February 29, 2012 Mr. Edward G. Vaughan, Chairman Mr. Joe M. Crutcher, Vice Chairman Mr. Thomas Weir Labatt, III Mr. Louis H.

McMahan Mr. Billy R. Bradford, Jr. Mr. Monte Cluck In care of: Ms. Melanie Callahan Executive Administrator Texas Water Development Board P.O. Box 13231 Austin, Texas 78711-3231 Reference: Item #20 - TWDB Agenda, 3/1/2012 - Appeal of GMA 9 DFC Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District [HTGCD] Formation of a Specific Groundwater Management Area [SGMA] With regard to Jacobs Well and Cypress Creek in Wimberley

Gentlemen, My forebears moved to this area in the year 1826 – seven generations ago. Make that eight generations, counting my “Daughter of the Republic of Texas”. To say I hold a deep love in my heart and soul for the hills and waters of central Texas would be an understatement. It’s deep in my bones, down to the double-helix of my DNA. These limestone hills and the clear, flowing waters of the Texas Hill Country are the heart and soul for many people, stretching from Georgetown to San Antonio, from Austin to Boerne to Llano and beyond. Many, many people - roughly 3,617,000 souls. This 2010 Census figure for the eleven counties I just encompassed represents a 30% growth rate over the past decade. Hays County, home to our beloved Jacobs Well and Cypress Creek in Wimberley, is represented by a 61% population increase over the past decade. And therein, gentlemen, lies the crux of the problem you are faced with in your jobs as TWDB Board Members. Growth. Not just the new babies being born each day, but the obvious, the inevitable and the ever-increasing wave of folks moving to Texas and the Texas Hill Country - for whatever their motivations to do so may be. Growth in the face of a finite and potentially ever-dwindling supply of fresh water. I empathize with the job of the TWDB, with your jobs as Board Members. For some clarity in writing this letter, I looked up your mission statement – “To provide leadership, planning, financial assistance, information, and education for the conservation and responsible development of water for Texas.” And also that of the HTGCD: “Our mission is to conserve, preserve, recharge and prevent waste of groundwater within western Hays County.” From the desk of Alex Long P.O. Box 70 |Driftwood, Texas 78619

Texas Water Development Board February 29, 2012 Page Two

To keep all of the various balls in the air, to keep all the various stakeholders “watered” – is a supreme challenge, I’m sure. I feel for you. You govern the waters not just for “We the People” of the Hill Country, but for the entire State of Texas. It’s a huge responsibility under the best of circumstances. Yet, these are uncharted waters we are treading in. Uncharted waters in that we may be reaching the upper limits, the ceiling, of available water supplies for the first time in history. What is a planning body to do? Especially within the confines of statutes and regulations – limiting said body’s authority? Again, I feel for you, and I’m not sure what answers may manifest themselves tomorrow, and in the coming months and years. I was going to say something about “hope”, and “prayer”. But obviously, hope and “a wing and a prayer” will not suffice in these times. For me, it’s all about the science, and the math, and the reality of our situation. The reality of continued growth in the face of continued drought. The reality of a finite (or even decreasing) water supply. The science and the math – the experts in the field – can help us figure out how to equitably address this elegant conundrum of a problem. No, not a problem. An opportunity. A challenge that we can rise up to as citizens and leaders. An opportunity to do the right thing and to the thing right, as I like to say. This is not a time for acquiescence to emotional, political, ideological or vested economic interests to rule the decision making and regulatory process. It is a time for the science, the math, and the fundamental truth of it all to prevail. It’s reality when water wells start going dry. It’s reality when private water companies waste water through leaky infrastructure. It’s reality when golf courses are issued permits to increase their watering volume. It’s reality when a rancher decides to convert his hardscrabble pastures to hardscrabble vineyards. It’s reality when Jacobs Well stops flowing. It’s a reality when people and wildlife and ecosystems are impacted by overuse and over-allocation of water supplies. The fundamental truth is that we all need to use LESS water. The fundamental truth is that water conservation needs to come to the forefront of our daily lives – all across Texas. Among a multitude of other possibilities, let’s figure out a way to prohibit the continued planting of St. Augustine sod, so that it makes more sense for a rancher to plant grape vines. Or for more small organic farms to come into being. You get my drift, and I am preaching to the choir, but I needed to get this off of my chest. It’s been bothering me for a long, long time. Thank you for your time, and for this long read if you’ve made it this far. I do appreciate it. So I’ll sum up and close with the reason I am writing. From the desk of Alex Long P.O. Box 70 |Driftwood, Texas 78619

Texas Water Development Board February 29, 2012 Page Three I hope you will agree with tenets the City of Wimberley’s resolution (which is attached for reference) this week – and agree that the formation of a SGMA for the aquifer recharge zone surrounding Jacobs Well and Cypress Creek is of vital importance to me and my neighbors and our local economy. And more specifically, we need take whatever actions are necessary to roll back the recent action by GMA-9 for a DFC authorizing a thirty (30) foot draw down of the aquifer over the next fifty years. This was a decision, influenced I fear, more by the interests of developers and landowners interested in developing their raw land in the coming years, than by the mission to “conserve and protect and responsibly develop” the waters that underlie us all. Unfortunately, it appears that self-serving interests may have a foothold on our Hays-Trinity Water Conservation District. So it falls to you, Gentlemen, to do the right thing – for all of us, into the coming decades, for the benefit of us all. Not just for the benefit of a few, who seek to profit in the short term, at the great expense to us all, to our children and grandchildren and to our beautiful waters. These are the moments of some fundamental truths – we will all be remembered by our children and our grandchildren and beyond – for our leadership and decisions and actions in these times. Not just at tomorrow’s board meeting, but in the coming months and years as we continue to bump up against the upper limits of a finite water supply. These are challenging times, yes, but also times of beautiful opportunities to lead based on what is right and just and sustainable, and not solely what is most profitable to the few in the short term. Gentlemen, again, thank you for your time, and thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of my letter. Sincerely yours,

Alex Long

From the desk of Alex Long P.O. Box 70 |Driftwood, Texas 78619

RESOLUTION NO. R-02-2012 RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WIMBERLEY, TEXAS ENCOURAGING THE CREATION OF A SPECIFIC GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT AREA FOR JACOBS WELL WHEREAS, the City of Wimberley, Texas (the "City") is committed to the conservation, preservation and protection of the Trinity Aquifer in western Hays County; and WHEREAS, the availability of groundwater from the Trinity Aquifer is essential to the quality of life for thousands of people who reside in western Hays County and rely solely on public and/or private groundwater wells in the Trinity Aquifer for their water supply; and WHEREAS, spring flows from Trinity Aquifer springs, such as Jacobs Well, which sources Cypress Creek and the historic Wimberley Blue Hole, help provide clear, flowing surface waters for the creeks, streams, and the rivers that give western Hays County its unique sense of place; and WHEREAS, these creeks, streams and rivers are the economic engines driving eco-tourism and increasing property values in western Hays County and require continued spring flows to maintain permanent, year-round surface water flows; and WHEREAS, the Groundwater Management Area 9 ("GMA 9") recently adopted a Desired Future Condition ("DFC") for the Trinity Aquifer that authorizes an average thirty-foot decline in the aquifer over the next fifty years; and WHEREAS, the City and many citizens of western Hays County believe that a thirty-foot decline of the Trinity Aquifer would threaten springs, such as Jacobs Well, property rights of landowners, their property values, and cause harmful impacts on well owners, surface water rights holders and businesses in Wimberley and the surrounding area of Hays County area; and WHEREAS, the City understands the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (the "HTGCD"), as an alternative to the GMA 9 DFC, has the ability to utilize an adaptive management strategy and create a Specific Groundwater Management Area (the "SGMA") to address local groundwater issues, such as those relating to western Hays County, more specifically Jacobs Well; and WHEREAS, the HTGCD should involve all affected governmental entities, utility providers and others in an open, public process, if and when, creating a SGMA for Jacobs Well and determining its boundaries, goals and rules. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Wimberley, Texas: 1. Encourages the creation of a Specific Groundwater Management Area forJacobs Well (the "SGMA"), utilizing an adaptive management strategy, to keep creeks, streams, and rivers in western Hays County clean, clear and flowing and to avoid a calamity to the prosperity of Wimberley and the surrounding area inHays County.

2. Requests the use of an open, public process, involving all affected governmental entities, including the City of Wimberley, utility providers and others, when creating a SGMA for Jacobs Well and determining its boundaries, goals and rules. RESOLVED this 28 day of February, 2012. City of Wimberley ____________________ Bob Flocke, Mayor ATTEST: _________________ Cara McPartland City Secretary
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From the desk of Alex Long P.O. Box 70 |Driftwood, Texas 78619

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