Victoria Groundwater Conservation District works on communication

By by Dianna Wray - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
Sept. 21, 2012 at 4:21 a.m.

In the wake of the drought that gripped most of the state last year, water management has become a concern again.

That is why it's important for the entities in charge of water resources to learn to work together now, said Tim Andruss, general manager of the Victoria County Groundwater Conservation District.

On Friday, the district's board conducted a meeting inviting representatives from the city of Victoria, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and other water entities to talk about how they can work together to use water resources efficiently.

The water district is working to build relationships with these other entities so they will be able to work together in the coming years to ensure water supplies, Andruss said.

"The easy water to use for supply - that's been done," Andruss said. "We're now looking at creative solutions to maximize that resource."

The meeting was also a chance for board members of the water district to hear about strategies other entities are looking at to meet their needs for water supplies.

The water district is a regulatory entity so they don't put together water plans the way cities and other entities do, but knowing about these strategies in advance helps them prepare to make regulatory decisions if these plans fall under their jurisdiction in the future, Andruss said.

The city of Victoria faced some water supply challenges during the drought last year, Jerry James, intra-governmental director of the city, told the water district board. James has been working on putting together a conjunctive permit where surface water and groundwater are managed together in the face of a drought.

"If we get into a drought like the one in the 1950s we don't know what we'll be facing," James said. "Who knows what the next drought may bring?"

James Murphy, the executive manager of water resources and utility operations for the GBRA, spoke about some of their plans for getting more water supplies in the coming years, noting the GBRA is working toward building a desalination plant in Victoria County or Calhoun County in the coming years.

"We're all looking for new alternatives," Murphy said.

Communication with these entities has become a part of the water district's management plan, because working together to manage water resources will be key to their success, Andruss said.

"It's very important because the water demands for the future are significant. For the benefit of Victoria County and the state as a whole, water entities need to work together to solve these challenges," he said.



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