GUEST COMMENTARY by WILL CONLEY
Our groundwater conservation districts are directly responsible for this work in our county. This is the way the state designed it to work They are responsible for conserving, preserving and protecting our aquifers. Now these districts all have some differences, but this is their basic mission. In order for them to do their best, it is essential we have data based off unbiased science for these policymakers to be able to best accomplish their goals. Without science, we are throwing darts at a board and taking risk on our resources. We are also potentially being unfair to landowners. These organizations have done a lot to get closer to this goal but more work is needed.
I believe a way in which the county can help these groundwater conservation districts is to partner with them to help develop the science and monitoring that we need to make informed decisions. That’s why next week I will sponsor an agenda item that will create a partnership, with commissioners court approval, between Hays County, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and other entities to increase groundwater monitoring and data collection where it is lacking and to support the efforts of the Texas Water Development Board to further develop the science.
You may recall our fight to get House Bill 3405 last session. An important piece of that legislation was the language that stated no project could be harmful to existing well owners. This language was fought hard by special interests, but we were able to keep it in our legislation. It is more important than ever that we have the science and monitoring across our entire county in order for us to know what is going on, so that we can clearly set policy and enforce legislative intent when necessary. This science and monitoring will go a long way toward improving our ability to make sound policy through sound processes.
I look forward to working with all groundwater conservation districts and the state to do our best to manage and protect these precious resources in our county. It is important, as well, that we go through these processes in a manner that is balanced and fair to landowners across Hays County.
I am confident that this science-based approach to policymaking and resource management will improve Hays County for the better.
Commissioner WILL CONLEY represents Wimberley, Woodcreek and western San Marcos on the Hays County Commissioners Court. An agenda for the court’s Aug. 2 meeting will be posted on the county’s website on Friday, July 29.Email | Print