Water has been in the news in Milam County lately. Water is a major issue for all of Texas. As the population of Texas continues to grow water will eventually be one of the limiting factors as just how much growth the state can handle. It will also direct where this growth can occur.
I had the opportunity to spend the New Year's weekend with some friends in Wimberley, Texas. We also visited them earlier this summer and noticed that a majority of the creeks and streams that the area is famous for were dried up. Even the Blanco River was dry.
These spring feed water courses were affected by the drought, but also by the tremendous increase in population in the area. The increased demand for water has put a tremendous stress on the Edwards Aquifer that is the source of the springs that feed these waterways. Which had the most affect is anybody's guess, but you can be assured that an increasing population will continue to place an increased burden on the Edwards.
Most of Milam County is blessed with abundant ground water. The Simsboro Wilcox Aquifer system runs through Texas from the Texarkana area all the way to Laredo. This aquifer system is said to be one of the most abundant sources of groundwater in the state. Its abundance is one of the reasons that many speculators have their sights set on our water.
The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (POSGCD) was created by legislation in 2001. Leaders from Milam and Burleson Counties saw the need to protect our groundwater for the future and were actively involved in the creation of the district. A ground water district is the only avenue to protect the valuable water resources in our county.
There has been a great deal of discussion recently about the permitting of wells by the Directors of the groundwater district. While there are some that say this is wrong the truth is that it is one way to know what is going on with the aquifer. Another reality is that due to the importance of this aquifer system the state has mandated that it be managed on a regional basis. This will mean that districts within a region will have to come up with a regional management plan.
There is little doubt that the water issue is and will continue to be a major issue for the state. I feel that with the POSGCD working for us our water will be protected. This protection will insure that Milam County has sufficient water for future growth.
One issue with the board that has come to the forefront is the way that directors are appointed. The legislation creating the board does not provide for term limits or any special protocol for the appointment of directors.
Each county appoints five directors, one representing agriculture, one for industry, one for municipalities, one for water systems and one at large member. These directors are appointed by the commissioners court of each county.
During the coming weeks we will be meeting with representatives from POSGCD and Burleson County to discuss the manner in which board members are appointed. It is hoped that some guidelines might be adopted for an application process.