What is the Hickory Underground Water District No. 1′

Finally, I have my uniform shirts. I couldn’t wait to wear them around town, proudly representing the entity for which I work, Hickory U.W.C.D. Everywhere I went, questions followed. The most commonly asked was, “What do you all do down there'” Seems a lot of people in the District who support the District with their tax money are not quite sure what we do ‘down here.’ We were created by an order of the Texas Water Commission on June 9, 1982, and organized under the terms and provisions of Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution and Chapters 35 and 36 of the Texas Water Code. We were formed to “formulate, promulgate, and enforce rules and regulations for the purpose of conserving, preserving, prevention of waste, protecting and recharging” the waters of all aquifers within the District boundaries. In short, our mission is to protect your groundwater. The District covers approximately 1,700,000 acres in all of Mason County and portions of McCulloch, Concho, San Saba, Menard and Kimble County. Five directors, making up our Board of Directors, represent these areas. The Board meets on the second Thursday of every month at the District Office, located on the northeast side of the square in Brady. The Board ensures that control of District groundwater remains in the hands of the local citizens of the District. The District employs four staff members: Stan Reinhard is our general manager; David Huie is our field technician; Audra Wilcox serves as the office manager; and I am the information specialist. Water quantity is a primary concern for the area. We currently utilize eight water level recorders and approximately 200 manual monitoring wells to evaluate the amount of water in the District. Data collected from various sources, such as in-house and state measurements, indicated the Hickory Aquifer was declining at a rate of .75 ft./year. Since the District’s inception 20 years ago, the decline rate has slowed to an average of .4 ft./year. For this reason it is imperative that landowners notify the District of new wells. Permits or registrations are issued as appropriate. As driller’s logs are submitted, information derived from these is studied to further determine the depth to various formations in the district. All this information is compiled in an effort to ensure the supply of water in the District meets the demand. On May 3, Mason held an election to annex the remainder of that county into the District. The proposition passed 422 to 48. We’re working hard to gather information on wells in this new area, but any cooperation from landowners would be greatly appreciated. So if you have a well that is not registered or permitted, please notify us. The Hickory UWCD maintains a water- testing laboratory to monitor quality and trends. While not a certified lab, the District obtains samples annually which are analyzed by a commercial laboratory, as well as in-house, to insure the validity of our procedures. Bacterial analysis for total coliform, E. Coli and Fecal Coliform, and eight other tests are routinely performed at no charge for anyone in the District. In an effort to keep local citizens informed of the District’s activities, we publish a quarterly newsletter, available upon request by regular mail or email. We also maintain a website: www.hickoryuwcd.org, filled with information. The staff participates in various public education activities such as Ag Day and the SWCD Field Day. Any civic group, school, teacher or other organization within the District can request our presentations on water quality, the nature of aquifers, xeriscaping, water conservation and other water topics. For more information, please contact us at 325-597-2785 or email us at hickoryuwcd@yahoo.com.

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