Lobo Farmers Denied Temporary Variance for New Water Well

By Edna Clark

  The Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District (CCGCD) met on Wednesday, May 11, for its regular meeting with all members present.

Summer Webb, CCGCD General Manager, told the board that the Lobo Aquifer assessment was pending. No new water wells will be allowed under the temporary variance requested by Lobo farmers. Measurements have revealed that the Lobo Aquifer is at a very low level and cannot support additional wells. An expert is reviewing the condition of the Lobo Aquifer to determine reasons for why the water level is so low. Ms. Webb related the Groundwater Joint Planning meeting is scheduled for June 22, 2016, when the expert’s findings and Lobo well requests will be addressed. A tax resale bid was approved for Jeremy Weaver.

       Discussion after presentation by Joe Fitzsimmons, attorney for Hughes Apache Ranch, ensued. Water use on the ranch is outside the CCGCD management zone; therefore, no variance is necessary. Any well must be registered with exact location, inspected, metered, and monitored. Usage must be non-wasteful and reported to Ms. Webb who is to write a letter to Fitzsimmons delineating water well requirements.

            NHUPP (Non-Historical Use Production Permits) applications for new water wells from Forrest Perry and Susan Strasser were tabled as applications had not been received and reviewed by Ms. Webb. A special meeting to address Perry’s request for new water well is scheduled for May 19 to determine if his application will be approved.

            Ms. Webb encourages the public to submit detailed, written comments on water use and conservation in the area.