Friday, November 21, 2014

Water Level Measurement Program

Our Water Level Measurement Program has fired up again for winter level readings.Each year Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District takes measurements on a network of wells throughout the district to determine yearly aquifer changes in water levels. The measurements are not only taken to determine the water level in the aquifer, but also to collect data, provide information for future planning and to determine IRS depletion allowances. The measurements are taken during the winter months when demands for irrigation are lower so that a representative static water level can be obtained.
Our field technicians started water level measurements to-wards the end of November and will wrap up during the first part of this year before wells are fired up during the spring months to irrigate winter wheat and to prewater for this years crops. The winter water level measurement program plays a big role in helping us to obtain our 50/50 goal, which is to have 50 percent of the water left in the aquifer 50 years from now, by being able to monitor the decline of saturated thickness in the aquifer over the past year. In knowing the amount of decline it helps us to enforce study areas in places where water levels have dropped below the allowed annual 1.25 percent of saturated thickness. The measurements taken can be viewed in our July 2015 newsletter.

2014 Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show Nearing

Each year the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District (PGCD) has an exhibitor booth at the annual Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show. This year’s show will be held December 2-4 at the Amarillo Civic Center.
PGCD looks forward to this event each year and getting to reach out and interact with the public by informing them about ways to conserve water, whether it being at home or in the field, showing the average five year decline in the aquifer and what we do here at PGCD to protect our water.
So mark your calendars for this year's Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show happening at the Amarillo Civic Center December 2-4.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TWDB to hold SWIFT workshop and press conference in Amarillo on November 18

Texas State Senator Ken Seliger and Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) Board member Bech Bruun will host a workshop in Amarillo on November 18, 2014. The workshop will be preceded by a press conference to announce that the application period for State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) financial assistance is now open.
The workshop and press conference will be held at the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission in the Main Board Room, 415 Southwest 8th Street, at 10:00 a.m.  

Senator Seliger and Board member Bruun will discuss water projects in the Amarillo area that are eligible for SWIFT funding. The Texas Legislature created SWIFT to provide affordable financial assistance for projects in the state water plan, and Texas voters approved SWIFT via constitutional amendment in 2013.

TWDB staff will explain the application process and low-cost loan terms for SWIFT. The TWDB is accepting SWIFT financial assistance applications through February 3, 2015. 

For more information, please contact Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129 or

Friday, November 7, 2014

PGCD Ag Loans Available

Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District’s Ag Loan program provides low interest loans to producers within the District for center pivot sprinklers, drip irrigation systems, soil moisture probes and other water saving equipment. Approximate funds remaining are $1,040,000.00 at an interest rate of 1.12 percent.

With these funds, the District is continuing to permit loans to farmers within the District for pivots, but also allows them to take out loans for other water saving equipment. The equipment includes irrigation water delivery equipment such as, aluminum or plastic above-ground pipe to replace open unlined ditches and in-line flow meters or other flow measuring devices to measure distribution system flow or output of wells, subsurface drip systems and soil moisture equipment such as, soil moisture probes and automated weather stations.

PGCD will loan 80 percent of the cost of the equipment up to $150,000 per year per applicant. For more information about this program please click here or contact Julie Bennett at the District’s office at (806) 883-2501.

Friday, October 31, 2014

PGCD in 15th Year of Education Program

Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District (PGCD) started up the fifteenth year of their education program back in August. The program was created in 1999 and has since reached out to thousands of students across the District. It is stated in PGCD’s management plan for the District to reach out to at least 80 percent of the schools within the district boundaries to teach them about water conservation. However, our goal is to reach 100 percent of the schools to ensure we are making an impact on the importance of water conservation to our future generations.

The program focuses on fifth grade students, teaching them about the importance of water conservation, the water cycle, the Ogallala Aquifer, where our water comes from, and playa lakes. Many of the topics discussed teach them objectives that they are tested on in the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test, making it a great educational aid for teachers. We also have an underground flow model that shows the kids visually how wells work, what the aquifer looks like, and how water flows beneath the earth. At the end of the presentation we give the students a water saving kit that allows them to take conservation practices into their homes.

It is a great tool for educating our youth about water conservation and we are excited to be able to start another year in the classrooms. If you would like to schedule an education presentation or would like any other type of presentation given please contact Korri Packard at the PGCD office at (806) 883-2501 or by email at

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Meter Grant Program Available at PGCD

Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District’s (PGCD) meter program was established in December 2004 and requires a meter to be installed on all new wells in the District with a discharge of 4” or greater.

On June 26 PGCD was approved for a grant from the Tex-as Water Development Board. This grant will allow PGCD to 50/50 cost share meters for existing wells within the District.

For producers recently placed into a study areas designated by the District, the placement of a meter on their wells is required. With this grant, producers in study areas will be eligible to receive a meter at no cost from PGCD if installed before March 1, 2015.

For more information about purchasing or installing a meter, please contact the PGCD office at (806) 883-2501.

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Study Areas Approved

The District's depletion rule establishes a 1.25% acceptable annual decline rate for the aquifer. It is a mechanism put into place to meet the District's 50/50 Standard (to have at least 50% of the current saturated thickness of the aquifer remaining after 50 years, benchmark was established in 1998.) The depletion rule sets production floor rates that guarantee minimum about of water allowed to be pumped. 

In implementing the depletion rule study areas can be created around any area that exceeds the 1.25% decline rate which results in mandatory metering and extra measurements taken throughout the year. A conservation area can be created if an area has been in a study area for at least 2 years and continually breaks the cumulative decline trend which results in production limitations.

All new proposed study areas within Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District were approved by the board during the hearing on August 20 in White Deer, Texas. The new study areas approved include 14-1 in Carson County and 14-2 in Wheeler County. All previous study and conservation areas will remain.