The High Plains Water District held a town hall meeting in Levelland to hear public comments on the Proposed Rules for the High Plains Underground Water District. You may view the full 31 page proposed rule document online at http://www.hpwd.com.
I have included a summary of the proposed rules below.
Summary of Proposed HPWD Rule Revisions
This Summary of Proposed Rules for High Plains Underground Water Conservation District does not include proposed changes to administrative rules outlined in the full Proposed Rules document. Visit http://www.hpwd.com to review the original 31-page document.
Allowable Production Rate (APR)–
Beginning January 1, 2015, the allowable production rate per contiguous acre will be 1.50 acre-feet (18”) per year. A static (APR) of 18” applies to all groundwater users regardless of use category.
A contiguous acre may be counted only 1 time.
A contiguous acre is defined as land that physically touches the sides or corners of abutting acreage or is connected by an underground water pipeline.
Conservation Reserve –
A well owner or operator may reserve all or a portion of their annual Allowable Production Rate by adhering to prescribed application and reporting requirements. Beginning on January 1, 2015, eligible well owners or operators shall have an initial groundwater reserve of 0.50 acre feet (6”) per acre.
Recording and Reporting by Owner or Operator –
Options include but are not limited to:
Meters measuring aggregate production from well systems, individual wells, sprinklers or drip systems. Meter installation must meet manufacturer’s specifications.
One Irrigated Crop planted and harvested in a calendar year. Conservation cover crops are allowed. Second crops are allowable in case of crop loss due to weather. Double cropping is defined as the practice of planting and harvesting more than one irrigated crop per irrigated acre each year.
Energy Consumption Records.
Nozzle Packages measuring flow rates and hours of use.
Alternative data gathering devices such as PivoTrac, AgSense or WagNet.
CAFO multiplier formula based on gallons per head per day includes beef cattle, dairy heifers and cows, poultry and swine.
Contiguous acres with production rates of less than .93 gallons per minute per acre will be deemed unable to exceed the Allowable Production Rate. Once verified by the District, they are exempt from reporting.
Other reporting methods may be considered through an application process
Optional Meter Installation and Sealing
If any owner or operator chooses to report through the use of meters, they will be responsible for the purchase, installation, operation, maintenance and repair of meters associated with a well or well system. Meter readings shall be recorded and groundwater production reported as required by District Rules.
District staff may inspect and seal meters.
Meter readings or readings from alternative measuring methods must be recorded prior to January 15 of each year and be included in an approved production report submitted to the District no later than March 1 of each calendar year.
By voluntarily registering a domestic well, the well owner is protected from someone drilling a new well in close proximity.
Most ag producers and people present at the town hall meeting were in support of the proposed rules and believe they should be approved. The HPWD will hold a second town hall meeting in Canyon on Tuesday, August 5 and will discuss possibly implementing the new rules at the board meeting on August 12 in Muleshoe at 1:30pm in the Bailey County Electric Co-Op Conference Room.