Jones fired as general manager at Groundwater Conservation District


Last Wednesday, the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District fired John Jones, the district’s general manager, after serving 10 years in that position.

Board members met at their regular meeting Wednesday afternoon and went into executive session “to discuss the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee.”

The announcement was made after the board members returned to open session about an hour later. The vote was 4-1, with Board Member Kyle Brookshier voting against.

“I want to know why I was terminated,” said Mr. Jones. “Was it my age? I want to be sure. I’ll take to court. I might take it to court any way, but I don’t know why I was dismissed.”

The Advocate will continue to investigate the story based upon facts and not rumors that this office received this week.

“The mission of the District is to develop and implement an environmentally conscious, economically efficient, and scientifically sound groundwater management program to protect and enhance the groundwater resources within the District, thereby extending the quantity and quality of available groundwater while protecting groundwater users,” according to the District’s 2013 Proposed Management Plan.

“The purpose of the District is to provide a locally controlled groundwater district to conserve and preserve groundwater, protect groundwater users, protect groundwater, prevent pollution or waste of groundwater within the boundaries of the District, and regulate the transport of water out of the boundaries of the District. The 

District will adopt rules to regulate groundwater withdrawals, primarily by means of well spacing and production limits. The District will make periodic assessments of groundwater conditions within the District and will report those conditions to the Board. The District will undertake investigations and, to the extent appropriate, cooperate with third-party investigations of the groundwater resources within the District. The results of the investigations will be made available to the public. 


The District will adopt rules designed to achieve the desired future conditions (DFCs) for the groundwater resources within the District, as those DFCs are agreed upon by Groundwater Management Area 4 (GMA 4).

With respect to the aquifers within the District’s Wild Horse Flat, Michigan Flat, and Lobo Flat management areas, the District will adopt a historic use period and provide preferential permitting rights to those well owners that can demonstrate beneficial and non-wasteful groundwater usage during that period. A similar approach might be adopted for other groundwater sources within the District as well.


For the purpose of protecting the  aquifer and groundwater availability, the District may, at the Board’s discretion after notice and hearing, amend or revoke any permit for non-compliance or reduce the production authorized by permit. The District will enforce the terms and conditions of permits and the rules of the District as authorized by Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code. 


The District will employ reasonable technical resources within its budgetary constraints to evaluate the groundwater resources within the District and to determine the effectiveness of regulatory or conservation measures. 


The District will establish and enforce rules that require, among other things, the following :
1. spacing requirements for certain non-exempt groundwater wells; 
2. permits limiting the annual amount of groundwater that can be produced from non-exempt wells; 
3. a limit on the maximum amount of groundwater permitted for withdrawal from the Wild Horse Flat Management Area; 
4. a limit on the maximum amount of groundwater permitted for withdrawal from the Michigan Flat Management Area; and 

5. a limit on the maximum amount of groundwater permitted for withdrawal from the Lobo Flat Management Area. This plan is the guideline for the operation of the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District.


The District covers 1,077,638 acres or 1,673 square miles.


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