The High Plains Water District rule amendments require flow meter readings or readings from alternative measuring methods to be recorded annually between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15.
This information is needed to report annual groundwater use from the Ogallala Aquifer to the district.
The Lubbock, Texas-based water district encourages owners/operators of certain water wells or well systems to make readings to determine their ending meter readings for 2012 groundwater use reporting.
The ending point for 2012 will be the starting point for 2013 reporting.
One-line reporting of meter readings or alternative measuring methods is available by going to the HPWD website at www.hpwd.com and then clicking on the "Log Meter Entries Here" button on the right side of the website.
The meter site also is available directly at www.map.hpwd.com.
"We encourage groundwater users to complete the following steps on-line during the December 15-January 15 reporting period," says Field Data Collection Supervisor Gerald Crenwelge. "This meter module is a secure site where persons may create a user account, associate owners/properties with the user account, plot the location of the meter or alternative measuring method on National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial images, and update information about the meter installation. Even if you haven't entered any information until now—you can still do it at this time."
Alternative measuring methods are allowed for existing wells in lieu of flow meters during the ongoing Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2015 transitional period.
The three approved alternative measuring methods include electricity consumption, natural gas consumption, and nozzle packages/hour meter readings on center pivot irrigation systems.
Groundwater users wanting to "bank" the unused portion of their 2012 allowable production must enter data into the on-line database.
"Readings from either a metered well/well system or alternative measuring method can be used in calculating the amount of water that is eligible for banking in the future," Crenwelge says. "This information must be entered in the on-line meter module so that the database can automatically make calculations. Groundwater users can enter data themselves or HPWD personnel can assist them."
He adds that all measuring methods (meter or alternative) are treated equally in the data base.
It is important to note that the reporting requirements do not apply to wells producing less than 17.5 gallons of water per minute (25,000 gallons per day), or wells solely for domestic use (even if they produce more than 17.5 gallons per minute).
For more, you can contact the HPWD at 806-762-0181.