For several years now the District has pushed for citizens to register and permit their wells. Today while trying to refute numbers published by the Texas Water Development Board, I realized just how vital accurate records are.
Numbers used specifically for Mason County’s future irrigation needs in the Region F Water Plan do not match our projections or current permits. Region F Consultants project that by 2050, Mason County will only use 9, 505 acrefeet per year. Our numbers are higher but unfortunately we do not have solid evidence to support our calculations. This is a problem because it erroneously appears that Mason has a surplus of water, leaving the area wide open for water marketers and prospectors. Our time to dispute Region F’s numbers is short as the deadline is October 1, 2005. However, we can be armed with substantiated data for future revisions.
Additionally, there is some speculation that in the future local control of water will be lost and the State will have complete authority over groundwater. Should this take place, having historic documentation of water use will aid a landowner in retaining his or her water rights.
The District Rule regarding permitting is as follows:
RULE 3 - PERMIT REQUIRED
(a) No person shall drill, own, pump or operate a well or produce groundwater from a well located within the Hickory aquifer without a permit unless that well is exempt under Rule 3 (c).
(b) The permit shall specify and authorize: the drilling of the well, the location of the well, annual maximum production allowed from the well, ownership of the well and permit and use of water from the well. All rights and authority granted under the permit may not be changed or transferred except as provided for in accordance with Rule 8.
(c) The following Hickory aquifer wells are not required to have a permit from the District:
(1) A well not capable of producing more than 25,000 gallons of water in a 24-hour period;
(2) A well used to satisfy the domestic needs of ten (10) or fewer households and a person who is a member of each household is either the owner of the well, a person related to the owner or a member of the owner's household within the second degree by consanguinity, or an employee of the owner;
(3) A well used to provide water for feeding livestock and poultry connected with farming, ranching, or dairy enterprises;
(4) A well used only to supply water for hydrocarbon production activities that are associated with any well permitted by the Railroad Commission of Texas drilled before September 1, 1995;
(5) Jet wells used for domestic needs; or
(6) A well that is abandoned or not used.
(d) Owners of all wells not exempt by Rule 3(c) shall be required to obtain a permit following the procedures in Rule 4.
Wells which are not permitted must be registered. For example, wells producing stock water and domestic use water should be registered, while an irrigation well must be permitted. This sounds confusing, but we’re available to answer any questions regarding these procedures. For more information call 325-597-2785 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Forms are available online at www.hickoryuwcd.org.