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Drought Management Plan

Real-Edwards Conservation and Reclamation District Drought Contingency Plan

In an effort to protect and conserve the groundwater resources of the District during drought conditions, the Board of Directors of the Real-Edwards Conservation and Reclamation District has adopted the following drought contingency plan.

Section I: Definitions

For the purposes of this Plan, the following definitions shall apply:
Aesthetic water use: water use for ornamental or decorative purposes such as fountains, reflecting pools, and water gardens.

Agricultural water use: as defined under Section 36.001(19), (20), Texas Water Code as amended September 1, 2001.

Commercial and institutional water use: water use which is integral to the operations of commercial and non-profit establishments and governmental entities including but not limited to retail establishments, hotels and motels, restaurants, and office buildings.
Conservation: those practices, techniques, and technologies that reduce the consumption of water, reduce the loss or waste of water, improve the efficiency in the use of water or increase the recycling and reuse of water so that a supply is conserved and made available for future or alternative uses.

Domestic water use: water use for personal needs or for household or sanitary purposes such as drinking, bathing, heating, cooking, sanitation, or for cleaning a residence, business, industry, or institution.

Drought: a meteorological period of serious moisture (precipitation) deficiency, and a resultant reduction in spring flow and stream flow generally accompanied by an increase in demand.

Drought Indices: those indicators selected for the purposes of this plan to initiate (trigger) drought stages:

Exempt well: the normal single family domestic well or a well equipped to produce less than 25,000 gallons of ground water per day.

Industrial water use: the use of water in processes designed to convert materials of lower value into forms having greater usability and value.

Landscape irrigation use: water used for the irrigation and maintenance of landscaped area, whether publicly or privately owned, including residential and commercial lawns, gardens, athletic fields, golf courses, parks, and rights-of-way and medians.

Non-essential water use: water uses that are not essential nor required for the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including:

1. irrigation of landscape areas, including parks, athletic fields, and golf courses, except as otherwise provide by this Plan;

2. use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle;

3. use of water to wash down any sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, or other hard-surfaced areas except for the protection of public health, safety and welfare;

4. use of water to wash down buildings of structures for purposes other than immediate fire protection or for the protection of public health, safety and welfare;

5. use of water to fill, refill, or add to any indoor or outdoor swimming pools or Jacuzzi- type pools;

6. failure to repair a controllable leak(s) within a reasonable period after having been given notice directing the repair of such a leak(s); and

7. use of water from hydrants for construction purposes or any other purposes other than fighting fires.

Non-Exempt well: a well equipped to produce greater than 25,000 gallons of groundwater per day.

Permitted well: see Non-exempt well as defined herein.

Public Water System: as defined under 30 TAC Subchapter D Paragraph 290.38(41) September, 2000.

Registered Well: See Exempt well as defined herein.

Trigger Conditions: Conditions that occur that will determine if a drought condition exists, such as lack of rainfall for a certain period of time, The Palmer Drought Index indicates that the area is suffering from drought conditions, etc.

Waste of water: the use of groundwater for non-essential purposes as defined herein when Drought Stages 2 – 4 are in effect except as specifically allowed by this Plan.

Section II: Public Involvement

The District holds regularly scheduled meetings that are open to the public and everyone is free to express their opinions to the Board. Such input is welcomed and is used by the Board in the decision making process.

Section III: Planning Actions

The General Manager of the District will meet with city personnel in Camp Wood,, Leakey and Rocksprings along with Directors of the Barksdale Water Supply Corp. to review those entities’ drought contingency plans to insure compatibility with the District Plan.    These reviews should be conducted on an annual basis, but the time period may be extended to no more than five (years). The District will work with the above communities in revising drought contingency plans as the need(s) occur(s).

The District’s Plan will be reviewed on an annual basis to insure that it meets the needs of the District. Additions, Deletions and/or corrections will be presented to the Board by the General Manager and will be acted upon at following General Meeting of the Board.

Section IV Triggering Criteria for Initiation and Termination of Drought Stages

The District Board or the Board’s designee shall monitor the defined drought trigger indices and shall determine when conditions warrant initiation or termination of each stage of the Plan. The Plan consists of four levels of drought and groundwater production restrictions as defined herein.

The Palmer Drought Severity Index, which is an index based on regional meteorological and hydrological data such as rainfall, temperature and soil moisture content will be used as the primary triggering criteria for the initiation and termination of this plan.

Section V: Event Actions

After review of presented materials and upon determining such a drought condition exist, will charge the General Manager of the District with the following:

A. Within 48 hours of the Board decision that a drought condition exist, the General Manager will notify each community within the District that the Board has declared a drought condition and that each community should initiate its drought contingency plan.

B. The General Manger will contact the local media within the District and advise them that a drought condition exist and that they (the media) should expect to receive educational notices and articles concerning the need to conserve the groundwater supply within the District.

C. The General Manager will provide at least 2 articles a month to the news papers within the District regarding the need to conserve groundwater and/or tips for groundwater conservation until such time as the Board declares that the drought period has ended.

D. The General Manager will investigate any wasted or unauthorized use of groundwater and will report back to the Board to determine if action is needed to prevent the continuation of the waste or unauthorized use of said water.

Section VI. Drought Stage Response

The President of District, or his/her designee, shall monitor the defined drought trigger indices and shall determine when conditions warrant initiation or termination of each stage of the Plan. Public notification by the District of the initiation or termination of drought stages shall be by means of notice posted in a newspaper of general circulation and by direct mailing and/or e-mails to owners/operators of non-exempt wells.

(a) Restrictions on Exempt Wells
The Plan places no production restrictions on Exempt (Registered) wells. The District encourages voluntary compliance during each drought stage through compliance with the restrictions defined within the various stages as outlined in this plan. Such voluntary compliance will contribute to the achievement of the desired level of conservation and reduce the impact of drought conditions and restrictions. However, nothing in this section excludes the district from exercising authority under District Rules regarding Waste of Water

(b) Restrictions on Non-Exempt Wells
The District has the authority to monitor and manage the production from all Non- Exempt (Permitted) wells. These include non-exempt wells used as Public Water Supply (PWS) wells to provide for domestic use and all such wells used to support agricultural, industrial, commercial, institutional and other non-domestic uses. This Plan places restrictions on the production from such wells as a function of drought stage.

DROUGHT SEVERITY LEVELS Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI)
Mild Drought Moderate Drought Severe Drought Extreme Drought
-1 or less -2 or less -3 or less -4 or less

DROUGHT STAGES: STAGE    CONDITION
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
Mild Drought Moderate Drought Severe Drought Extreme Drought

Stage 1 – Mild Drought Conditions

All Exempt and non-exempt well owners/operators and users of groundwater produced from wells will be encouraged to voluntary restrict the use of water. Non Exempt (Permitted) well owners will be contacted by mail and informed that a drought condition exists and asked to voluntary restrict pumpage. In the case of public water supply wells, owners/operators will be asked to initiate their drought management plans. News articles will be submitted as outlined in Section V of this document to inform the general public and exempt well owners informing them that the District has declared a Stage 1 Drought and asking for voluntary conservation.

Stage 2 – Moderate Drought Conditions

All non-exempt well owners/operators and users of groundwater produced from wells shall be notified in writing that the District has gone to Stage 2 of the District’s plan and will be asked to reduce total monthly pumpage by ten percent (10%). News articles will be submitted as outlined in Section V of this document to inform the general public and exempt well owners that the District has gone to Stage 2 of the plan and ask people to restrict unnecessary pumping .

Stage 3 — Severe Drought Conditions

All non-exempt well owners/operators and users of groundwater produced from wells shall be notified in writing that the District has gone to Stage 3 of the District’s plan and will be asked to reduce total monthly pumpage by twenty percent (20%). News articles will be submitted as outlined in Section V of this document to inform the general public and exempt well owners that the District has gone to Stage 3 of the plan and ask people to restrict unnecessary pumping.

Stage 4 – Extreme Drought Conditions

All non-exempt well owners/operators and users of groundwater produced from wells shall be notified in writing that the District has gone to Stage 4 of the District’s plan and will be asked to reduce total monthly pumpage by thirty percent (30%). News articles will be submitted as outlined in Section V of this document to inform the general public and exempt well owners that the District has gone to Stage 4 of the plan and ask people to restrict unnecessary pumping. Warn that the District has the authority under its rules to seek administrative penalties against individuals for wasting water.

Section VII: Termination Notification:

Termination of the drought measures when the Board determines that the trigger conditions which initiated the drought conditions have subsided. The public will be notified of the termination in the same manner they were informed f the initiation.