Sutton County UWCD

Dye Tracer Test

Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs) are charged with protecting the groundwater resources within their district. With that in mind, Sutton County Underground Water Conservation District (SCUWCD) performed a dye tracer test in 2013 with the aim of deepening their knowledge of local aquifer conditions. It was the District’s hope that the dye tracer test would increase the information they had on the direction of water inflows and outflows; storage capacity; and the transmissivity (or rate of flow) of the aquifer. SCUWCD contracted with hydrogeologists at Southwest Research Institute to advise them during the test. SCUWCD staff planned and performed the test and partnered with the Edwards Aquifer Authority to analyze the results. The results brought to light some significant information, including a surprisingly fast rate of transmissivity. A detailed look into the first dye tracer test can be viewed here.

The District is in the planning stages of a second dye tracer test, which will build on conclusions from the first, and deepen their understanding of the aquifer’s attributes. In addition to the dye tracer tests, the District collects monthly data on water levels in the aquifer. This information is mapped and modelled, establishing a piezometric surface, which is a visualization of the aquifer’s water levels across the District. The District also has an inventory of 60 water quality wells that are divided into three groups of 20, which are sampled on a three-year rotational basis. This effort is yielding some interesting data on the water chemistry of the aquifer, and contributes to a better understanding of its dynamics.

Water Wonk

Following her internship, and at the encouragement of several GCD general managers she met while interning, Meredith applied to the master’s program at Texas A&M. She gained hands on experience by working with the Post Oak Savannah GCD while earning her master’s, but always knew she wanted to return home to Sonora. Meredith is representative of the new generation of staff with strong technical and policy backgrounds populating rural GCD offices. In October of this year, recent graduate from Texas A&M University’s Water Management and Hydrological Science graduate program, Meredith Earwood, joined the District as Operations Manager. As a sixth generation rancher whosefather and grandfather were a part of the Soil and Water Conservation Board, Meredith was raised with an awareness of water conservation issues and technologies that can assist landowners in conservation practices. She developed a keen interest in groundwater issues while interning for Representative Four Price during Texas’ 83rd legislative session, where she was responsible for tracking water related legislation.

GCD Programs & Services

Collaborative Efforts

The District has been and continues to be involved in several collaborative efforts in the areas of data collection and education. SCUWCD collaborates with the Sutton County AgriLife Extension office to put on day-long water education events for 4th and 6th grade students in the county and partners with the city on educational events around water conservation and protection of water quality.

Services

SCUWCD is over a karst aquifer system with high water flow rates, so contamination is a major concern. With that in mind, the District offers free macro analysis testing to well owners in its area. In an effort to monitor and maintain District wide water quality data, SCUWCD performs annual water quality testing, as well as testing of an individual landowner’s well if a suspected contamination event is reported.

Opportunities & Challenges

SCUWCD sees opportunities to increase their knowledge of the Edwards Trinity (Plateau) aquifer by collecting additional water measurements, continuing modeling efforts, and continuing to collaborate with neighboring districts.

Resources

SCUWCD has a robust website that not only includes information on the District’s rules and meetings, but also provides information on a variety of topics ranging from drought, to karst formations, and the Desired Future Conditions process. For more info, visit suttoncountyuwcd.org.

  • From Drizzle to Downpours: Rainwater Harvesting Programs
  • Mesa UWCD
  • Northern Trinity GCD
  • Proposition 6: Texas Water Fund
  • 2023 Groundwater Summit Recap
  • 88th Legislative Wrap-Up
  • Southern Ogallala Conservation & Outreach Program
  • Three Iconic Springs
  • Groundwater: On a Screen Near You
  • Great Springs Project
  • Comal Trinity GCD
  • Texas Land Conservancy
  • Panola County GCD
  • Texas Playa Conservation
  • 2022 Groundwater Summit Recap
  • Wintergarden GCD
  • Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape
  • Plum Creek Conservation District
  • EAA Education Outreach Center
  • Irion County WCD
  • Open Meetings Guide
  • Lone Star GCD
  • Meet the Executive Committee
  • 10 Years of TGS
  • Advocacy Checklist
  • Presidio County UWCD
  • GMAs and Remote Meetings
  • Pecan Valley GCD
  • EDF/Hays Trinity GCD
  • Texas Water Foundation
  • Cow Creek GCD
  • TexMesonet
  • Managing Through COVID-19
  • Reeves County GCD
  • One Water – Blue Hole Primary School
  • Harris-Galveston Subsidence District
  • Kenedy County GCD
  • 4-H Water Ambassadors
  • Brazos Valley GCD
  • Evergreen UWCD
  • USGS Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center
  • Water Grows
  • North Texas GCD
  • High Plains UWCD
  • Prairielands GCD
  • Rusk County GCD
  • Edwards Aquifer Authority
  • Post Oak Savannah GCD
  • Guadalupe County GCD
  • Mesquite GCD
  • Hickory UWCD No. 1
  • Panhandle GCD
  • Coastal Bend & Coastal Plains GCDs
  • Gonzales County UWCD
  • North Plains GCD
  • Bandera County River Authority & Groundwater District
  • Middle Trinity GCD
  • Clearwater UWCD
  • Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer CD
  • South Plains UWCD
  • Fayette County GCD
  • Sutton County UWCD
  • Sandy Land UWCD
  • Lost Pines GCD
  • Upper Trinity GCD
  • Duval County GCD
  • Hill Country UWCD
  • Middle Pecos GCD
  • Trinity Glen Rose GCD
  • Central Texas GCD
  • Sandy Land UWCD
  • Bluebonnet GCD