Spring is in the air and the sun is back! What better time to get back out in the flower beds and gardens?

On Friday, March 2, 2018, Post Oak Savannah GCD teamed up with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and EarthKind to host a full day of hands-on learning. Sixteen people participated in the Landscape and Irrigation workshop to learn how to design and install plants and irrigation. 

Tim Hartmann, Texas A&M AgriLife Program Specialist, led the workshop. He showed participants which native and adapted plants do the best in this area and how to design landscapes. 

Hartmann said to look at structures that are already there that will change light and weather patterns. It’s important to note what areas get more sun and how the shade moves throughout the day. 

He also said that native plants are great because they are more drought-tolerant, disease- and pest-resistant, and promote native wildlife. Non-native plants that are well adapted can enhance the plant palette as well, though. 

After learning about the varieties of plants, the class moved outside to get their hands in the dirt. Hartmann walked through the plant installation process and showed everyone how to space and cover plants.

Drip irrigation was installed shortly after. Drip irrigation is a great way to slowly water plants — it is 90% efficient with less evaporation and runoff than other watering methods. 

Thank you to everyone that came to the workshop and helped plant the lovely landscape at the POSGCD office! 

Check out the images from Friday below!

9:10 AM — At this time, we anticipate being closed tomorrow, January 16th, due to the incoming winter storm. In Milam County the Winter Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight until 6 PM Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service warning, a “Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected. This will make travel very hazardous or
perhaps impossible.”

Information about the incoming winter storm can also be found at KBTX.

This post will be updated as conditions change. The latest road conditions for Texas can be found at drivetexas.org.

The new telemetry system is in the first stages of being installed and tested. We installed the first transducer, which will be collecting and transmitting data. Adding telemetry technology into our monitoring system is one of the steps Post Oak Savannah GCD is taking to improve our Monitoring Network.

Telemetry is an automated process that measures and collects data at remote points and sends the data to receiving equipment for monitoring. The basic components of a telemetry system include sensors that measure and collect data, transmitters that are connected to the sensors and send the collected data to a database, and programs that turn data into useful information for system users.

Transducers, which include the sensors and transmitters, are installed within wells that continually record and send water level updates at specified times. They allow the District to receive real-time data from all wells that are part of the telemetry system.

Data will be collected every hour and sent via cellular data to an online data management application once daily.

Once the telemetry system is complete and online, users can visit our website to see daily updated water level readings throughout the District. Users will be able to select wells in separate formations (i.e., Simsboro Aquifer, Carrizo Aquifer, etc.) as well as by geographical location.

Bobby Bazan, POSGCD Water Resource Specialist, said the biggest advantage of the telemetry system is a cost-benefit to the District through reducing maintenance and travel requirements. Because data is collected remotely, staff will not have to drive out each time and manually check water levels at selected wells.

“Additionally, the system will increase the frequency of data readings,” Bazan said. “Users will be able to see daily, monthly and seasonal water readings throughout the District. Instead of a snap-shot in time, there will be a continuous inflow of water level data.”

Although the system allows us to increase frequency of readings while reducing the number of visits, staff will still go out regularly to check the accuracy of the measurements.

The system is scheduled to go online by January 2018.

Citizens of Milam and Burleson Counties attended the first POSGCD Rainwater Harvesting workshop on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

The workshop is part of the POSGCD Rainwater Harvesting Rebate Program — after attending, participants become eligible for a rebate. During the presentations, participants learn how rainwater harvesting systems work and how they can build and use them for different purposes.

Participants were able to view a variety of systems through the demonstration site set up at the office. Post Oak Savannah GCD has upcoming workshops for landscaping and rainwater harvesting in November and December.

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.
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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/.
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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.