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SOAR is a program of the Sandy Land Underground Water  Conservation District (SLUWCD)

Sandy Land Underground Water Conservation District was created in November of 1989, by authority of Senate Bill 1777 of the 71st Texas Legislature. The District is a single county water district that includes all of Yoakum County, Texas and contains 510,540 upland acres. The District is bounded on the west by the State of New Mexico and by Cochran, Terry, and Gaines Counties of Texas on the north, east and south, respectively. A five-member Board of Directors is elected from within the district and governs all operations.

Sandy Land Underground Water Conservation District’s mission is to provide technical assistance and develop, promote and implement management strategies to provide for the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging and prevention of waste of the groundwater reservoir, thereby extending the quantity and quality of the Ogallala Aquifer in Yoakum County. Sandy Land UWCD has many different programs to help implement this goal of groundwater conservation.

SOAR is just one of the various programs of Sandy Land UWCD. With the Districts mission being to conserve, preserve, protect and recharge groundwater, the five-member Board understands that precipitation enhancement is a potential water management tool. On January 31, 2002 the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) issued a permit authorizing the SOAR program to conduct rainfall enhancement within the boundaries of its target area.

Perhaps one of the most important tools used by Sandy Land UWCD in preserving groundwater is the required permitting of all new wells, with the necessary enforcement of spacing and production limits. Along with permitting, the District has completed 16 years of rural water quality studies for Yoakum County. These are used to monitor and detect any changes in water quality within the Ogallala Aquifer. Irrigation efficiency tests are frequently requested and will be performed for any producer when necessary.

Sandy Land performs well depth measurements on a network of wells. These wells are measured on a yearly basis. From this well depth data, district personnel construct hydrographs and depletion maps which are used to determine the amount of decline allowable on federal income tax returns.

Sandy Land Underground Water Conservation District has participated in an Agricultural Loan Program with monies from the Texas Water Development Board. These funds are loaned to local producers for the purchase of water conserving center pivot irrigation systems. Over $7 million dollars has been loaned to Yoakum County producers over the last thirteen years.

Sandy Land Underground Water Conservation District believes one of the top priorities of the District should be education. One of the ways chosen to realize this priority is by awarding scholarships to high school students based on essays written on the topic of water conservation. All 5th grade children in our county schools are presented with materials on water conservation.

Sandy Land UWCD recognizes that the groundwater resources of the region are of vital importance to the continued vitality of the citizens, economy and environment within the District.

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