Now Accepting Applications for Irrigation Meter Reimbursement
The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors voted to approve a contract with the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) that will make funds available to irrigators to offset up to half the equipment cost of water meters. "This is the next step in getting grant funds that were awarded to the district back in June into the hands of area producers to help them manage their water," said North Plains GCD, General Manager, Steve Walthour.
The district is now accepting applications from irrigators in the district for reimbursement on meters installed after June 26, 2014. The grant of $600,000 was awarded to the district by the TWDB on the basis that meters are an accepted and effective management tool for producers and for groundwater conservation districts. "If we use all these funds, we will request more and we will continue to request funds until there is no further demand or no more funds available," said Walthour. For information about applying for reimbursement call the district at 806-935-6401 or click on the following links:
In other business, the board considered what the production fees should be for water producers in the former Dallam County Priority Groundwater Management Areas. The board asked the district's staff to study the actual costs of operating the areas, as well as their fair share of the cost of operations of the district, to establish a basis for the fees. In a previous election voters in those parts of Dallam County voted against paying taxes to fund their portion of the District's expenses. The alternative to paying taxes, like the property owners in the rest of the district do, is to pay production fees based on the amount of water produced. The fees will be established by rule and will, therefore, require the standard public notice and hearing procedures for passing of any district rule.
The board also received a report on the status of the 2014 "200-12 Project." This production year is the final year of the initial 5-year demonstration project with the expressed goal of attempting to produce 200 bushels of corn per acre using only 12-inches of irrigation. The project has received statewide and national recognition by demonstrating a resource management system approach to irrigation efficiency and conservation. The board discussed what the next level of the district's conservation demonstrations should be.
Regarding relevant legislative issues, the board voted to support three bills drafted by the Texas Water Conservation Association Legislative Committee. The first of the three bills gaining board support would address the duration of export permits for groundwater. While this bill does not affect North Plains GCD it would be beneficial to other water suppliers and districts in the state. The second bill would authorize implementation of a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) program that teaches proper drilling techniques for people who want to become licensed drillers. The bill would also allow the TDLR to train groundwater conservation district staff on proper well inspection techniques. Finally, the board voted to support the bill removing the State Auditor's Office from the GCD management plan auditing process, while maintaining the offices authority to perform financial audits of GCD's. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality currently has auditing and compliance authority over GCD's management plans.
In other business, the board directed district staff to extend the deadline for submission of proposals to lease the North Plains Water Conservation Center. The new deadline for proposals is Monday, December 1 at 5pm.
Finally, the board received the 2013-2014 Hydrology and Water Resources Report. The document is intended as general information about the district, the district's programs, the regional geology and hydrology, and groundwater resources. The full report is available at the bottom of this page.
For more information about the board meeting or North Plains Groundwater Conservation District call 806-935-6401. You can also "like" the North Plains Groundwater page on Facebook to receive updates on district activities, or follow us on Twitter at @NorthPlainsGCD.
District Invites Proposals to Lease Water Conservation Center
The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District invites interested parties to submit proposals to lease 320 acres (more or less) of agriculture land for the purpose of crop farming op
erations associated with the North Plains Water Conservation
Center. The land is located in section 14 block M-2 in North Moore County east of the Moore County Cotton Gin.
Additional information may be obtained from North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, 603 E. First Street, Dumas, Texas 79029 between the hours of 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, or may be available by email by contacting Paul Sigle at email@example.com. The full Request For Proposal and application are available for download by clicking here.
The facilities, equipment and farmland at the North Plains Water Conservation Center may be viewed by appointment only. For an appointment to view the center call the District at 806-935-6401.
Proposals must be submitted to the District no later than 5:00 P.M. on December 1, 2014. Late proposals will not be considered.
The District reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to accept any proposal it determines to be in the best interest of the District.
District Approves Effective Tax Rate
Dumas - For the second consecutive year the board of directors of the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District has voted to approve the effective tax rate. The effective tax rate is the rate that produces the same amount of tax revenue as last year, excluding the value of any new property added to the tax rolls.
The effective tax rate for 2014 is .025324 per $100 valuation. The new rate is less than last year's tax rate of .025652; however, increases in property values across the district will result in virtually the same revenue as last year. Your individual taxes may increase slightly or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property.
In other business the board approved an employee policy regarding health insurance that would be consistent with recently changed federal guidelines. The new policy would activate employee health insurance benefits on the first of the month after the employee's 60th day of service. The previous policy activated the benefits after the employee's 90th day of service, which would subject employees to fines under the country's new health care regulations.
The next meeting of the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District is set for Tuesday, October 14 at 9:00am in the Hampton Inn Meeting Room, 2010 S. Dumas Ave.
For more information about the board meeting or North Plains Groundwater Conservation District call 806-935-6401. You can also "like" the North Plains Groundwater page on Facebook and follow NorthPlainsGCD on Twitter to receive updates on district activities.
Texas Water Development Board Director Jackson Keynotes Field Day
As a highlight of the final year of North Plains Groundwater Conservation District's award-winning demonstration project, Texas Water Development Board Director, Kathleen Jackson presented the Keynote address during the Field DayLuncheon in Stratford, TX on September 8, 2014.
Jackson was appointed by Governor Rick Perry as one of three members of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in March of 2014. Jackson has a diverse background representing agricultural, environmental, industrial, and wholesale-supply interests. As a registered professional engineer, Jackson served as public affairs manager for one of the world's largest petroleum and petrochemical producers. Additionally, she was involved in production agriculture with her late husband, who ran a cattle operation and farmed rice.
The TWDB provides water planning, data collection and dissemination, financial assistance and technical assistance services to the citizens of Texas for the purposes of planning for the state's water resources and providing affordable water and wastewater services.
The TWDB has been a financial partner in the "200-12 Reduced Irrigation on Corn Demonstration Project" (200-12 Project) since 2011 and has recently agreed to continue funding assistance through the 2018 growing season. In total the TWDB has committed almost $450,000 in Agricultural Water Conservation Grants for the project.
Since 2010, the "200-12 Project" has demonstrated best practices for saving water and allowing agricultural irrigation producers to remain profitable and financially viable with limited and diminishing groundwater resources. The "200-12 Project" has yielded compelling results and garnered awards, support and statewide and national recognition under some of the most intense drought conditions in modern history. The project was awarded the 2011 Blue Legacy Award for Agriculture from the Texas Water Conservation Advisory Council and the 2012 Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Agriculture from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Three Field Days are being presented in September to continue the transfer of this important information. In addition to preliminary results from the 2014 "200-12 Project," information will also be shared from the district's collaboration with Texas AgriLife Extension, the Efficient Profitable Irrigation in Corn (EPIC) project. The EPIC project was a 2012 recipient of the Blue Legacy Award for Agriculture.
Dates and times for the field days are as follows:
September 8, 2014 Sherman County Barn, Stratford, TX 9:00 am
September 10, 2014 Ochiltree County Expo Building, Perryton, TX 9:00 am
September 11, 2014 North Plains Water Conservation Center, Etter, TX 9:00 am
For more information regarding the Field Days, contact Kirk Welch at 806-922-7947 or click here.
2013 200-12 Report Now Available
Click here to view the full report.
2014 Hydrology and Groundwater Resources Report
The "2014 Hydrology and Groundwater Resources" document is intended as a general information report about the District, the District's Programs, the regional geology and hydrology and groundwater resources. It includes sections about District Monitor Wells, Water Quality, Annual Groundwater production and includes maps depicting estimated depth of water, estimated annual decline in water table and estimated saturated aquifer material.
To download the 2014 Hydrology and Groundwater Resources Report, click here.
Maintaining our way of life through conservation, protection, and preservation of our groundwater resources.