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The Post Oak Savannah GCD Board of Directors met for their monthly meeting on October 3, 2017. The meeting started at 5:30 p.m. and was held at the POSGCD office. Approximately 80 people attended the meeting.

John Giesenschlag, a Burleson County landowner and past POSGCD Director, opened up with a public comment. He thanked the Board for their work and said that he supports the District and believes that the District is still the best avenue to have local control of the groundwater in Milam and Burleson Counties.

All other public comments were made during Item 14, Request by Vista Ridge for extension of Transport Permit POS-T-0001d as Non-Substantial Change. After Gary Westbrook, General Manager of POSGCD, gave a brief overview of the timeline involving the Vista Ridge project, legal counsel outlined the three options the District could consider. Option one was to determine the letter request as non-substantial, which would allow the GM to make the decision without a hearing. Option two would be to determine the letter request as being substantial which would require a public hearing. Option three was to take no action and dispose of the request.

Paul Terrill, partner of Terrill & Waldrop and representative for Vista Ridge/Blue Water Systems, followed Westbrook and District’s legal counsel with an explanation of why the request was submitted. Terrill said the request was to extend the transport permit by 10 years to match the existing production permit. Currently, the production permit expires in 2044 and the export permit expires in 2034. Terrill said that because Vista Ridge already has a permit to produce for that time, the request to match the permits was non-substantial.

After Terrill’s comments, eight people participated in public comment. Commenters consisted of local Milam and Burleson County landowners, Lee County officials and landowners, and Chief of Staff for Representative Terry Wilson. Comments were in favor of considering the request substantial and pushing the request to a hearing. Paul Fisher, the Lee County Judge, said that a public hearing would allow landowners an opportunity to voice their opinion and for the District to be transparent.

After hearing all comments, the Directors discussed the item with Director Nathan Ausley abstaining from all comment, participation, and voting.

President Youngblood began discussion by stating the discussion and opportunity for public comment was important, and all input was appreciated. He made clear that with due respect to all, it would be the 10 Directors of the Board who will make the final decision.

Further clarification was made as to what actions the Board could make and what the best option could be. Director Tommy Tietjen said that the only thing to decide was whether the letter request was substantive or non-substantive. He continued by saying he thought the Board should not consider the request until closer to the termination of the current transport permit. Director Robert Ware echoes his thoughts and said that the Board should wait to see what impacts occur on the aquifer when pumping really starts.

Because the letter request was not a legal request, Directors Jay Wilder and Steven Wise said that the request does not follow the POSGCD rules, according to Rule 8.7 and that the requestor would need an application and a hearing to be considered.

The final motion was to deem the letter request to be substantial. The motion passed 9-0 with Director Nathan Ausley abstaining to vote.

Earlier in the meeting, Directors voted to approve changes to Board Policies and to make the Board Investment Policy a stand-alone document. Changes were made to make the District more transparent and to incorporate new legislative issues.

Westbrook also went through proposed amendments to the 2017 budget and explained some of the unforeseen expenses. Additionally, he presented the proposed 2018 budget and advised the Board that it would need to be posted for hearing at the November meeting. Directors approved the proposed 2017 budget changes and moved to set the 2018 budget for hearing at the next board meeting.

Other documents that are to be posted for hearing soon are the Groundwater Well Assistance Program and District Management Plan.

To view the meeting minutes, click here.

The Desired Future Conditions (DFC) Committee met on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at the POSGCD Office. They heard presentations about new Advanced Aquifer Enhancement (AAE) projects, updates on the Monitoring Network and finalized edits to the Draft Groundwater Well Assistance Program (GWAP).

Steve Young from Intera started the meeting by going through a presentation outlining four ideas of possible projects that could potentially enhance the aquifers in the District—Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR), Enhanced Recharge, Surface Water and Groundwater Interaction, and Groundwater Quality (including brackish groundwater).

The presentation slides can be found at http://posgcd.org/administrator/archived-minutes/archived-minutes-2017/.

Dan Tucker, a producer in northwest Burleson County, followed with a proposed ASR project. Tucker produces tomatoes and has been researching and implementing ways to conserve groundwater and reduce costs of production. He presented to the board to seek help in setting up an ASR project through navigating and negotiating with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and to work on concepts of design.

After both presentations, the committee passed a motion for the general manager to move forward with researching and learning about advanced aquifer enhancement opportunities.

During the meeting, Bobby Bazan, POSGCD Water Resource Specialist, updated the committee on the Monitoring Network. There have been 47 wells added to the Network since the beginning of the year with additional wells scheduled to be drilled.

Finally, the Committee walked through and made final edits to the GWAP document to be posted for a 90-day comment. The hearing to accept the GWAP will be in January 2018.

Post Oak Savannah GCD hosted a workshop for local water utility groups on September 26, 2017. Sam Godfrey Owner and President of Samco, and James Beauchamp, Owner and President of Texas Drinking Water Solutions, gave presentations. Topics included 2018 groundwater conservation grant applications, leak detections, and GIS mapping.

         

The Post Oak Savannah GCD (POSGCD) Board of Directors met for their monthly meeting on September 5, 2017 at the POSGCD office. The meeting began with a public hearing on possible rule changes to Rules 7.4, Application Requirements for All Permits and 7.7, Permits Issued by the District. Mr. Dan Fischer had submitted a comment via email previous to the hearing and there were no comments during the hearing. After the public hearing, Directors voted unanimously to accept the rules as presented.

During the meeting, Kobly Dague, a student in the Texas 4-H2O Ambassador program, gave a presentation about his experience this summer. He shared highlights from the 8-day Youth Leadership Academy, where ambassadors learned about water policy, management and issues across the state. After his presentation, he presented the Directors with a plaque to thank them for their sponsorship of the program.

The Board heard reports from the Advisory, Desired Future Condition (DFC), Rules and Building Committees. The DFC Committee is on track to completing the Groundwater Well Assistance Program document and posting it for public comment in October. The DFC Committee also reported the Well Monitoring Network continues to grow and improve.

The Directors discussed updates on the joint planning processes in Groundwater Management Area (GMA) 12 and 8. The next GMA 12 meeting will be on September 20, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the POSGCD office. Directors also heard reports from the general manager and education coordinator.

The Desired Future Conditions (DFC) Committee members met on September 5, 2017 at the POSGCD office. The committee members walked through changes to the Groundwater Well Assistance Program (GWAP) document. The GWAP, which had previously been two documents, is now a single document to help

DFC Committee Chair, Steven Wise, said that an appeal process will be added. The appeal process will give well owners an option for a second review by an independent hydrogeologist if a claim is denied.

Committee members discussed a funding baseline for the GWAP and decided that $100,000 would suffice. After evaluations are completed, they will come back and adjust the budget as needed.

Steve Young, Principal Geologist of Intera, briefly went through the Methodology for Determining Compliance with DFCs document. He advised that the document would take four months to be ready for public comment.

The District is currently looking at adopting protocols for collection of water level measurements that are similar to neighboring districts and state protocols.

Bobby Bazan, POSGCD Water Resource Specialist, reported that the Well Monitoring Network continues to grow. He has added 48 new monitoring wells and will have the goal of 50 by the end of summer.

There will be a Local Water Utilities Workshop held at the Post Oak Savannah GCD’s office on September 26, 2017 from 6 to 9 p.m. All local water utilities in Milam and Burleson Counties are welcome to attend the free workshop.

The Local Water Utilities Workshop is designed for managers, board members and city council members. It will provide helpful information to all decision-making members within local water utility groups in efforts to conserve groundwater.

Additionally, local water utilities can receive points on their 2018 POSGCD Grant Application based on the number of people that attend.

The following topics are on the agenda:

  • Update on 2017 and 2018 POSGCD Grants
  • Leak Detection: A proactive approach to water conservation
  • GIS & Mapping Your System

If your group is interested in attending the workshop, please call the POSGCD office at 512-455-9900 with a list of attendees before September 20, 2017.

All materials will be provided and everyone will receive a catered dinner.

Groundwater experts came to the Caldwell Civic Center on August 16, 2017 to speak at the fourth annual Milam & Burleson Counties Groundwater Summit. Nearly 140 people attended the Summit.

The Honorable Judge Sutherland welcomed attendees to the Summit. Judge Sutherland said that Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (POSGCD) Board of Directors have challenging jobs and responsibilities. He said the Directors that represent Burleson County have done an excellent job. He talked about the selection process for Directors and welcomed Burleson County residents to come speak to him if they had questions.

After Judge Sutherland’s welcome, Sarah Schlessinger, Master of Ceremonies and Executive Director of the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts (TAGD), welcomed the first presenter to the stage.

Robert Mace, a Deputy Executive Administrator of the Texas Water Development Board, was the first speaker. He gave an overview of the characteristics of aquifers and groundwater before delving into Groundwater Availability Models (GAMs). Mace told attendees that aquifers aren’t large ponds of water beneath the surface. Aquifers are dirt and rocks that water moves through.

Mace walked through figures and meanings of aquifers and groundwater. He then talked about groundwater flow and the differences between confined and unconfined aquifers.

After his ‘Aquifer 101’ set up, Mace talked about GAMs. He said that the models are essentially taking what is known about aquifers and putting that knowledge into a computer to simulate them. The models are then used to help create Desired Future Conditions and District Management Plans.

Larry French, P.G., Director of the Groundwater Division of the Texas Water Development Board, talked about Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) after Mace’s presentation. A DFC is a measurable condition of an aquifer at a specified future time.

French started his presentation by going over two approaches to managing groundwater in the United States. In Texas, landowner own groundwater as a private property right. In other states, such as New Mexico and Colorado, groundwater is owned by the state.

DFCs are part of the joint planning process in Texas to help manage, regulate and protect aquifers and groundwater at the local level. French said groundwater could care less about county, state or any other political lines. That is why it is essential to implement management practices across areas that share resources.

The process to adopt DFCs include three groups: district representatives in groundwater management areas, individual districts and the Texas Water Development Board. At the District level, residents have the opportunity to look at and comment on the proposed DFCs, after which the DFC moves to adoption.

Creating an effective DFC is a balancing act between the highest practicable level of groundwater production and conservation, protection and prevention of waste. There are numerous factors and conditions that are required to be evaluated when creating DFCs, such as the State Water Plan, uses and conditions of an aquifer, hydrologic conditions, environmental impacts, socioeconomics, property rights and GAMs.

French wanted attendees to remember three main points from his presentation: DFCs are locally-driven with resident participation; DFCs are not set in stone and can be modified and adjustments as improvements in data happen; and Districts are responsible for managing aquifers and allowing DFCs to be reached.

The next presentation was a panel of speakers discussing the impacts of production in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer. Mace was the moderator of this panel.

Kevin J. Spencer, P.G., President of R.W. Harden and Associates, Inc. has more than 25 years of experience developing fresh and brackish groundwater resources and was the first panelist to present. Spencer began by talking about how pressure in aquifers work and how that affects water level measurements. He said that the outcrop area and water table are better measuring tools to measure how pumping affects an aquifer.

Spencer went on to say that there is more groundwater in the Carrizo and Simsboro Aquifers than all of the lakes in Texas. He said that if the DFC were to be reached by 2060, that only 1.13% of the total water in the aquifers will be produced.

In summary, Spencer said that the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer system is a productive major aquifer, drought resistant, has large volumes of water in storage and is a long-term, reliable supply of water.

Second to speak was Chad Norris, an aquatic biologist representing the Water Resources Branch from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Norris said that TPWD has a responsibility to protect fish and wildlife resources in Texas and that they provide input to GCDs and GMAs as requested.

Norris said that surface water and groundwater interaction is extremely important to aquatic environments. Habitats such as streams, hillside bogs, ponds and rivers are dependent on groundwater.

When water is withdrawn from groundwater wells, it has to come from somewhere, Norris said. He knows there will be change with groundwater withdrawal, but cannot predict where that change will happen.

Moving forward, Norris said that it is important to monitor and learn more about groundwater and surface water interaction.

Toya Jones, a hydrogeologist from Intera, followed Norris. She started her presentation by stating GCDs are charged with regulating and protecting groundwater in the aquifers. She said that POSGCD’s management strategies consist of spacing requirements, maximum pumping limit, DFCs and Protective Drawdown Limits (PDLs) of shallow zones in the District.

Jones reminded attendees that POSGCD is the regulatory agency with authority and responsibility to regulate production and manage the aquifers in Milam and Burleson Counties.

Because the majority of registered wells in the District are 400 feet or less, the District is taking precautions to make sure that shallow wells are protected. Since 2000, drawdown in the shallow zone of the Simsboro has seen no net change.

Jones said that POSGCD, along with other GCDs and groundwater organizations, has been a leader in efforts to improve the GAM. This will help them to better understand aquifer characteristics, fault representations, surface water and groundwater interaction, and shallow zone predictions.

In conclusion, Jones said that POSGCD is in the process of expanding their monitoring network through increasing number of wells and frequency of measurement, coverage of aquifers, and continuing to support GAM updates.

During lunch, Drew Gholson, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and former POSGCD staff member, introduced the new POSGCD Rainwater Harvesting Grant Program. Gholson discussed how rainwater harvesting can help conserve groundwater and improve landscapes through water quality and storm water management.

To be eligible for the rainwater harvesting rebate, participants must be a resident or landowner in the District, complete an approved rainwater harvesting course and submit a site analysis. Qualifying participants can be awarded up to $3,000 per household per lifetime.

The first workshop is scheduled for October 10, 2017. Those interested in participating should call the POSGCD office at 512-455-9900 to sign up. There is also an Earth-kind Water Conservation Workshop scheduled for November 6, 2017.

After lunch, the Honorable Judge Barkemeyer, Milam County Judge, welcomed everyone back. After an anecdote about cleaning out water bins and water towers, Barkemeyer briefly described how the Board of Directors for POSGCD are selected and appointed and how Directors create and set policy to be carried out by POSGCD staff. He then handed over the stage to the next panel.

The General Managers of Groundwater Management Area (GMA) 12 Panel consisted of the five general managers of the GCDs within GMA 12. Gary Westbrook from Post Oak Savannah GCD, Alan Day from Brazos Valley GCD, Jim Totten from Lost Pines GCD, David Bailey from Mid-East Texas GCD, and David Van Dresar from Fayette County GCD. Schlessinger moderated.

The panel reviewed similarities and differences among the neighboring Districts that make up GMA 12. Each general manager had an opportunity to explain why their management practices and rules varied from other GCDs in the GMA and how those differences impacted the GMA as a whole. Differences such as type of permits, exemptions, enforcement and spacing requirements were discussed at length.

GCDs also share data among GMA 12 to improve the understanding of the aquifer as a whole.

As an aquifer’s characteristics change over different areas, management and policies c
hange as well. Additionally, each District has different populations and uses of water that need to be considered.

Westbrook and Steven Wise, Vice-President of the POSGCD Board of Directors, then followed with a presentation about the POSGCD Groundwater Well Assistance Program (GWAP), which is in the last stages of development.

The purposes of the GWAP are to restore a water supply to well owners in the District that have experienced significant adverse impacts caused by aquifer-wide pumping in GMA 12 and to improve the POSGCD monitoring program. Westbrook and Wise said that the GWAP will be funded by fees collected by the District and will be a separate line item in the POSGCD budget.

The GWAP is set to be posted for a 90-day comment period by October 3, 2017 with hopes of adoption by January 5, 2018. There will be ongoing evaluations to continue to improve the GWAP.

The last presentation was a POSGCD Monitoring Network by Bobby Bazan, Water Resource Specialist at Post Oak Savannah GCD, and Ralph Sifuentes, POSGCD Field Technician.

Bazan talked about what the monitoring network is and how it helps the District make management and rule decisions. There are currently 112 wells in the network, with 16 of them being measured continuously. The rest are measured annually.

Becoming involved allows each landowner to participate in the improvement of the data which influence the decisions made by Directors.

Bazan and Sifuentes said the District is focusing on the shallow Carrizo-Wilcox zone and will have 50 additional wells by the end of this summer. They are also increasing the frequency of measurements and improving data sharing by creating a new web-based interface that will be coming to the POSGCD website.

If you are interested in learning more about the Monitoring Network, call the POSGCD office at 512-455-9900.

POSGCD Board of Director President, Sidney Youngblood, awarded three of the Directors during the Summit for outstanding service to the District since 2001. Directors were Nathan Ausley, Kerry Starnes and Bob Ware.

During breaks, Megan Homeyer, Education Coordinator of Post Oak Savannah GCD, gave updates about the POSGCD website and social media. She invited and encouraged attendees to get involved with the District.

Speaker’s presentation slides can be found here.

Master of Ceremonies 

Sarah Schlessinger, Executive Director, Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts
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Sarah Rountree Schlessinger joined the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts (TAGD) as their Executive Director in 2015. She currently serves as an appointed member of the Water Conservation Advisory Council and an alternate member for the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee. She previously worked with the Bandera County River Authority & Groundwater District, and has experience with international non-profits with interest in water policy. Sarah holds a Master of Science in Water Science, Policy and Management from Oxford University.


Welcome

Honorable Mike Sutherland, Burleson County Judge
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Mike Sutherland was elected Burleson County Judge in November 2002 and took office January 1, 2003. He served the United States by serving in the Navy. Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1990. He is married to Debra Womble and they have two daughters, both graduates of Caldwell High School.


Groundwater Availability Models

Robert MaceDeputy Executive Administrator, Texas Water Development Board
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Dr. Robert E. Mace is a Deputy Executive Administrator at the Texas Water Development Board. He leads the agency’s Water Science & Conservation office, a department of 70 scientists, engineers, and specialists dedicated to better understanding groundwater and surface water resources; advancing water conservation and innovative water technologies such as desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, reuse, and rainwater harvesting; and better preparing Texas for floods. Prior to joining the Texas Water Development Board in 1999, Robert worked for almost nine years at the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin as a hydrologist and research scientist. Robert has a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics and a Master of Science in Hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology from The University of Texas at Austin. His residential consumption of water is less than 30 gallons per person per day.

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Presentation Slides


Desired Future Conditions

Larry French, P.G., Division Director, Texas Water Development Board
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Larry French is the Director of the Groundwater Division at the Texas Water Development Board. The Division staff conduct basic research and monitoring of the characteristics and conditions of the state’s aquifers, develop and use specialized models to predict groundwater availability, and provide technical assistance to organizations working to manage groundwater in Texas. Larry is licensed as a Professional Geoscientist in Texas, California, and Arkansas. He received a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences from the University of California at Riverside and a Master of Art in Geological Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin.

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Presentation Slides


Impacts of Production in the Carrizo-Wilcox Panel

Moderator – Robert Mace, Deputy Executive Administrator, Texas Water Development Board
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Dr. Robert E. Mace is a Deputy Executive Administrator at the Texas Water Development Board. He leads the agency’s Water Science & Conservation office, a department of 70 scientists, engineers, and specialists dedicated to better understanding groundwater and surface water resources; advancing water conservation and innovative water technologies such as desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, reuse, and rainwater harvesting; and better preparing Texas for floods. Prior to joining the Texas Water Development Board in 1999, Robert worked for almost nine years at the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin as a hydrologist and research scientist. Robert has a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics and a Master of Science in Hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology from The University of Texas at Austin. His residential consumption of water is less than 30 gallons per person per day.

 

Kevin Spencer, P.G.President, R.W. Harden & Associates — Presentation Slides
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Kevin J. Spencer, P.G., is a hydrogeologist and President of R.W. Harden and Associates, Inc. He has more than 25 years of experience developing fresh and brackish groundwater resources, assessing the impacts of groundwater development, well field layout and design, development and evaluation of drilling and testing programs, and groundwater modeling. Kevin has been the principal investigator and project manager for the development of more than 75 million gallons per day of groundwater from public and industrial supply wells in Texas. Current and past projects include evaluations of availability, cost and impacts from large-scale production of groundwater. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology from Baylor University, is a Licensed Professional Geoscientist in the state of Texas, is a Registered Professional Geologist in the State of Mississippi, and is a Certified Professional Geologist by the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

 

Chad NorrisAquatic Biologist, Texas Parks & Wildlife — Presentation Slides
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Chad Norris has a B.S. in Environmental Geology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a M.S. in Aquatic Biology from Southwest Texas State University. He has worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for 19 years and is part of the Water Resources Branch where his duties are primarily groundwater-related. Duties include gathering biological and hydrological data on springs across the state of Texas, assisting private landowners and other entities with technical guidance related to springs conservation and restoration efforts, and assisting with water planning activities. He currently sits on science committees for the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan, the Barton-Springs-Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan, and the State Water Supply Enhancement Plan. He is also a non-voting member of the Region J Regional Water Planning Group.

 

Toya Jones, Hydrogeologist, Intera — Presentation Slides
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Toya Jones has 30 years of experience in the areas of aquifer characterization and the development and application of numerical models for water resources, environmental restoration, and regulatory compliance projects. Her experience with water resource evaluations includes the collection and synthesis of data to develop conceptual and numerical models based on site-specific hydrogeologic information. She has served in key technical roles for the development of groundwater availability models for numerous aquifers in Texas, where her efforts include compiling and analyzing aquifer water-level data, establishing regional groundwater flow and pre-development aquifer conditions, and evaluating groundwater and surface water interaction. Toya has experience in developing and accessing transport parameters for large-scale regional groundwater transport models to assess environmental impacts to groundwater from historical disposal of radioactive waste, for site characterization related to waste isolation projects, and in support of environmental restoration projects.

Panel Video


POSGCD Rainwater Harvesting Grant Program

Drew Gholson, Extension Program Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
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Drew M. Gholson, Ph.D., is an Extension Program Specialist in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Drew’s primary areas of focus are developing educational and applied research programs involving water resource management. These programs include groundwater and private water well protection, water conservation, water quality, and rainwater harvesting. Outreach includes developing and delivering educational programs involving supporting source water protection for residents using water wells, residential water conservation, and being a member of the Texas A&M AgriLife’s rainwater harvesting task force efforts.

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Welcome Back

Honorable David Barkemeyer, Milam County Judge
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Dave Barkemeyer was sworn into office as the Milam County Judge on January 1, 2011. Dave is a native of Milam County and graduated from Yoe High in Cameron in 1961. He then went on to Texas A&M University and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology in 1965 and continued his education with a MBA from the University of Houston in 1969. Dave spent 32 years working for Dow Chemical and retired in 1998 as Vice President of Human Resources before coming back home to Milam County. Since being back, Dave has been busy as a rancher and real estate appraiser. He also served as Mayor for the City of Cameron prior to being elected County Judge. He is a member of Cameron, Rockdale, and Thorndale Chambers of Commerce. He is also a member of the Buckholts Evening Lions Club and a Past President of the Cameron Rotary Club.


General Managers of Groundwater Management Area 12

Alan Day, General Manager, Brazos Valley GCD
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Alan M. Day has served as the General Manager for the Brazos Valley GCD for five years. Brazos Valley GCD serves Brazos and Robertson counties. Alan graduated from Texas A&M University with his bachelors and master’s degrees in Animal Science. He then served as the Bosque County Extension Agent for over 7 years before becoming a Ranch Manager in Bosque County for 27 years. Alan served on the Middle Trinity GCD Board of Directors for 3 years before moving to the Brazos Valley.

 

David Van Dresar, General Manager, Fayette County GCD
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David Van Dresar began working for Fayette County GCD in October 2006. From 1998 to 2006, he was the Director of Utilities for the City of Texas City. David brings 30 years of water and wastewater knowledge to groundwater management, with experience in operations, management, regulation enforcement and instruction. Additional service to his community has been in law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services. David studied Natural Sciences at Blinn College and the College of the Mainland. Currently, he serves on the Texas Drought Preparedness Council and the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee as the Texas Alliance of Groundwater District representative. He also represents Fayette County and Water Districts on the Region K Water Planning Group and represents the FCGCD in Groundwater Management Areas 12 and 15.

 

Jim Totten, General Manager, Lost Pines GCD
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Jim Totten joined the staff of Lost Pines GCD in November of 2012 in the role of assistant general manager and assumed the role of general manager in January of 2015. Prior to working at the Lost Pines GCD, he studied municipal water conservation programs as a doctoral student in the Water Management and Hydrologic Sciences graduate program at Texas A&M University. Jim worked as a laboratory manager researching the occurrence, transport, and fate of pathogens in ground and surface water before attending his graduate studies. He has a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and a master’s degree in Biochemistry – both from Texas A&M University.

 

David Bailey, General Manager, Mid-East Texas GCD
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David Bailey currently serves as the General Manager for the Mid-East Texas GCD and has held that position since 2010. David is a lifelong resident of Madison County and graduated from Madisonville High School in 1978. After receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Sam Houston State University in 1982, he began working in various positions with the Madison County Appraisal District until 1998. He then worked for 11 years at the Walker County Appraisal District until accepting employment with Mid-East Texas GCD in 2009. As part of his duties as General Manager, David serves METGCD as the voting member for Groundwater Management Area 12 and as the GMA 12 representative on both the Region C and Region H Water Planning Groups. He also serves on the Budget and Finance Committee for the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts. He is an active member of First Baptist Church of Madisonville and serves as a board member for the Madison County Health Resource Center.

 

Gary Westbrook, General Manager, Post Oak Savannah GCD
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A Milano native, Gary Westbrook graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education. He has served as the General Manager for Post Oak Savannah GCD since its beginning in 2003. He also serves as the local Pastor in the United Methodist Church, and is the owner of Westbrook Angus Farms. Gary served as President of the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts from 2005 to 2007 and currently represents Groundwater Management Area 12 on the Brazos G Regional Water Planning Group. In his community, Gary was a School Board Trustee for 13 years, and Past-President of Milam County Community Foundation.

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GCDs in Groundwater Management Area 12


POSGCD Groundwater Well Assistance Program (GWAP)

Steven Wise, Board Vice-President, Post Oak Savannah GCD
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Steven Wise was appointed to the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors in 2013 and was elected Board Vice-President in 2016. He is an Executive Vice-President for Citizens National Bank and resides in the Liberty Community with his family on land that has been owned by his family for 80 years. Steven and his wife, Chanyn, have six children between them.

 

Gary Westbrook, General Manager, Post Oak Savannah GCD
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A Milano native, Gary Westbrook graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education. He has served as the General Manager for Post Oak Savannah GCD since its beginning in 2003. He also serves as the local Pastor in the United Methodist Church, and is the owner of Westbrook Angus Farms. Gary served as President of the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts from 2005 to 2007 and currently represents Groundwater Management Area 12 on the Brazos G Regional Water Planning Group. In his community, Gary was a School Board Trustee for 13 years, and Past-President of Milam County Community Foundation.

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POSGCD Monitoring Update

Bobby Bazan, Water Resources Management Specialist, Post Oak Savannah GCD
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Bobby Bazan has worked for Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District for four years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Systems Management and a Master of Science in Water Management from Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Post Oak Savannah GCD, Bobby was a hydrologist with the U.S. Forest Service – Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

Ralph Sifuentes, Field Technician, Post oak Savannah GCD
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Ralph Sifuentes joined the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District in August 2017. He was born and raised in Hearne, Texas before moving to Rockdale in 1979. Ralph has over 27 years of experience in drilling and groundwater. He began working for Alcoa as a driller and drilling supervisor. In 1994, he began supervising the drilling of groundwater monitoring wells. After working with Alcoa, Ralph worked for Luminant by supervising installation of wells, and worked in groundwater mitigation and monitoring.

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POSGCD Social Media & Website Update

Megan Homeyer, Education Coordinator, Post Oak Savannah GCD
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Megan Homeyer began working at Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District in May 2017. Megan is a native of the area and grew up in Caldwell, Texas before attending Texas A&M University. At Texas A&M she received a double major Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Communications and Journalism. She then went back to graduate school and recently graduated with a Master of Science in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications in December 2016.

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A panel of hydrogeologists is scheduled to discuss how large-scale production in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer will impact water levels and landowners in the District.

Toya Jones, a hydrogeologist for Intera, has 30 years of experience in aquifer characterization and development of numerical models that measure water resources. She has served in key technical roles for the development of groundwater availability models for numerous aquifers in Texas, where her efforts include compiling and analyzing aquifer water-level data and establishing regional groundwater flow and pre-development aquifer conditions.

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