History and Mission of District

HPWD SealCreated in 1951 by local residents and confirmed by the State Legislature, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 is charged with the responsibility of conserving, preserving, protecting, and preventing waste of groundwater within its 16-county service area. It is the first groundwater conservation district created in Texas. 

The original boundaries of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District were delineated in March 1951 by the State Board of Water Engineers.

In September 1951, people in 13 Southern High Plains counties voted to create the district for the purpose of conserving, preserving, protecting and recharging the underground water of Subdivision No. 1 of the Underground Water Reservoir, High Plains Area, South of the Canadian River in Texas, as authorized by Article 7880-3c Revised Civil Statutes of the State of Texas (Acts of the 51st Legislature, 1949, Ch. 306, Page 559) and Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution.

After several annexation elections, the High Plains Water District serves an area of 11,850 square miles or 7,587,359 acres.  Our 16-county service area includes Bailey, Cochran, Hale, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Parmer, and Swisher Counties, as well as portions of Armstrong, Castro, Crosby, Deaf Smith, Floyd, Hockley, Potter, and Randall Counties.

How is the District Operated?

The High Plains Water District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors, elected by residents in their respective District Directors' Precincts to serve a four-year term.  Directors oversee district operation, programs, and activities, including final approval of water well permit applications.

A five-member County Advisory Committee from each of the 16 counties is appointed to serve a four-year term by the district's Board of Directors.  County Advisory Committees make recommendations to Directors concerning programs and activities that they believe will be beneficial for the county they serve.  They also advise the Board and Staff about water-related issues in their communities requiring District attention.

How is the District funded?

When the High Plains Water District was created, people also voted to establish a maximum ad valorem tax rate of 5 cents per $100 valuation to support district  programs and activities.  The Board of Directors set the tax rate annually.  Since 1982, the tax rate has been set at less than one cent per $100 valuation.  The current tax rate is $0.00810 per $100 valuation or $8.10 per $100,000 valuation.

What are the District's functions/powers?

The High Plains Water District is a local political subdivision of the State of Texas.  The powers and functions of groundwater conservation districts are specified in Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code.