Parker Co. development

Demand is growing for nice rural subdivisions in west Parker County, but when a developer tried to build a new one next to a neighborhood near Brock, he ran into the new reality: not enough water.

“There would be times when it would draw down the aquifer quite a bit. Some of those wells may not be able to produce,” said Doug Shaw, a general manager of the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation district.

The district was created six years ago to protect water supplies. It allows only one well for every two acres.

The developer proposed one well per acre for 34 lots.

Shaw says on a hot day, 34 new wells could quickly drop the aquifer level.

“Like 10 feet in a half hour or so. Once stabilized it would come back up,” Shaw said.

A nearby monitoring well shows a stair step decline over the last 10 years — a decrease of about eight feet, or roughly 25 percent.

“People coming in here, building new houses. It is affecting a lot of people’s lives,” said Tyler Hall. His property backs up to the new subdivision. He says some of his neighbors have already had to replace wells due to falling water levels.

Hall joined other neighbors to protest so many new wells.

The conservation district board rejected the developer’s proposal.

David Shaw expects the number of wells to be scaled back, so the subdivision development can continue. He also expects a lot of similar battles in the future.

“Texas is likely to almost double in the next 50 years in population if we continue to grow at the current rate,” he says.
“Water could very well be the limiting factor.”

In this case, it already is.

Jim Douglas, WFAA 7:23 p.m. CDT March 20, 2015