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The Groundwater Management Area 9 (GMA-9), includes all or part of 9 counties in the Texas Hill Country, was established in 2002. The Texas Water Development Board created 16 Groundwater Management Areas across Texas, each with a number of groundwater conservation districts (GCDs) included in their boundaries.  

GMA-9 Map of Counties FINAL.png

Click on the county name to go to that groundwater conservation district's website.

What is Joint Planning?

The joint planning process is a result of HB 1763 that was adopted by the Texas State Legislature in 2005. Every five years, groundwater conservation districts within a groundwater management area (GMA) must adopt desired future conditions (DFCs)  for relevant aquifers within the GMA.

What are DFCs?

Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) are defined as a quantified condition of groundwater, such as water levels, spring flows, or volumes, at a specified time or times in the future. Once the desired future conditions are adopted, Texas Water Development Board calculates the Modeled Available Groundwater (MAG) for the aquifer, which is the amount of pumping that will achieve the DFC. The DFC is essentially a planning goal.

Find out more about GMAs, DFCs, GCDs, Groundwater Data, Groundwater Models across the State of Texas and more at the Texas Water Development Board website. 

Water Planning in GMA-9

In the fall of 2023, the Hill Country Alliance sponsored three weekday public meetings with Groundwater Management Area 9 and the Texas Water Development Board to raise awareness about our region's groundwater, how it’s managed, and how you can get involved in the planning process. 

Below is a video of the presentation made at each of the meetings.

Aquifers in Texas

Texas has numerous aquifers capable of producing groundwater for households, municipalities, industry, farms, and ranches. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) recognizes 9 major aquifers − aquifers that produce large amounts of water over large areas (see major aquifers map) − and 22 minor aquifers − aquifers that produce minor amounts of water over large areas or large amounts of water over small areas.

These aquifers are a critical source of water for Texas, supplying 62 percent of the 13.7 million acre-feet of water used in the state in 2014. About 76 percent of this water is used for irrigation, with irrigators withdrawing most of this water from the Ogallala Aquifer alone (72 percent of all groundwater used for irrigation, or 4.6 million acre-feet per year). About 36 percent of water used to meet municipal demands is from groundwater.

You can watch more TWDB Groundwater Videos on Aquifers, Groundwater Budgets and Availability Models, and Water Planning at this link. You can view a study on brackish groundwater in the Hill Country Trinity Aquifer here.

Groundwater: Planning for the Future

This recording is from April 12, 2022 event hosted by the Hill Country Alliance and Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District. The event features an educational presentation and panel discussion that featured experts on the state’s groundwater management process and offered insight on how residents can get involved.


Speakers: Presenter and Moderator: Natalie Ballew, Manager, Groundwater Technical Assistance, Texas Water Development Board Panelists: Ron Fieseler, GMA 9 Chair and General Manager, Blanco Pedernales GCD | Mike Gershon, Water Rights, Utility and Environmental Attorney and Partner, Lloyd & Gosselink Attorneys at Law | Quinn McColly, Conservation Finance Director, Texas Water Trade | Sarah Schlessinger, CEO, Texas Water Foundation


Timestamps: 00:00 Welcome - Linda Kaye Rogers, Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District 01:24 Introduction - Katherine Romans, Hill Country Alliance 8:00 Beneath the Surface and Above: The Journey of Groundwater - Environmental Defense Fund 11:46 Joint Groundwater Planning Basics - Natalie Ballew, Texas Water Development Board 31:12 Panel Discussion 57:26 Final Remarks and Ways to Get Involved

Map Links

Additional Presentations

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