High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) President Lynn Tate addressed approximately 90 farmers and ranchers during the recent Randall County Ag Day and Crops Tour in Canyon.
Tate updated the attendees on current and future water projects the Board plans to accomplish. In addition, the Board has reinstated the district's County Advisory Committees to allow more local input in groundwater management decisions.
“The real question is: What do we want to do as a District?” Tate said. “We believe reinstating the county committees will strengthen the communication and cooperation between District constituents and the board of directors.”
While local issues were the forefront of conversation, Tate also discussed legislative results from this year’s session.
Most of the water-related legislation introduced during the 83rd Texas Legislature dealt with funding of the State Water Plan. House Bill 4, creating the State Water Implementation Fund (SWIFT), will be up for a vote in November. Tate explained HB 4 would take $2 billion from the “Rainy Day” fund to divert capital to water infrastructure across the state. The bill also restructures the Texas Water Development Board from six part-time appointed members to three full-time appointed members.
As water issues become more prevalent statewide, decisions on how to maintain current local supply and future demand planning will be necessary for sustainability.
“We’ve got to decide as a group what the rules should be,” Tate said. “There are several decisions to make. We need to find the best ways to achieve these goals for every water user within the District.”
For more information regarding the High Plains UWCD, visit our website at hpwd.com.