Public hearing attendance concerning groundwater permits in Culberson County
Photo by Lisa Morton
By Adrian Gilmore
The Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District (CCGCD) held two public hearings last week with an impressive turnout of citizens, farmers and local permit holders from Culberson and surrounding counties. The District received administratively complete applications for two permits. CCGCD General Manager, Summer Webb, posted the hearings for public comment and possible action. More than 45 guests attended, with a vast majority of them there with the hope to help determine the outcome of both applications.
The Dahjur Permit application presented by their representatives was opened to the floor. Although hearing Officer Steve Mitchell imposed a time limit of 5 minutes per person for public comment, the hearings lasted over three hours. More than a half dozen people commented publically, and seven more, including some attorneys, were sworn in and gave testimony. Most of the concerns expressed were in regard to the volume of water being withdrawn over such a short period of time, that could have serious impacts on subterranean flows to the San Solomon Springs, originating at Balmorhea State Park, Phantom Springs and other area springs.
One application requested permission to produce groundwater in the District from the Wildhorse Flat Aquifer within the West Texas Bolsons Aquifer system, in an amount not to exceed 1,613 acre-feet. The application was recommended for approval by Mrs. Webb, and approved at the Regular scheduled meeting that followed the hearings
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