The Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (MTGCD) is the sixth groundwater conservation district in Texas to implement a drought contingency plan (DCP). The prevailing drought conditions in Texas, coupled with efforts to inform the public on the importance of water conservation, were catalysts for the new DCP.
The DCP encourages voluntary reduction in the amount of water pumped from water wells in times of drought. The recommended percentage of decrease is determined by the prevailing drought stage. There are five drought stages. Stage 0 is the “no concern” stage and prevails when drought conditions are not present. Stage 1 is the “awareness” stage, or mild drought, with a recommended 10% reduction in pumping. Stage 2 is the “concerned” stage, or moderate drought, and recommends 20% reduction in pumping. Stage 3 is the “”serious” stage, or severe drought, and recommends a 30% reduction in pumping. Stage 4 is the “critical” stage, or extreme drought, and recommends a 40% reduction in pumping.
The Precipitation Deficit Index (PDI) is used to determine the appropriate drought stage. PDI is used to compare rainfall over the last thirty days to the average annual rainfall. For example, If the PDI indicates that we have received only 70-79% of average rainfall, we are in stage 1 drought. As the PDI increases, the drought stages advance. A PDI of 50% would call for Drought Stage 4.
PDI data is gathered at numerous collection points in each of MTGCD’s four counties. Due to the geographic diversity and varying rainfall averages, the MTGCD has segmented the plan to individually address Erath, Comanche, Bosque and Coryell counties.
The MTGCD Drought Contingency Plan is designed for those who utilize privately owned water wells. It is a voluntary program and should not be confused with, or conflict with, drought contingency plans or watering restrictions of a municipal water supplier, rural water supplier, water supply corporation or other retail water supplier.
Current drought stage information, average county rainfall data, glossary of terms and maps of PDI data collection sites are all available at MTGCD’s webpage at www.middletrinitygcd.org.
Questions can be addressed by MTGCD’s staff by calling 254-965-6705.