Groundwater Conservation District Public Hearings held

CCGWCD Attorney Steve Mitchell administers the Oath of Office to Susan Strasser at the hearing.

Photo by Edna Clark

By Edna Clark

The Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District, (CCGCD), met on Wednesday, June 22, for public hearings and a regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  Local attorney, Steve Mitchell, served as hearing officer.

With four members present, the CCGCD in #1 Public Hearing denied citizen, Edwin Easley’s, certified question pertaining to a non-replacement well in the Lobo area aquifer.

In #2 Public Hearing, Hughes Apache Ranch attorney, Parks Brown, put the CCGCD “on notice” through a Letter of Protest and general objection that the current method of groundwater availability evaluation is outdated and ineffective.  According to Brown, Chapter 36.108(d) of the Texas Water Code states that all water districts, including the CCGCD, must use the latest scientific technology to determine desired future conditions (DFCs). Brown stated that the lack of updated CCGCD data will be monitored under the Texas Water Code for compliance with State regulations.

Public hearing #3 concerning a request, NHUPP001, from Forrest Perry, was postponed due to protests from adjacent property owners.  Perry, who was represented by Attorney Martin Fergus III, was requesting additional water from the Wildhorse Flat Aquifer for Municipal and Industrial Use.  According to Fergus, landowners who are no longer residents of the area and local resident, George Strickhausen, do not want Perry to have the water that he has requested from the CCGCD.  A Standing Hearing will be held in July to address the issue.

Public hearing #4 addressed a request from Susan Strasser to have access to additional water from the Wildhorse Flat Aquifer for Municipal and Industrial Use, namely for selling water to various pipeline companies.  As there was no protest or dispute, and proper procedure had been followed, the CCGCD approved Strasser’s request, NHUPP002.   

Dustin Herschup, a PumpCo representative, submitted a request to drill a new water well on its property outside Van Horn City Limits on Highway 90.  Currently, PumpCo receives water from the Town of Van Horn, but wants cheaper access to water for its operations.  No action was taken, pending proper submission of an application to the CCGCD.

An election of CCGCD officers for 2016-2017 ensued without change. Vance Cottrell as Chairman, Lane Brewster as Vice-Chairman, Cruz Parada as Secretary, along with Cuco Corrales and David Robb as members will serve for another year.

The next CCGCD monthly scheduled meeting, as well as continued Public Hearings, was set for Wednesday, July 13.  General Manager Summer Webb was instructed to work with Mr. Perry and others on next month’s Public Hearings.