The Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) announced on February 11th, 2020 that it has filed suit in Travis County District Court challenging the decision by the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to issue a permit to Needmore Water, LLC to withdraw about 289 million gallons of groundwater each year in Hays County near Wimberley, Texas.
The litigation arises out of HB 3405 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015. This bill gave jurisdiction to BSEACD over previously unregulated portions of the Trinity Aquifer in Hays County including the land now giving rise to the Needmore Water LLC permit application. The litigation is concerned with a controversial provision that “grandfathered” certain existing wells, creating a two-step process that has been interpreted by BSEACD to substantially limit their ability to regulate the groundwater withdrawn from such wells.
According to Jim Blackburn, President of TESPA, “This issue of the regulation of this well is very important. We are fighting for our groundwater here in Hays County. Every drop counts, and in this situation, 289 million gallons of water are being allowed to be taken without our having a chance to properly protect our property rights. This is wrong, and we are going to fight it. If we don’t rise up and fight now, our groundwater is going to be lost and our springs and rivers along with it. We are going to do our best to keep this from happening.”
Read more from TESPA here.