GMAs provide for cooperative aquifer management by GCDs. To avoid potential groundwater availability conflicts between GCDs and Regional Water Planning Groups (RWPGs); RWPGs must use TWDB MAG values for water supply planning. The GMA process is not synchronized with RWPG 50-year water planning schedule. DFCs submitted by September 2010 won't be reflected in Regional Water Plans (RWPs) until 2016. TWDB fixed the schedule with an interim DFC deadline to guarantee use of the resulting MAGs in the 2011 RWP.
GMA-8 faced great challenges meeting its responsibilities. With all or part of 45 counties GMA-8 stretches from the Colorado River north to the Red River and east to Arkansas. Centered on the Northern Trinity aquifer; GMA-8 includes the Northern Edwards aquifer and 7 Minor aquifers. While the original 6 GCDs were later joined by 4 new GCDs; the 14 GCD protected counties are far outnumbered by the 31 unprotected counties.
GMA-8 approached meeting the interim DFC deadline with inexperienced hubris. The process was more complex than anticipated in several key areas: educating GCDs on groundwater modeling; estimating groundwater use in new or immature GCDs and; the effort required to reach consensus on aquifer DFCs. However, GMA-8 met the TWDB interim DFC deadline for 5 of the 9 aquifers and was the only GMA to do so. GMA-8 has adopted DFCs for submission to TWDB on 3 more aquifers and anticipates prompt completion of DFC development on the final aquifer.