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GMAs and Desired
  Future Conditions

GMA Frequently Asked Questions

Special Topic: Interconnectivity

Desired Future Conditions and the Groundwater Management Area Process

Legislation passed in 2005 (House Bill 1763) that established the framework for regional collaboration among local groundwater managers on shared aquifers. Groundwater conservation districts must now coordinate with neighboring districts within their Groundwater Management Area (GMA) on issues such as management goals and groundwater availability determinations.

What are desired future conditions?
Groundwater conservation districts within each GMA are required to define "desired future conditions" for the groundwater resources within the GMA. A desired future condition is a quantifiable future groundwater condition. These conditions, called metrics, can be a particular groundwater level, level of water quality, volume of spring flows, etc. The chosen conditions serve as management goals and answer the question of what you want your aquifer to look like in the future.

Why are they important?
Based on the chosen desired future condition, the TWDB determines how much groundwater is available (termed "managed available groundwater") for withdrawal. These volumes in turn become the permitting targets for the groundwater districts and will be used in the state's regional water planning process.

In effect, the decisions made now through this GMA process will set the stage for the future of groundwater resources across the state.

This process is a key way for communities to maintain local and regional control of their groundwater.

What is the Timeline?
GMAs submitted their desired future conditions to TWDB in 2010. TWDB then inputted the Desired Future Conditions for each GMA into the Groundwater Availability Models to determine the Managed Available Groundwater (MAG) for each region. GMAs will use the results of this analysis to update their management plans. Texas Statute requires submission of updated plans to TWDB at least once every five years. Read more about GMAs.

What you can do?
Provide input to your groundwater district on the importance of preserving springflows and base flows from the aquifer(s) in your region. If you don't live within the boundaries of a district, contact a neighboring district to get advice on providing input to the GMA process for your county. A map of the groundwater districts is available through the TWDB. District contact information is available through the TWDB and the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts.


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