HPWD accepting RFPs for research projects

LUBBOCK TX (March 18, 2019) – High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) is now accepting proposals for water conservation research, demonstration, and education project funding.

“HPWD funds a number of research and demonstration projects each year. We invite those with innovative ideas to submit requests for proposals that focus on water conservation demonstration, education, or research,” said General Manager Jason Coleman.

Proposals are due no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, May 6, 2019. Email delivery is preferred and should be sent to jason.coleman@hpwd.org

Since 2014, HPWD has provided supplemental funding for several research and/or demonstration projects. These include completion of test wells into the Dockum and Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) aquifers; installation of a water conservation education garden at Bushland Elementary; rainwater harvesting research; investigation of residential Turfgrass irrigation habits; brackish groundwater treatment technology using plant polymers; and other water saving measures.

The research and demonstration funding committee was appointed by Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo at the March 12 HPWD Board of Directors meeting.

Committee members include:

  • Mike Beauchamp, Chairman (HPWD Precinct Three Director).

  • Ronnie Hopper (HPWD Precinct Five Director).

  • Dan Seale (HPWD Precinct One Director)

  • Jason Coleman (HPWD General Manager).

  • Brett Bamert (HPWD Bailey County Advisory Committee member).

  • Dillon Pool (HPWD Randall County Advisory Committee member).

  • Darrell Newsom, City Manager, Wolfforth, TX (At-Large Member).

  • Aubrey Spear, P.E, Director of Utilities, City of Lubbock (At-Large Member).

In accordance with current policy, the committee will evaluate each project for possible funding. A final recommendation will be presented to the HPWD Board of Directors at their June meeting.

Proposal requirements and links to past projects are available at www.hpwd.org/research.

Victoria Whitehead promoted to HPWD General Counsel

Victoria Whitehead has been promoted to General Counsel for the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) in Lubbock.  She previously served as HPWD Governmental Affairs Director.
 
In addition to some of her previous duties, she will now oversee all groundwater law and policy issues, grant funding acquisitions, HPWD election administration, state and federal compliance, and district representation for other legal matters. 
 
She will represent the district at various association meetings, groundwater planning meetings, and at committee hearings during the upcoming 86th Texas Legislature.
 
“We are fortunate to have Victoria as part of the HPWD team. Her training and skills are a valuable asset to the district.  It is nice to have someone with a local background that understands the issues of this region,” said General Manager Jason Coleman.
  
Whitehead grew up in the Panhandle, and received her bachelor’s degree in political science and her Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Tech University.
 
She previously worked in the General Counsel’s office at Texas Tech University and for several legislators before joining the HPWD staff in 2016. These include Senator Robert Duncan of Lubbock, Representative Drew Darby of San Angelo, and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
 
Some of her honors include the Texas Tech School of Law’s “Top Extern” award and the Capitol Crowd’s “House Intern Most Likely to be Running the Legislature in 10 years” recognition.  Gov. Greg Abbott appointed her to serve as a Student Regent for the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents for 2015-2016.

Extremely brackish water found in Wolfforth ETHP well

EDITOR'S NOTE -- This is the last article in a series designed to update readers on the status of the Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) Aquifer drilled in Wolfforth--CEM.

By Jason Coleman, P.E.
HPWD General Manager

In the first two articles of this series, we described the geophysical logging and construction of the test well at Wolfforth.  The results of the pump test and water quality test are presented in this concluding article of the series.

After the temporary well was constructed in the Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) (ETHP) aquifer, the contractor used an airlift procedure to help remove the drilling mud and develop the well.  It is necessary to remove the cake of mud in the borehole wall so that the formation water is transmitted to the well casing.  The contractor then installed a submersible pump for test pumping the well.  Over a twelve hour period of test pumping, the well did not produce much more than ten gallons per minute.  As a result, the test pump was removed in favor of additional well development techniques.  These processes involved more air lifting, as well as a chemical treatment to help remove any remaining drilling mud.  Despite these efforts, little improvement in the well productivity was realized.  Our conclusion is that the limestone rocks do not contain significant cracks or void spaces at this location.

The formation water produced during test pumping was also tested at this time.  The results of this analysis show very high dissolved mineral content.  The water was tested by hand sampler in the field, at a certified laboratory, and with a continuous monitoring probe.  All three methods produced very similar results.  You may recall that public drinking water systems must have total dissolved solids (TDS) of less than five hundred milligrams per liter.  A TDS of 500 mg/L is roughly the same as conductivity of 810 microsiemens per centimeter (uS/cm). 

The chart shown on the front page of this electronic newsletter indicates the test well conductivity ranges from 8,000-16,000 uS/cm, much higher than the allowable for public drinking water.

Scientific publications indicate that water quality in the ETHP Aquifer is generally a bit higher in TDS than Ogallala.  However at this location, the ETHP results are more than ten times higher in TDS than the Ogallala.  This leads us to question whether the sampled water is truly indicative of the ETHP, or if there is a Dockum Aquifer influence in the sampled water.  HPWD studies show that water quality of this same TDS level is present in the Dockum Aquifer.  We also know that “upconing” may occur in the Dockum, which could result in the high TDS results from these samples.  More work should be performed in the ETHP water quality sampling before we may conclusively resolve this question.

Research & demonstration project funding approved

More than $143,000 in grant fund requests for water-related research and demonstration projects were approved by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors at their June 12 meeting in Lubbock.
 
“The five-member HPWD Board and its seven-member research and demonstration funding reviewed 16 proposals this year. These addressed a wide range of water-related subjects,” said Manager Jason Coleman.
 
The 11 projects approved for full or partial funding include: 

  • Edwards-Trinity Aquifer Investigation.
  • Plant Polymers for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Removal.
  • Xeric Landscape Installation at an Area Middle School.
  • Drought-Tolerant Corn Hybrids.
  • Water Quality Parameters for Recharge Wells.
  • Water Productivity of Aquaponics.
  • Lawn Irrigation Management Workshop.
  • Soil Health in Residential Landscapes.
  • Playa Field Days and Festivals.
  • Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors.
  • Rainwater Harvesting Tanks for a Local Community Garden.

  “The HPWD Board of Directors are pleased to support these educators and researchers as they work to improve crop production methods, educational efforts, and water use efficiency.  All of the approved projects are designed to help conserve and preserve groundwater resources for the future,” said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.
 
Final reports and other information relating to previously-funded projects are available at www.hpwd.org/research.

HPWD now accepting RFPs for conservation projects

 High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) is now accepting requests for proposals for water conservation research, demonstration, and education project funding.
 
“HPWD funds a number of research and demonstration projects each year. We invite those with innovative ideas to submit requests for proposals that focus on water conservation demonstration, education, or research,” said General Manager Jason Coleman.

Proposals are due no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, May 7, 2018. Email delivery is preferred and should be sent to jason.coleman@hpwd.org
 
Since 2014, HPWD has provided supplemental funding for 22 research and/or demonstration projects.  Some of these include completion of test wells into the Dockum and Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) aquifers; installation of a water conservation education garden at Bushland Elementary; rainwater harvesting research; investigation of residential Turfgrass irrigation habits; as well as other water saving measures.
 
The research and demonstration funding committee was appointed by Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo at the March 20 HPWD Board of Directors meeting.
 
Committee members include:

  • Mike Beauchamp, Chairman (HPWD Precinct Three Director).
  • Ronnie Hopper (HPWD Precinct Five Director).
  • Jason Coleman (HPWD General Manager).
  • Michael Carlson (HPWD County Advisory Committee member).
  • Linda Taylor (HPWD County Advisory Committee member).
  • Todd Pope, Wellington State Bank (At-Large Member).
  • Aubrey Spear, P.E, Director of Utilities, City of Lubbock (At-Large Member).

 In accordance with current policy, the committee will evaluate each project for possible funding.  A final recommendation will be presented to the HPWD Board of Directors at their June meeting.
 
Proposal requirements and links to past projects are available at www.hpwd.org/research. Additional information is available by calling the district office at (806) 762-0181.