Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District is excited to announce that they will be offering a new Rainwater Harvesting Grant Program for residents of Burleson and Milam Counties. By participating in the rebate program, residents can receive assistance in installing their own rainwater harvesting system.

Drew Gholson, Ph.D., an Extension Program Specialist for the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, will be going over the details of the rebate program at the Summit. Gholson’s primary areas of focus are developing educational and applied research programs involving water resource management, including groundwater and private water well protection, water conservation, water quality and rainwater harvesting.

 

Gholson said he will talk about the process people will go through for those interested in installing their own rainwater harvesting system and participating in the rebate program. He will also discuss where the program demonstration site will be and give an update on upcoming workshops.

Bobby Bazan, Post Oak Savannah GCD Water Resource Management Specialist, will be giving an update on the POSGCD Well Monitoring Network. Bazan has worked for the Post Oak Savannah GCD for four years. He has received a B.S. in Agricultural Systems Management and a M.S. in Water Management, both from Texas A&M University.

During his presentation, Bazan will review the advances the District has made to their Monitoring Well Network, such as the addition of new wells, an increase in frequency of measurements and new web-based features that the District is excited about.

 

“The monitoring network and its water level measurements are crucial to the District’s mission to protect and conserve aquifer resources in Burleson and Milam Counties by providing critical scientific data,” Bazan said. “That ‘best available science’ allows for the Board to make decisions in evaluating the District’s Management Plan and Rules.”

Citizens of Milam and Burleson Counties, as well as surrounding areas, can benefit from attending the Groundwater Summit. Post Oak Savannah GCD organizes the event and invites groundwater experts from across Texas to come speak at the local level. It is a great opportunity for people to come and learn about the state’s requirements on local groundwater management and stay up-to-date on current groundwater issues.

Topics for this year’s Summit cover a variety of issues. Panels will discuss the impacts of production in the Carrizo-Wilcox, how Groundwater Conservation Districts collaborate within Groundwater Management Area 12, and an overview of the Post Oak Savannah GCD Groundwater Well Assistance Program (GWAP).

In addition, there will be presentations about Groundwater Availability Models (GAMs) and how they are developed and used, an overview of Desired Future Conditions (DFCs), an introduction to Post Oak Savannah’s new Rainwater Harvesting Grant Program, and an update on the POSGCD well-monitoring system.

For any questions, please contact the POSGCD office at 512-455-9900, or email at admin@posgcd.org. Please RSVP to your County Extension office by August 8th. Burleson County, 979-567-2308. Milam County, 254-697-7045. For a detailed agenda of the Summit, please visit http://posgcd.org/outreach/2017-milam-burleson-counties-groundwater-summit/.

Robert Mace, Deputy Executive Administrator of Texas Water Development Board, is scheduled to discuss Groundwater Availability Models (GAMs). Mace 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.

In his presentation, Mace will focus on providing a basic understanding of how these models work, why they are helpful and what their limitations are.

“Just as your nightly weather expert uses models to predict the weather for Saturday, hydrogeologists use models to predict the effects of pumping on aquifers at some point in the future,” Mace said. “By definition, models are not perfect, but they are often our best tools for understanding what the future may hold for our aquifers.”

Mace said that people will benefit from this presentation by gaining a better understanding of how models help in determining Desired Future Conditions and impacts of pumping projects.

Larry French, Director of the Groundwater Division of the Texas Water Development Board, will discuss Desired Future Conditions (DFCs), which are quantifiable conditions of an aquifer at a specified future time. Along with the Groundwater Division staff, French conducts basic research and monitoring of the characteristics and conditions of Texas’ aquifers.

French said he will talk about what DFCs are, how they are developed, who develops them and how they feed into decisions about groundwater availability. He will focus on DFCs that have been adopted by districts in Groundwater Management Area 12.

“The process to adopt DFCs is a public process and there is plenty of opportunity for citizen involvement,” French said. “DFCs undergo regular review and can change as our understanding of groundwater conditions improves and we see how the aquifer responds to pumping and recharge.”

The Master of Ceremonies, Sarah Rountree Schlessinger, is the Executive Director of Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts (TAGD). Schlessinger also serves as an appointed member of the Water Conservation Advisory Council and an alternate member for the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee.

Gary Westbrook, General Manager of Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District, said, “Sarah is certainly no stranger to our citizens, having served as MC of this event the past two years. She also is steeped in understanding groundwater issues in this state, as she does an excellent job of leading TAGD through this period of evolving groundwater legislation.”

Citizens of Milam and Burleson Counties, as well as surrounding areas, can benefit from attending the Groundwater Summit. Post Oak Savannah GCD organizes the event and invites groundwater experts from across Texas to come speak at the local level. It is a great opportunity for people to come and learn about the state’s requirements on local groundwater management and stay up-to-date on current groundwater issues.

Topics for this year’s Summit cover a variety of issues. Panels will discuss the impacts of production in the Carrizo-Wilcox, how Groundwater Conservation Districts collaborate within Groundwater Management Area 12, and an overview of the Post Oak Savannah GCD Groundwater Well Assistance Program (GWAP).

In addition, there will be presentations about Groundwater Availability Models (GAMs) and how they are developed and used, an overview of Desired Future Conditions (DFCs), an introduction to Post Oak Savannah’s new Rainwater Harvesting Grant Program, and an update on the POSGCD well-monitoring system.

For any questions, please contact the POSGCD office at 512-455-9900, or email at admin@posgcd.org. Please RSVP to your County Extension office by August 8th. Burleson County, 979-567-2308. Milam County, 254-697-7045. For a detailed agenda of the Summit, please visit http://posgcd.org/outreach/2017-milam-burleson-counties-groundwater-summit/.

The date for the 2017 Milam and Burleson Counties Groundwater Summit has been set for August 16, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

The Summit is free and open to the public with lunch provided. Topics for this year’s Summit cover a variety of issues. Panels will discuss the impacts of production in the Carrizo-Wilcox, how Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs) collaborate within Groundwater Management Area 12, and an overview of the Post Oak Savannah GCD Groundwater Well Assistance Program (GWAP). In addition, there will be presentations about Groundwater Availability Models (GAMs) and how they are developed and used, an overview of Desired Future Conditions, an introduction to Post Oak Savannah’s new Rainwater Harvesting Grant Program, and an update on the POSGCD well-monitoring system.

Citizens of Milam and Burleson Counties, as well as surrounding areas, can benefit from attending the Groundwater Summit. Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District organizes the event and invites groundwater experts from across Texas to come speak at the local level. It is a great opportunity for people to come and learn about the state’s requirements on local groundwater management and stay up-to-date on current groundwater issues, such as GCD joint planning in Groundwater Management Areas.

The Groundwater Management Area (GMA) 12 Panel will consist 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. The general managers will discuss how the GCDs are working together.

Gary Westbrook has been the General Manager of Post Oak Savannah GCD since 2003. Westbrook served as President of the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts (TAGD) from 2005 to 2007 and currently represents GMA 12 on the Brazos G Regional Water Planning Group.

Westbrook said, “This panel represents a great opportunity for citizens to witness first hand how we as general managers in GMA 12 work together on issues. And, since this panel constitutes a quorum of the voting members of GMA 12, it will be posted as a GMA 12 meeting, according to the laws of the state of Texas. As such, it will very much be part of the regular business of GMA 12.”

Alan Day has served as the General Manager for the Brazos Valley GCD for five years. Day served as the County Extension Agent for over 7 years before becoming a Ranch Manager in Bosque County for 27 years. He served on the Middle Trinity GCD Board of Directors for 3 years before moving to the Brazos Valley.

“The Summit will be an excellent opportunity to ask questions of the GMA 12 panelists about aquifer management and why management methods vary so widely,” Day said. “There is a method to the madness.”

Jim Totten joined the staff of Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District in November of 2012 in the role of assistant general manager and assumed the role of general manager in January of 2015.

David Bailey has been the General Manager of Mid-East Texas GCD since 2010 and serves on the Budget and Finance Committee for TAGD. He is also the voting member for GMA 12 and serves as the GMA 12 representative on both the Region C and Region H Water Planning Groups.

“Managing groundwater resources in today’s legislative and regulatory framework is difficult,” Bailey said. “It can be a delicate balancing act. It is important for people to know that we are here to help. It is our desire for all to have the groundwater they need—we just have to do that in a manner that ensures all are protected.”

David Van Dresar, the General Manager of Fayette County GCD, has been in the water and wastewater field for 30 years. He currently serves on the Texas Drought Preparedness Council and the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee as the TAGD representative.

Van Dresar said that by attending the Summit, residents and well owners would gain insight to how GCDs work, what they provide to the public, and how the GCDs tie in to what their rights as landowners are.

For any questions, please contact the POSGCD office at 512-455-9900, or email at admin@posgcd.org. Please RSVP to your County Extension office by August 11th. Burleson County, 979-567-2308. Milam County, 254-697-7045. For a detailed agenda of the Summit, please visit www.posgcd.org/outreach/2017-milam-burleson-counties-groundwater-summit/.

On May 17, 2017, Post Oak Savannah GCD welcomed Megan Homeyer as the new Education Coordinator. Homeyer is a native of the area and grew up in Caldwell, Texas before attending Texas A&M University. At Texas A&M she received her bachelor’s of science in animal science and agricultural communications and journalism. She then went back to graduate school and recently graduated with her master’s of science in agricultural leadership, education and communications in December 2016.
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As the new Education Coordinator for POSGCD, Homeyer will give educational presentations for school classrooms, organizations and clubs about the District’s aquifers and conservation practices. Other duties include writing articles, informing the public of POSGCD events and meetings and engaging with the public through talks and social media. Homeyer is also in charge of sending out regular newletters, emails, and other forms of communication to notify people of new and ongoing developments at the District.

Homeyer is excited to begin working and looks forward to talking with the people of Milam and Burleson County. “I am thrilled to be a part of the POSGCD team and look forward to speaking with the public and getting to know the people of this District better,” Homeyer said. “I grew up in this area and I’m happy to bring back what I have learned to this community.”

Homeyer can be contacted at mhomeyer@posgcd.org or (979) 455-9900.