Fight Begins Over Needmore Permit

On December 19th, TESPA filed a contested case request with BSEACD protesting the District's proposed decision to issue a groundwater production permit to Needmore Water, LLC in the amount of 289,080,000 gallons a year.

Needmore's attorney, Ed McCarthy also sent the District a letter expressing opposition to the District's decision to require Needmore to reduce pumping if there are impacts to nearby wells. You can read the letter here. One of Needmore's arguments is that under the law that extended BSEACD's jurisdiction to cover Needmore Ranch, Needmore should be entitled to pump the "maximum production capacity" of the well without any conditions requiring them to reduce pumping.

As TESPA explains in its protest, we believe this language in HB 3405, which requires BSEACD to issue the permit for the maximum production capacity of the well, is contrary to the Conservation Amendment of the Texas Constitution and Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code.

BSEACD determined that pumping from the well on Needmore Ranch WILL cause unreasonable impacts to nearby wells and that within seven years, there could be as much as 140 feet of drawdown in wells almost two miles away. Yet Needmore is arguing that it should be able to pump its requested amount without being required to reduce pumping when nearby wells are impacted.

The fight over this groundwater permit is just beginning and it looks to be a long one. TESPA, on behalf of a group of landowners, has protested BSEACD's proposed decision to issue a permit to Needmore Ranch. TESPA is the only organization in the area that is taking legal action to protect the Trinity Aquifer and landowner's privately owned groundwater from being drained by large water grabs. We must raise funds to continue this fight. Thank you to those of you who have donated to further this effort. Please share this post with others who you think can give to protect the Trinity Aquifer and the rights of landowners who depend on it.

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