Trinity Drought Management Plan

Trinity Aquifer
Initiation and Termination of Drought Stages

The District Board or the Board’s designee shall determine when conditions warrant initiation or
termination of each stage of the plan and shall take appropriate action. The Board’s designee is authorized to monitor the drought indices and take appropriate action to initiate or terminate the drought stages as needed and inform the Board President at the time the action is considered. The Board shall be informed of the action taken and justification for such action at the monthly Board meeting at which time the Board may confirm or revise the action taken.

Public notification of the initiation or termination of drought stages shall be by means of either notification on the District’s website, in a newspaper(s) of general circulation, radio announcement, or District mailing, fax, or email to owners/operators of permitted wells.

Initiation of Stages: The Precipitation Deficit Index (PDI) shall be monitored and presented to the District Board at the monthly Board meeting. Drought stages shall be triggered when the
PDI value is less than a drought stage trigger condition for the period described below:

PDI: Monitored daily on a running-year basis over a defined area consisting generally of the area of Bell County with a buffer zone of approximately 10 miles around the County-line as truncated by the down-dip extent of the Trinity aquifer and based on NEX-RAD rainfall data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The PDI trigger condition must be exceeded for a period of 28 consecutive days.

Termination of Stages: Drought stage in effect shall be reduced or terminated when the PDI is greater than the trigger conditions of the drought stage in effect for the periods described below:

PDI: Monitored daily on a running-year basis over a defined area consisting generally of the area of Bell County with a buffer zone of approximately 10 miles around the County-line as truncated by the down-dip extent of the Trinity aquifer and based on NEX-RAD rainfall data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The PDI trigger condition must be exceeded for a period of 42 consecutive days.

Drought Stage Response
The water conservation goals and usage reduction measures assigned to each drought stage are voluntary. The District encourages voluntary compliance during each drought stage as outlined in this plan. Such voluntary compliance will contribute to the achievement of the desired level of conservation and reduce the impact of drought conditions and restrictions. However, nothing in this section excludes the District from exercising authority under District Rules regarding wasteful use of water.

A. Stage 1: Awareness—PDI 70 to 79%

Conservation Goal: 10% reduction
Usage Reduction Measures:

• Continue or increase voluntary reduction in various uses.
• Check for and correct all plumbing leaks.
• Re-use or re-circulate water whenever possible.
• No filling of ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools or other surface impoundments for holding water that have a total capacity of more than 50,000 gallons, except for public water supply systems. Public water supply systems are encouraged to implement measures to achieve a 10% reduction in water usage.

B. Stage 2: Concern—PDI 60 to 69%

Conservation Goal: 20% reduction
Usage Reduction Measures:

• Continue or increase voluntary reduction in various uses.
• Check for and correct all plumbing leaks.
• Re-use or re-circulate water whenever possible.
• No filling of ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools or other surface impoundments for holding water that have a total capacity of more than 50,000 gallons, except for public water supply systems. Public water supply systems are encouraged to implement measures to achieve a 20% reduction in water usage.
• Limit watering of landscape (lawns, trees, shrubs, etc.) to only once every 5 to 7 days. Agriculture and horticulture operations are exempted from this measure but are encouraged to reduce tree, plant, and crop watering by 20%.
• Only water landscape at night between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am.
• Keep swimming pools, landscape or decorative ponds and fountains covered (where possible), re-circulate water, and wait 5 to 7 days to refill.
• Wash vehicles at car wash only as needed.
• Do not wash buildings, driveways, streets, patios, or other outdoor surfaces except as required for human or animal health and safety needs, or for fire prevention.
• Water livestock in leak-proof troughs as much as practical.

C. Stage 3: Serious—PDI 50 to 59%

Conservation Goal: 30% reduction
Usage Reduction Measures:

• Continue or increase voluntary reduction in various uses.
• Check for and correct all plumbing leaks.
• Re-use or re-circulate water whenever possible.
• Limit watering of landscape (lawns, trees, shrubs, etc.) to only once every 5 to 7 days. Agriculture and horticulture operations are exempted from this measure but are encouraged to reduce tree, plant, and crop watering by 30%.
• Wash vehicles at car wash only as needed.
• No washing of buildings, driveways, streets, patios, or other outdoor surfaces except as required for human or animal health and safety needs, or for fire prevention.
• No filling of ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools or other surface impoundments for holding water that have a total capacity of more than 50,000 gallons, except for public water supply systems. Public water supply systems are encouraged to implement measures to achieve a 30% reduction in water usage.
• Filling of ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools or other surface impoundments for holding water that have a total capacity of less than 50,000 gallons is discouraged.
• Only water landscape at night between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am.
• Keep swimming pools, landscape or decorative ponds and fountains covered (where possible), re-circulate water, and do not fill except to support aquatic life.
• Water livestock in leak-proof troughs—pumping water into ponds is discouraged.
• Water for dust control only when required by law.

D. Stage 4: Critical—PDI < 50%

Conservation Goal: 40% reduction
Usage Reduction Measures:

• Continue or increase voluntary reduction in various uses.
• Check for and correct all plumbing leaks.
• Re-use or re-circulate water whenever possible.
• No washing of buildings, driveways, streets, patios, or other outdoor surfaces except as required for human or animal health and safety needs, or for fire prevention.
• Water livestock in leak-proof troughs only—do not pump water into ponds.
• Water for dust control only when required by law.
• No watering of landscape (lawns, trees, shrubs, etc.). Agriculture and horticulture operations are exempted from this measure but are encouraged to reduce tree, plant, and crop watering by 40%.
• No vehicle washing.
• No filling of ponds, lakes, tanks, reservoirs, swimming pools or other surface impoundments for holding water regardless of capacity, except to support aquatic life and for public water supply systems. Public water supply systems are encouraged to implement measures to achieve a 40% reduction in water usage.

Public Water Supply Corporations
The District recognizes that Water Suppliers of Bell County have current Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plans that accomplish the intent of this Drought Management Plan within their service areas. The District leaves it up to the discretion of the water supply corporations as to how the desired usage reduction is to be accomplished.

Enforcement
As previously stated, the water conservation goals and usage reduction measures assigned to each drought stage are voluntary. The District intends to implement mandatory measures applicable to permitted well owners/operators when additional data to support the plan has been acquired. The District encourages all groundwater users, exempt and non-exempt, to comply with the voluntary measures to reduce the impact of drought conditions on all aquifer users.  Feedback regarding the drought stages, conservation goals, and usage reduction measures is important to the District during this voluntary stage so that necessary adjustments may be made when mandatory measures are implemented.

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