Interactive Playa Map Now Available

Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) has launched a new interactive map and platform for conservation planning.

The interactive map allows you to explore the playa region and investigate playas, wind farms, and other features of the landscape.

Current map data include playas, playa clusters, and a suite of layers relevant to wind energy development, including current wind turbine locations based on FAA data.

Users can click on individual playas to get more information on playa size, playa condition, and the playa’s wetness frequency over time.

The PLJV probable playas dataset is a regional compilation of several original data sources including the National Wetlands Inventory, Soil Survey Geographic database, and satellite imagery.

These wetland data were analyzed for each state in the PLJV region—Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas—to create the most comprehensive playa location map possible using remote sources.

The playas layer contains locations of more than 70,000 playas across the PLJV region.

Check out the interactive map and video tutorial: at https://tinyurl.com/y65b8snk

Board Adopts 2019 Tax Rate; Management Plan

During their Sept. 10 meeting, the HPWD Board of Directors approved a resolution setting the 2019 ad valorem tax rate at $0.0063 per $100 valuation for operation and maintenance of the district.

The adopted 2019 tax rate is about 1.5 percent less than the effective tax rate. This slight reduction provides a similar amount of tax revenue as last year.

Persons with $100,000 in property value will pay $6.30 in annual taxes to HPWD under the approved rate, as compared to $6.70 in 2018. The HPWD 2019 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

"The HPWD Board of Directors have lowered the tax rate each year since 2014. It is our priority to have balanced annual budgets. This allows us to reduce the tax rate for operation of the district, while at the same time, improve services for constituents in our 16-county service area," said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.

In other business, the Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution adopting a revised 10-year management plan. A public hearing to receive comments on the plan was held prior to the Board meeting.

The revised plan has been submitted to the Texas Water Development Board in Austin for final certification.

“Groundwater conservation districts (GCDs) in Texas adopt 10-year management plans. However, they are required by state law to review and re-adopt these plans--with or without revisions--at least once every five years. The newly-adopted management plan covers the period from 2019 to 2024,” said HPWD General Manager Jason Coleman.

He added that management plans contain specific performance standards pertaining to services provided by the respective GCDs across the state.

“As an example, groundwater conservation districts make annual water level measurements in observation wells each year. Performance standards in a district’s management plan will include the number of wells measured each year; the number of wells unable to be measured each year; the number of new wells added to the observation well network each year; and how these data are shared with the public. This helps GCDs gauge the effectiveness of programs and activities they provide to their constituents,” Coleman said.

 The amended management plan is available for viewing at www.hpwd.org/rules

Sept. 25 Deadline Nears For AIM Program Applications

September 25 is the deadline to submit cost-share funding applications for the third round of the High Plains Water District's Assistance in Irrigation Management Program (AIM).

HPWD recently received $230,000 for AIM funding through the Texas Water Development Board’s Agricultural Water Conservation Grants program. This is the third year that HPWD has made these cost-share funds available to interested producers.

“AIM is a voluntary program to assist producers with the purchase price of telemetry-based irrigation monitoring systems used with either a center pivot system or subsurface drip irrigation system,” said HPWD General Manager Jason Coleman.

An online application form and procedures are available at aimapp.hpwd.org. This website also includes a link to program terms & conditions – plus essential information to be included in the application.

“This year, the allocated cost-share funding is tied to the number of irrigated acres by county within the Water District. We will evaluate the number of applications received by county at the end of the three-week application period. Any remaining funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis after that time,” Coleman said.

More than 40 producers enrolled 18,400 acres of land during the first round of the AIM Program (2017). There were 154 telemetry-based systems deployed which resulted in 13,500 acre-inches of water saved.

Of this, Coleman said 6,372 acre-inches of water was saved when producers received notification of irrigation system malfunctions; 6,029 acre-inches was saved with use of irrigation scheduling software; and 1,093 acre-inches was saved by remotely turning off equipment in response to a rainfall alert.

“During the past two years, producers have shown a great amount of interest in using telemetry-based technology to improve their irrigation scheduling,” Coleman said. “HPWD commends them for their efforts to conserve groundwater resources within the District.”

Additional information about the AIM Program is available by contacting Victoria Whitehead at (806) 762-0181 or emailing aim@hpwd.org

HPWD Accepting AIM Program Funding Applications

For the next three weeks, High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) is accepting applications for cost-share funding for the third round of its Assistance in Irrigation Management (AIM) program. The enrollment period ends Sept. 25.

HPWD recently received $230,000 for AIM funding through the Texas Water Development Board’s Agricultural Water Conservation Grants program. This is the third year that HPWD has made these cost-share funds available to interested producers.

“AIM is a voluntary program to assist producers with the purchase price of telemetry-based irrigation monitoring systems used with either a center pivot system or subsurface drip irrigation system,” said HPWD General Manager Jason Coleman.

An online application form and procedures are available at aimapp.hpwd.org. This website also includes a link to program terms & conditions – plus essential information to be included in the application.

“This year, the allocated cost-share funding is tied to the number of irrigated acres by county within the Water District. We will evaluate the number of applications received by county at the end of the three-week application period. Any remaining funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis after that time,” Coleman said.

More than 40 producers enrolled 18,400 acres of land during the first round of the AIM Program (2017). There were 154 telemetry-based systems deployed which resulted in 13,500 acre-inches of water saved.

Of this, Coleman said 6,372 acre-inches of water was saved when producers received notification of irrigation system malfunctions; 6,029 acre-inches was saved with use of irrigation scheduling software; and 1,093 acre-inches was saved by remotely turning off equipment in response to a rainfall alert.

“During the past two years, producers have shown a great amount of interest in using telemetry-based technology to improve their irrigation scheduling,” Coleman said. “HPWD commends them for their efforts to conserve groundwater resources within the District.”

Additional information about the AIM Program is available by contacting Victoria Whitehead at (806) 762-0181 or emailing aim@hpwd.org