Lobo Aquifer remains area of concern

By Edna Clark

Wednesday, January 11, was the regularly scheduled meeting of the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District (CCGCD).  Four of five members were present.

The CCGCD is an elected body. Current members are Vance Cottrell, Lane Brewster, David Robb, Cuco Corrales, and Cruz Parada.  General Manager is Summer Webb.

Mrs. Webb advised members that the Lobo Aquifer stakeholders have continued meetings to address the declining water level and recharging of wells in the aquifer.  Dr. Blair was scheduled to meet with the stakeholders on Monday for on-site visits and recommendations for recharging the aquifer.  Mrs. Webb shared her appreciation for the short term efforts of the Lobo stakeholders, but reminded members that possible curtailment of water usage could still be in the future to replenish the aquifer.

Member Lane Brewster concurred with Mrs. Webb and added that an engineering firm feasibility study for the Lobo Aquifer could cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

Public comments of concern were delivered by non-farming Lobo stakeholders Archie Wilson, Tim Head, and Lado Ranch Attorney Lee Lewis.

Mrs. Webb presented the 2016 audit prepared by Painter and Associates.  The overall audit results showed good reporting and fair financial standing.  Of special interest to the members was that Mrs. Webb had taken a pay cut to pay for other services in the district.

Additionally, Mrs. Webb reported that only a small area of winter wheat was being irrigated in the Lobo Aquifer.  A new groundwater level monitor site on the Gary Ranch located at the edge of the aquifer was being installed for more accurate information.

CCGCD approved payment of $10,000 in bills and set February 8, as the next regular meeting when final Lobo Aquifer pumping allotments should be set.