Underground Water Conservation Districts: A Case Study in Water Resources Management

by Lloyd V. Urban, Texas Tech Univ, Lubbock, United States,
James E. Jonish, Texas Tech Univ, Lubbock, United States,
A. Wayne Wyatt, Texas Tech Univ, Lubbock, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage


Ground water supplies approximately half of the annual water use in the state of Texas. The water law system in the state is extremely complex and non-integrated, making the management of ground water a particularly difficult challenge. Management is accomplished primarily through underground water conservation districts authorized under the Texas Water Code. Districts may be formed to conserve and protect ground water supplies (from the standpoint of both quantity and quality), to encourage more efficient use of water, or for certain special purposes, such as subsidence. Districts vary in size, ranging from single county to large, multi-county districts. With recent legislation resulting in the identification of critical ground water areas, additional districts are being created and others expanded. The success of a district has been found to depend on many factors, including support of the people served, effective leadership, and a strong program of activities and education. A generally applicable model for the successful accomplishment of the mission and goals of districts has been developed.

Subject Headings: Water conservation | Water resources | Case studies | Resource management | Water use | Groundwater quality | Water supply | Groundwater management | Texas | United States

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