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Groundwater Summit to discuss groundwater rights amid growth

The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District will include a panel discussion titled “Property Rights vs. Regulation: Managing Groundwater Amid Population Growth in Central Texas.” 

This panel will take place at the 10th Annual Burleson and Milam Counties Groundwater Summit, focusing on how various districts within Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA 12) navigate the complex interplay of property rights and regulatory challenges, particularly in the face of significant population growth and export projects. 

The event will take place on July 18 at the Caldwell Civic Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration beginning at 8 a.m. A light breakfast and lunch will be served, so we ask attendees to pre-register to reserve their seats at the event:

Moderated by John Dupnik, Deputy Executive Director of Water Science and Development at the Texas Water Development Board, the panel will feature the following experts: Alan Day, General Manager of Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District; James Totten, General Manager of Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District; Gary Westbrook, General Manager of Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District; and Billy Howell, Associate Director of Government Affairs at the Texas Farm Bureau Federation. 

This discussion will explore how various districts within Groundwater Management Area 12 (GMA 12) balance property rights and regulatory challenges amid significant population growth and export projects. The Vista Ridge project will be used as a case study to illustrate these issues, drawing from the recent publication by Dr. Steve Young in the Texas Water Journal. Read the study here:

Billy Howell brings over 20 years of legislative experience and leads the Austin lobby team at the Texas Farm Bureau Federation. James Totten has been with Lost Pines GCD since 2012 and holds advanced degrees in Water Management and Hydrological Sciences from Texas A&M University. 

Alan Day has extensive experience in groundwater management and served as a County Extension Agent and Ranch Manager before his current role. Gary Westbrook has over 15 years of experience with Post Oak Savannah GCD and serves in multiple leadership roles related to groundwater management.

Other topics at the summit will include the state of water in Texas, challenges of water projects’ impacts locally and regionally, legislative updates, and updates from POSGCD staff on grant programs, monitoring, and management.

In addition to the panel discussion, residents of Burleson and Milam counties are offered free well water sampling, a $65 value, from June 20 through July 3. 

Sampling kits are available at the Burleson County AgriLife Extension Office in Caldwell, the Milam County AgriLife Extension Office in Cameron, and the POSGCD office in Milano. Each packet includes instructions for collecting water samples correctly. 

For questions about sampling, contact Gregory Perry, Water Resources Specialist, at or (512) 455-9900.

The Cameron Herald

The Cameron Herald
P.O. Box 1230
Cameron, Texas 76520

Phone: 254-697-6671
Fax: 254-697-4902