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BCRAGD publishes annual report

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

If you are interested in an in-depth report of the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District's (BCRAGD) activities for fiscal year 2012-13, read their annual report online. The report was posted on the district's website following the board's quarterly meeting held April 10. It can be found under the "Rules & Management Plans" pull-down tab.
The annual report summarizes the history of the district and the enabling legislation that allowed for its creation and continuing operation. BCRAGD is unique in that it is the only governmental entity in Texas that is a river authority, a groundwater conservation district and a water control and improvement district.
General Manager Dave Mauk outlines several methods used by the district to educate the public about water issues, including public meetings, published articles and school programs. The district works closely with the Clean Rivers Program and partners with other river authorities, such as Nueces River Authority and San Antonio River Authority, on various projects.
In order to advance knowledge about water issues, BCRAGD has taken a pro-active stance in training future scientists. The district participates in the Schreiner University Community Internship Program. The program gives a qualified student an opportunity to work and learn during the summer at the district.
The annual report includes groundwater data on the 66 wells that were registered during the fiscal year, information about the district's programs regarding monitor wells, drought management, sampling and analysis, geophysical logging, well plugging, and damaged well video inspection.
As part of its activities as a groundwater district, BCRAGD works with Groundwater Management Area 9 and is a member of the Texas Association of Groundwater Districts.
As a river authority, the district conducts a variety of programs to keep tabs on the quality of Bandera County's surface water. In addition to participating in TCEQ's Clean Rivers program, the district regularly tests water quality at sites around the county. The district is currently compiling data on the noxious weed Arundo donax. It is mapping locations of outbreaks of this water hog. It is an active participant in the Region J Plateau Regional Planning Group.
The district investigates complaints of possible contamination or spills, and provides the public with notifications of potential hazards.
BCRAGD maintains an official weather station accessible on their website, monitors rainfall, and maintains, with partners Bandera Electric Cooperative and USGS, an early flood warning gage on the Medina River in Medina.
Additional information in the annual report includes the district's management goals and the financial audit of the district performed by Ede & Company.
Any taxpayer with questions about any material in the annual report is encouraged to call BCRAGD to get answers and more information.