When you pull out your property tax statement, you’ll notice a tax for the water district. You might have wondered exactly what the Hickory Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 is.
We were created by an order of the Texas Water Commission on June 9, 1982, and organized under the terms and provisions of Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution and Chapters 35 and 36 of the Texas Water Code. We were formed to “formulate, promulgate, and enforce rules and regulations for the purpose of conserving, preserving, prevention of waste, protecting, and recharging” the waters of all aquifers within the District boundaries. When the District was originally formed, its jurisdiction was limited to the waters in the Hickory Aquifer; however, on August 12, 1999 the petition of creation was amended by the TNRCC/TCEQ to include all aquifers within the legal boundaries of the District. In short, our mission is to protect your groundwater.
The District covers approximately 1,700,000 acres in all of Mason County and portions of McCulloch, Concho, San Saba, Menard, and Kimble County. Five directors, making up our Board of Directors, represent these areas.
Precinct 1, the City of San Saba, is represented by Board President Owen Parks. The remainder of San Saba County that lies within the District, Precinct 2, is represented by Vice-President Bill Sloan. All of Mason County and small segments of Kimble and Menard Counties comprise Precinct 3 represented by Larry Lehmberg. Wendell Moody covers the western part of McCulloch County, a section of Concho County, and adjoining portions of Menard County. Secretary Bert Striegler represents Precinct 5, the eastern portion of McCulloch County including the City of Brady. The only county that lies completely within the District is Mason.
The District employs four staff members and a Consulting Manager: David Huie, Manager; Angelina Deans, Assistant Manager; Ronnie Moore, Field/Lab Tech; Traci Fields; Administrative Assistant; and Caroline Runge, Consulting Manager.
Water quantity is a primary concern for the area. We are currently deploying a total of 20 level recorders and measure approximately 200 manual monitoring wells to evaluate the water levels in the District.
The District seeks cooperation from landowners asking that they permit or register wells as appropriate. State law requires that all wells producing more than 25,000 gallons a day (those used for irrigation, public water supply, commercial or industrial use) be permitted. Permits are completed before wells are drilled. Registration is needed for all other wells. Prior to drilling, the District Rules stipulate an Intent to Drill form be submitted to the office in Brady.
The Hickory UWCD maintains a water-testing laboratory to monitor quality and trends. While not a certified lab, the District obtains samples annually which are analyzed by a commercial laboratory, as well as in-house, to insure the validity of our procedures. Bacterial analysis for total coliform, E. Coli, and Fecal Coliform, and eight other tests are routinely performed at no charge for anyone in the District.
In an effort to keep local citizens informed of the District’s activities, we publish a quarterly newsletter, available upon request by regular mail or email. We also maintain a website that can viewed at: www.hickoryuwcd.org and this site is filled with information.
The staff participates in various public education activities, such as Ag Day and the SWCD Field Day. Any civic group, school, teacher, or other organization within the District can request our presentations on water quality, the nature of aquifers, xeriscaping, water conservation, and other water topics.