Groundwater Management Area 8 (GMA 8) is a management area created to assist Groundwater Conservation Districts in future planning for groundwater. GMA 8 is one of sixteen designated GMAs in Texas. A GMA is an area suitable for management of groundwater, and largely follows hydrologic boundaries. The Texas Legislature created Groundwater Management Areas (GMAs) in 2003 with the passage of HB 1763. They were created “to provide for the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of water of the groundwater, and of groundwater reservoirs or their subdivisions.”
The process of adopting a Desired Future Condition (DFC) was established by the Texas Legislature in 2005 and requires groundwater conservation districts within their respective GMA to establish DFCs for relevant aquifers at least once every five years. Per the Texas Water Code, groundwater conservation districts are required to consider groundwater availability models and other data or information for the management area and establish desired future conditions for the relevant aquifers within the management area. The process to adopt Desired Future Conditions is described in the flow chart below:
Chart source: Joint Senate Committee on Water & Rural Affairs and Natural Resources & Economic Development Hearing, January 22, 2020
October 27, 2020 Resolution to Propose for Adoption Desired Future Conditions for Relevant Aquifers in GMA 8
On October 27, 2020, representatives of the GMA 8 Districts convened for a public meeting to take up and consider proposing for adoption the DFCs for all relevant aquifers within GMA 8, which was held through a virtual meeting method authorized by the Governor’s March 16, 2020 order on conducting open meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. With voting representatives in attendance from at least two-thirds (2/3) of the GMA 8 Districts, the GMA 8 Districts have adopted administrative procedures for the consideration, proposal, and adoption of DFCs, and the GMA 8 Districts find that the DFCs proposed by this resolution were considered and proposed in compliance with the requirements of those administrative procedures in all respects. The DFCs proposed by this resolution will be distributed by mail to the GMA 8 Districts, initiating a 90-day public comment period by which each district in GMA 8 must hold a public hearing on the DFCs proposed that are relevant to that district pursuant to Section 36.108(d-2) of the Texas Water Code. Then, each district within GMA 8 will compile a written summary of relevant comments received at the public hearing held by the district, any suggested revisions to the proposed DFCs, and the basis for any such revisions, and will submit its summary report electronically to the GMA 8 Districts, and the GMA 8 district representatives shall reconvene to review the reports, consider any suggested revisions to the proposed DFCs, and finally adopt the DFCs for GMA 8. The GMA 8 Districts find that the proposed DFCs for adoption in GMA 8 are in each instance merited and necessary to support the management of groundwater resources within the boundaries of the GMA 8 Districts in a manner consistent with the requirements of Chapter 36, Texas Water Code.