 2011)


Drought Stage Two Declared by Groundwater District

After reviewing declining water levels in District Monitor Wells, lower than normal rainfall, the lack of flow in local creeks and rivers, and future weather forecasts, the Blanco Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors has raised drought conditions in Blanco County to Drought Stage Two. The Directors also considered that national and state drought indicators for surface conditions are generally reporting extreme drought for Central Texas and these conditions are not expected to improve in the foreseeable future.

The Drought Stage Two goes into effect on June 23, 2011 and will continue until further notice.

According to Johnson City Manager David Dockery. Johnson City residents have already been conserving water. Dockery says because of the concern city residents have about the extended drought conditions, that daily pumpage has already decreased about 15-20% and he expects additional reductions under Stage Two. Johnson City will notify its customers of the need to comply with water use restrictions imposed by Johnson City under their TCEQ-approved Drought Plan. If you are unsure of current water use restrictions, please contact the Johnson City Water Department at City Hall for further information.

The City of Blanco obtains surface water from Canyon Lake Water Service Company and has not yet had to declare drought conditions or impose drought-related water use restrictions on their customers. Since the water level in Canyon Lake continue to drop, Canyon Lake WSC is expected to incorporate Drought Restrictions sometime in the near future. Therefore, anyone who is served by that water system may find it prudent to voluntarily incorporate water conservation measures in order to help reduce demand on their surface water supplies.

Under Stage Two, the District's Drought Rules set a conservation goal of 20% reduction in groundwater use. Groundwater users can achieve the conservation goal reductions by following the water conservation methods listed below.

Under Stage Two, the District's Drought Rules set a conservation goal of 20% reduction in average or "normal" groundwater use. Groundwater users can achieve the conservation goal reductions by following one or more of the water conservation methods listed below.

Stage Two Moderate Drought:
Conservation Goal: 20% reduction in groundwater use
Usage Reduction Measures:
• Continue, or increase, voluntary reduction in various uses
• Check for and correct all plumbing leaks
• Water outside lawns, trees, shrubs once every 5 to 7 days
• Water at night between hours of 8pm and 8am
• Keep swimming pools, landscape or decorative ponds, and fountains covered, use water recirculation, and refill only once every 5 to 7 days
• Wash vehicles at car wash only as needed
• No washing of buildings, driveways, streets, patios, or other outdoor surfaces except as required for human or animal health and safety needs, or for fire prevention
• Water livestock in leak-proof troughs as much as practical
• Providing groundwater to ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools, or other surface impoundments for holding water that have a total capacity of more than 50,000 gallons is prohibited except for those wells permitted for non-domestic irrigation.

The District is grateful for the water conservation efforts of well owners during the last several months. The reductions in use, in conjunction with a few scattered rain showers, helped slow the steady decline in water levels measured in District Monitor Wells. Unfortunately, the lack of rainfall has persisted and water demand has increased with the onset of summer, resulting in the District having to impose more restrictive Drought Stage Two water use restrictions.
General Manager Ron Fieseler noted that with at least two and perhaps three more months of hot summer weather ahead of us, we all need to work cooperatively to conserve water. Outside water demand is the largest use of groundwater, whether it is domestic landscaping, ball fields, agricultural crops, hay meadows, ponds, or a golf course. As a result, the largest reduction in groundwater use can be achieved by using the conservation measures for outside uses described above.
Fieseler said that, with little hope for significant rainfall during the summer, water conservation is the only way we might be able to help the District avoid having to declaring a more serious drought condition in the coming weeks.
Drought conditions stress not only the aquifer, but also those of us who rely on groundwater for our daily needs. We can get through these trying times if we remember that our Blanco County groundwater is our most valuable resource. We must all use it wisely.

If you have any questions or concerns about water wells, Drought Conditions, water conservation practices, or Blanco County groundwater resources, you should contact the District directly. The District is the primary source in Blanco County for aquifer questions, water level records, water quality data and testing, individual well records, and overall geology and hydrology information. The District Office is located at 601 West Main in Johnson City and the office phone number is (830) 868-9196. You can also email the General Manager, Ron Fieseler, at: manager@blancocountygroundwater.org.

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Press Release
(For Immediate Release-May 2011)

Groundwater District Declares Stage One Drought Conditions

At the April 27, 2011 meeting of the Board of Directors, Ron Fieseler, General Manager of the Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District briefed the Board on declining aquifer levels in District monitor wells, decreasing flow in the Blanco and Pedernales Rivers, and extended weather forecasts.
As a result of those conditions and in accordance with District Rules, The Board of Directors declared Stage One Drought (Mild Drought) conditions for Blanco County groundwater users with an effective date of May 1, 2011. This declaration will continue until further notice.
District-declared drought conditions affect only well owners and those whose water supply is provided by water wells, such as the City of Johnson City. Individuals and public water systems that rely on other sources, such as rain water or surface water, are not required to comply with drought reductions required by the District, but may find it prudent to incorporate conservation measures in order to help reduce demand on their supplies.
Under Stage One, the District's Drought Rules ask for voluntary reductions in groundwater use of 5-10% for all Blanco County groundwater users. Stage One also requires a mandatory end to all pumping of groundwater into surface ponds, tanks, lakes, etc., except for those holding 50,000 gallons or less that are used for domestic purposes or for livestock watering.
According to Fieseler, the 5-10% reduction in use is an easy goal to achieve and will help reduce the demand on the aquifer. "The greatest water savings can be found by incorporating water-efficient landscape irrigation practices. Reduction goals can be easily achieved by watering established lawns and plants once every 5-7 days during times of no rainfall. Use of decorative or landscape water fountains or similar water features should also cease in order to conserve water," says Fieseler. He added that water is most effectively applied to lawns, shrubs, and trees between 8 o'clock in the evening and 8 o'clock in the morning when evaporative losses are less. If new landscape plantings are planned, he recommends waiting for a less stressful time.
Rather than the normal monthly visits to the District Monitor Wells, District staff members will begin measuring water levels on almost a weekly basis due to the very dry conditions. If aquifer levels continue to drop, the District may have to declare Stage Two Drought or even Stage Three. These Drought Stages will impose higher reduction goals of 20% and 20-50% respectively. In addition, more restrictive, and in some cases mandatory, water usage will also be in required.
The District expects that cooperation in reducing groundwater usage by everyone, from private well owners up to the biggest users, should result in lower demands, and this may help put off the need to impose other Drought Stages. There are still several months of Texas summer weather ahead and long range weather forecasts indicate continued lower than normal rainfall.

The District bases much of its Drought declaration decisions on water levels measured in several Monitor Wells. All District Monitor Wells have demonstrated small, but steady declines over the past several months due to lack of rainfall and the resulting increase in pumping demands…mostly for outside watering needs.


An example of District monitor well water level records are shown in the City of Blanco Well chart above, which was last measured on April 26, 2011. The aquifer level shown in the chart has trended downward for several months and closely resembles the declines that preceded droughts in 2006 and 2008. According to Fieseler, the combination of lack of rainfall, dropping of aquifer levels, reductions in flow to local creeks and rivers, and several hot, summer months coming up clearly justify the declaration of Drought Stage One.
If you have any questions about the Drought Conditions, water conservation practices, or Blanco County groundwater resources, you are invited to contact the District at (830) 868-9196.

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Press Release
(For Immediate Release-March 2011)

Time to Think about Water Conservation!


With rainfall being scarce in Blanco County this year, it is probably time for us to be talking about water conservation. Do we have cause to worry? As of right now, the answer is a cautious "yes". Extended weather predictions are expecting at least a few more months of lower than normal rainfall.

Living in a rural area and having to rely on wells, springs, ponds, and surface streams for a water supply tends to make residents more vulnerable to the whims of nature. It is a wise person who maintains some level of awareness that the next drought might be just one rainfall away…especially if that rain was a couple of months ago!

We need to start being careful with our daily water use, particularly since we are approaching the springtime "green-up" and the accompanying need to apply water to help things along. There is nothing wrong with getting some short-term benefits while water levels are still reasonably "normal". However, we can still be aware of the need to eliminate wasteful habits, reduce unnecessary use, and get in the habit of conserving water in our daily lives. This is most important in our outside water uses. Outside irrigation accounts for a huge amount of water demand. If we can get in the habit of watering only once per week, preferably at night, we can be more efficient in our outside watering. Training ourselves in this way will give us a jump-start in dealing with any potentially extended dry period. When the time comes to seriously reduce water usage, we will be less likely to feel deprived.

The Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District monitors the water levels in several Blanco County water wells. For much of late 2010 and early 2011, the water levels in some of these wells held steady, but most wells showed a slow but steady decline. This is clearly related to lower rainfall, meaning less recharge. This is a result of normal pumping demand by well owners when there is little or no replenishment from regular rainfall. While this is often the case, and we have all been through it before and gotten through it, we need to keep in mind that as more and more people move into Blanco County, the demand on groundwater will increase. When pumping exceeds the ability of the aquifer to recharge, we can literally pump ourselves into an aquifer drought situation quicker than ever before.

We all need to pay close attention to the weather patterns in the late spring and summer of 2011. If we receive periodic rainfall in sufficient quantities to provide recharge to our aquifers, then we will have little to worry about. If not, then the "next drought" may have begun. By then, I hope you will already be accustomed to using water wisely. In this way, any future drought will have less impact on you, your family, and your neighbors. For all of us, let me say, "Thanks in advance!"

Ron Fieseler, General Manager
Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District
(830) 868-9196

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Press Release

(For Immediate Release - March 2011)


New Groundwater District Directors Will Take Office in May


In two months, during the May 2011 Meeting of the Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District, Don Casey will be sworn in as Director of Precinct 3 and Rebecca Brown will be sworn in asDirector of Precinct 4. They will assume full duties at the June 2011 Board Meeting. Both Mr. Casey and Mrs. Brown ran unopposed for the Director positions vacated by incumbents Bobby Wilson (Pct. 3) and Neill Binford (Pct. 4). At the March 24, 2011 Board Meeting, the current Board declared the May 14, 2011 Director Election cancelled due to both races being uncontested and declared Mr. Casey and Mrs. Brown elected. Director Tom Murrah (Pct. 1), Director Colleen Gardner (Pct.2), Director Jimmy Klepec (Director at Large), and the District Staff are looking forward to working with the newly elected Directors. Join us in welcoming them to public service with the Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District.

Ron Fieseler, General Manager
Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District
(830) 868-9196

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