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Wildlife Co-ops and Groundwater Management in Texas? Matt Wagner, Urs Kreuter and Ronald Kaiser Texas A&M University, Institute for Renewable Natural Resources Common-Pool Resources Air Marine Fisheries Wildlife Groundwater (in Texas)

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wildlife co ops and groundwater management in texas

Wildlife Co-ops and Groundwater Management in Texas?

Matt Wagner, Urs Kreuter and Ronald Kaiser

Texas A&M University, Institute for Renewable Natural Resources

common pool resources
Common-Pool Resources
  • Air
  • Marine Fisheries
  • Wildlife
  • Groundwater (in Texas)
tibor machan 2001

“ In the commons…..nothing belongs to anyone, yet everything belongs to everyone. When people make use of things, they use what everyone else owns.”

Tibor Machan, 2001

primary recommendations from the governor s task force on conservation 2000
Primary Recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Conservation, 2000
  • Provide for private land incentives, partnerships, and stewardship to reduce habitat fragmentation
  • Ensure adequate water quantity and quality for conservation while meeting urban demand
  • Prepare a comprehensive plan for public land development and repair
strategies for reducing habitat fragmentation
Strategies for Reducing Habitat Fragmentation
  • Technical assistance through wildlife management planning
  • Hunting and nature tourism businesses
  • Encourage Wildlife Management Associations or Co-ops.
  • Wildlife management property tax valuation
  • Conservation easements
  • Repeal federal estate tax
  • Others
strategies for reducing habitat fragmentation6
Strategies for Reducing Habitat Fragmentation
  • Hunting and nature tourism businesses
    • Hunting income surpasses agriculture on many Texas properties
    • In 1998, over 33 M acres of rural land was classified by TPW for lease hunting
    • Lands under wildlife management are 73%, 103%, and 230% more valuable than irrigated cropland, dryland cropland, and native range respectively (Wilkins et al., 2000).
strategies for reducing habitat fragmentation7
Strategies for Reducing Habitat Fragmentation
  • Encourage Wildlife Management Associations or Co-ops.
    • Voluntary multi-landowner groups working together to improve wildlife habitat.
    • More than 100 formed in Texas
    • Encompass more than 1.4 M acres
    • Landscape approach to conservation
benefits of wildlife co ops
Benefits of Wildlife Co-ops
  • Habitat improvement on a landscape scale
  • Information and education to members
  • Improved deer populations
  • Name recognition/public awareness
  • Social interaction
  • Locally controlled resource use
  • Collective action
primary recommendations from the governor s task force on conservation 20009
Primary Recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Conservation, 2000
  • Provide for private land incentives, partnerships, and stewardship to reduce habitat fragmentation
  • Ensure adequate water quantity and quality for conservation while meeting urban demand
  • Prepare a comprehensive plan for public land development and repair
slide10

Texas Population and Water

Demand Through 2050

  • The number of Texas residents will nearly double to almost 40 million.
  • Water use will increase from 17 million acre feet today, to 20 million acre feet.
  • Irrigation and municipal will continue to be the largest uses at about 57 and 25 percent respectively.
recommended strategies of texas regional water plans 2001
Recommended Strategies of Texas Regional Water Plans, 2001
  • Expand distribution from existing surface water supplies
  • Improve water conservation
  • Develop groundwater supplies
groundwater in texas is a common pool resource
Groundwater in Texas is a Common-Pool Resource
  • Texas groundwater law is based on the “rule of capture”, allowing landowners to pump water with no restrictions as long as it is not ‘wasted.’
  • Unrestricted pumping leads to a “tragedy of the commons scenario”
  • Approximately 65 groundwater districts exist in Texas, but few actually regulate pumping (Edwards Aquifer Authority).
cooperative groundwater management
Cooperative Groundwater Management
  • Determine sustainable yield of water from hydrologic model.
  • Landowners within a district may self-impose pumping restrictions based on the model.
  • A property right is then assigned to the landowners.
  • All, or part of the property right is transferable.
groundwater transfer examples
Groundwater Transfer Examples
  • Arizona water farms since 1980
  • Edwards Aquifer Irrigation Suspension Program 1997. Agriculture vs. San Antonio.
  • Amarillo and the Ogallala. 70,000 acres of water rights sold in 2000.
  • Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in Brazos, Burleson,and Robertson Counties. Metropolitan Water Company and Brazos Valley Water Alliance have secured a total of 900 agreements on 450,000 acres.
groundwater transfer scenario
Groundwater Transfer Scenario
  • Enforcement of pumping limits is mandatory.
  • Sell/lease pumping right to off-site buyer (5-15+ year leases being offered).
  • Revenue distributed equitably among landowners may provide an economic incentive to protect aquifer and maintain recharge (10% monthly royalty and/or a portion of net profits based on acreage?)
carrizo wilcox aquifer
Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer
  • Recharge is approximately 2.7% of annual rainfall (TWDB 1991).
  • Approximately 266,100 ac-ft/yr of sustained yield is available in Trinity River Basin.
  • The estimated value of water at point of delivery is $700 per acre-foot.
the value of water
The Value of Water
  • 157,000 ac-ft/yr of Brazos River water was recently acquired by the North Harris County Regional Water Authority for $100 M. A $1 B pipeline is being planned (Houston Chronicle, April 12,2001).
  • Ogallala water could be worth from $675-$1,400 per ac-ft annually (Leslie, 2001).
  • Deep wells in the Carrizo-Wilcox could cost over $500,000.
case study middle trinity basin conservation cooperative mtbcc
Case Study - Middle Trinity Basin Conservation Cooperative (MTBCC)
  • A 100,000-acre wildlife cooperative in Anderson and Freestone Counties.
  • A public/private partnership for wildlife management and land conservation.
  • Lease hunting for deer, waterfowl, and hogs.
  • Is groundwater marketing and transfer a compatible resource use?
  • Will the economics provide an incentive for land conservation in the future?
slide21

Middle Trinity Basin

Conservation Cooperative

groundwater available from the mtbcc
Groundwater Available from the MTBCC
  • TWDB estimates a sustained yield of approximately 9 mgd available from a well field in the area (1972).
  • A well field is defined as no more than 10 wells spaced 1/2 mile apart.
  • The MTBCC is approximately 156 square miles.
  • Three well fields could yield 27 mgd, or over 30,000 ac-ft/yr
  • At an average of $250 per ac-ft (Kaiser, 2001), this amount is equivalent to $7.5 M per year.
potential economic incentive available to the mtbcc
Potential Economic Incentive Available to the MTBCC
  • $7.5 M /100,000 acres = $75 per acre gross revenue annually (compared to $10 per acre for hunting rights).
  • Water could be pumped into the Trinity River with a “Bed and Banks” permit.
  • A local water cooperative or district would need to be organized (included in HB 1784)
  • Water transfers must fit into existing water district framework or new legislation (??????)
summary
Summary
  • Water supply and private land fragmentation are two major issues in Texas.
  • Wildlife cooperatives are a solution to land fragmentation.
  • Water marketing is a solution in meeting future water supply and demand in Texas.
  • Groundwater marketing and wildlife management may be compatible resource uses.
  • Water transfers must fit into existing, and any new legislation
thanks for support from
Thanks for Support From:
  • National Water Research Institute
  • Texas A&M University - Institute for Renewable Natural Resources
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Mills Scholarship - Texas Water Resource Institute