Letter of concern mailed to Lobo Valley commercial water consumers

By Edna Clark

The Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District (CCGCD) met on Wednesday, November 9 for its regular monthly meeting with four of five members present.

Citizen Susan Strasser appeared before the District and withdrew her October application for purchasing water to sell to road crews working on Interstate 10. Her request for a refund of her initial application fees was approved. After a check for the $20,000 refund was cut, CCGCD had $28,638.71 in its coffers.

General Manager, Summer Webb, presented District members with copies of a letter that she had drafted to the HUPP water owners of the Lobo Aquifer, as well as large water consumer, Gary Jackson.  The HUPP water owners and Jackson are the principal consumers of the Lobo water. As reported last month, the Lobo Aquifer is at its lowest water level in over twenty years.

Recent rains in the mountains will take years to seep into the aquifer and make any change in the water level.  According to Mrs. Webb, unless something is done by the water consumers, the Lobo Aquifer water level could decrease to the critical level that was experienced in the 1920s.

The letter which Mrs. Webb sent the HUPP water owners and Mr. Jackson essentially stated that there will be a public hearing in early 2017 to address the issues of water usage and conservation. Those affected consumers are being asked to submit their recommendations for dealing with a potentially critical situation that can affect area residents for years to come. Mrs. Webb made the District aware that the decreased water demand during the non-growing season will help to replenish the Lobo Aquifer.

A date for the public hearing will be set in December during the next regularly scheduled CCGCD meeting.