In something that could effect landowners for decades to come, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No.1 has scheduled five public meetings for later this month to receive public comments on proposed rule changes for groundwater management.

One change to be discussed is a "50/50" groundwater management goal for HPWD No.1. The "50/50" groundwater management goal is for 50 percent of the Ogallala Aquifer's current levels to remain in place in 50 years.

The public meetings to discuss the proposed rule changes will take place:

March 23
9a-Noon  Hereford ISD Banquet Room, 601 N. 25 Mile Avenue, Hereford
3p-6p  Robert Dysart Room, Lamb County Rural Electric Cooperative, 2415 S. Phelps, Littlefield

March 24
9a-Noon  Dimmitt Middle School Auditorium, 1505 Western Circle, Dimmitt
3p-6p  Plains Cotton Cooperative Association Board Room, 3301 East 50th Street, Lubbock

March 25
9a-Noon  Plainview Country Club and Conference Center, 2902 West 4th Street, Plainview

In this week's issue of the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. Cotton News, Jim Conkwright, HPWD Manager talked about the "50/50" Rule:

"The HPWD has used water well spacing as a means of managing groundwater since the 1950s. However, dwindling surface water levels in area reservoirs and other contributing factors have caused more dependence upon groundwater in our region. Because of this, the district cannot rely on well spacing alone—it must move forward with implementation of its "50/50" groundwater management goal of having 50 percent of the saturated thickness of the Ogallala Aquifer in 2010 available in 2060 to conserve the resource."

In addition to the five public meetings, an additional set of public hearings will be conducted on the final set of proposed revisions before they can be adopted by the HPWD.  Those hearings will be held at a later date.