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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
May 1, 2013     Hays Free Press
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May 1, 2013

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Page 4D BUSINESS Hays Free Press May 1,2013 i + sources BY ANDY SEVILLA Hays County Commissioners recently authorized a Request for Proposals (RFP) for altema- five groundwater supplies from outside the county in an effort to secure reliable water resources as the years-long drought persists and future population expecta- tions are booming. "Our need to ensure that the county is well-positioned to pro- vide reliable water resources for our residents was spurred by the LCRKs (Lower Colorado River Authority) decision in 2011 to divest itself of its water supply infrastructure, which affected some 10,000 residents in north- western Hays County," said Pct 4 Commissioner RayWhisenant, whose precinct covers northwest Hays County and stretches to far west and southern portions of Kyle and north San Marcos. Water services for the north- west part of the county did, however, remain localized after the LCRA dispossessed itself of its water supply infrastructure, as action by the Commission- ers Court through the Coalition of Central Texas Utilities De- velopment Corporation (UDC) acquired the LCRA system that served that area. County officials also incor- porated the long-standing Hays County Water and Sewer Au- thority (HCWSA) to assist the Commissioners Court as a facili- tating entity in expanding water service while reducing demands on the Trinity and Edwards Aqui- fers, in response to the IER~s 2011 decision. "The RFP is intended for the Commissioners Court and the HCWSA to understand what alternatives are out there and at what cost," Whisenant said. 'Among the many requirements for bidders is that the water come from the Carrizo-Wflcox aquifer, not from within Hays County." The Carrizo-Wflcox is a ma- jor aquifer that extends across Texas from the Louisiana to the Mexico border, and lies east of Hays County, according to the Texas Water Development Board 30% Reduction in Pumping STOP OUTDOOR IRRIGATION Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District has issued Stage III Drought restrictions to its water users and issued these yard signs to suppliers. website. Hays County officials Aquifer Conservation District said the Carrizo-Wflcox aquifer (BSEACD) authorized a Stage has water at depths estimated III Critical Drought declaration between 300 and 2,000 feet. at its board meeting last week, "We know that we don't have after the water level in the Love- the water we will need (in the fu- lady Monitor Well was below its ture) from within the ground and drought threshold of 462.7 feet surface water we already have," above mean sea level (ft msl) for Whisenant said. "The next logi- two consecutive days. cal location to get it from is the "This is the third Critical Stage Carrizo-Wflcox aquifer." drought declaration in five years," The RFP includes detailed said BSEACD Board President technical and cost proposals for Mary Stone."Home-ownershave concepts and strategies aimed at started making their landscapes providing the county with a sup- drought-hearty so they require plemental, renewable ground- less water. Still, this drought dec- water supply; but the county is lamtion is particularly difficult; it not required to accept any of the comes at the start of the growing bids, and could choose to mix period where we usually have and match parts of several bids seen a marked increase in out- in its effort to acquire between door water use." 25,000 and 50,000 acre-feet of In response to the BSFACD water armuall~ officials said. announcement, Buda, which The costs for any water pur- gets 60 percent of its water from chases would be bome by rate- that district, declared Stage II wa- payers and not taxpayers, ac- terrestrictionsonAprill9. cordingtothecoun~ Kyle has been under Stage I "Our entire county is facing drought restrictions since May water resource issues due to pro- 2012. The BSFACD also services longed drought and increased Kyle, but their major water sup- population and commercial plier is Canyon Lake, which is growth," Whisenant said. "Our governed by the Guadalupe- surface and groundwater sourc- Blanco RiverAuthority (GBRA). es of water are already stressed Earlier this month the GBRA and it is in our best interest to issued Stage II drought restric- take steps now to make out-of- tions for its hydroelectric lakes area water available." - lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeny, The Barton Springs/Edwards Lake Placid, Lake Nolte, Lake Gonzales and Lake Wood-Can- yon Lake was not affected by this announcement. "We've got to be water wise as a community," Stone said. "We're all in this together." San Marcos entered Stage II drought restrictions on March 18. For the past two years, San Marcos and the Edwards Aquifer region have been under almost continuous drought restrictions. In 2012 San Marcos received 87% of its water supply from sur- face water hom Canyon Lake and 13% from the Edwards Aquifer. at + I (512)