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Aurcana Corporation Message Board

  • alamar1950 alamar1950 Feb 21, 2013 10:04 AM Flag

    Water Issue at Shafter

    This was posted last year in Presidio County, Tx. It is not some new revelation:

    County water board adopts new rules, hires consultant
    December 20th, 2012 under Top Stories

    By ALBERTO TOMAS HALPERN

    PRESIDIO COUNTY – The Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District (PCUWCD) adopted new rules and hired, on a part-time basis, a professional groundwater and mineral resource consultant at a regular meeting on Monday.

    The move, along with bringing on board Michael Gershon as the board’s counsel in July, gives the water board the necessary teeth, know-how, and regulatory power to effectively regulate groundwater throughout the county and make decisions on water production permits.

    A September moratorium on water permits is still in effect, until the board’s next meeting on January 17, water board general manager Rudy Garcia said. Board members did, however, vote to lift the moratorium for emergency permitting purposes only.

    Gershon, who works in the Lloyd Gooselink Law Firm in Austin, works on water issues throughout the state. He represents water utilities, groundwater conservation districts, municipalities, landowners and business interests on matters related to water development, management, rights, and quality, among other aspects.

    Allan Standen, President of Allan R. Standen LLC, a groundwater and natural resource consulting firm based in Austin, was tapped to advise the board and work on special projects.

    According to his firm’s website, Standen has 35 years experience as a natural resource consultant with expertise in groundwater, mineral and geological issues. His groundwater services include providing hydrogeological support for litigation, quantifying water use, assisting in framing groundwater district rules and regulations, designing groundwater level and quality monitoring programs, and overseeing well drilling activities.

    Standen came highly recommended by Paul Weatherby, an employee of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District.

    “He’ll be an asset to Rudy [Garcia],” board member Carlos Nieto said after making a motion to use Standen’s services. “We definitely need help. He’s aware our resources are limited, but the value of him is timely.” Board members agreed.

    A new rule adopted by board members is that all water wells, existing and new, must be registered with the board. This updates an old rule that only enforced the registration of new wells.

    During the public comment portion of the meeting, Cibolo Creek Ranch owner John Poindexter reiterated criticism he and some neighbors had made toward the Rio Grande Mining Company and its Shafter silver mine. He cautioned the board as they move forward in the future.

    “Our principal concern is to call to the attention of the board the peril we see on the county’s water resources by plans of the Shafter silver mine,” Poindexter said. He doesn’t oppose the mine, only, the “unwise use of the county’s resources as published by the mine.”

    James King of King Land & Water also cautioned the board as they move forward in their future endeavors, saying they need to be cautions and look into the science before making decisions that impact the area.

    Former Presidio County Judge Monroe Elms and Shafter resident agreed, “We need to predict and project outcomes,” of water usage.

    An attorney representing Rio Grande Mining Company withdrew a motion for a rehearing on the board’s moratorium after new rules were adopted.

    “With the board’s adoption of rules, we’re looking forward to working with you,” the attorney said.

    During his report, Garcia said he had visited Rio Grande Mining Company’s site recently and has come to the conclusion that there are two different aquifers used there and that recharge levels are rising nearby. “Any withdrawal will not affect” neighbors’ aquifers, Garcia concluded.

    Board members Nieto, Patt Sims, and Jack Wood expressed their willingness to work more closely with the silver mine in the future and cited the mine’s openness.

    “They’ve always been real open,” Wood said. Sims and Nieto agreed.

    Board president Jim Mustard wasn’t so sure. “I don’t know if I concur. Those are just personal observations. We have started a discussion and hope we continue.”

    Mustard hopes to look into all of the mine’s water activities and would like to see a presentation from the mine, for the sake of the general public.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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