Battle over Marvin Nichols continues; Dallas-area regional water group leaves reservoir in its plans
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

July 15, 2005 -- Even though the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir has been removed from the wish list of one water planning district, another district considers the lake a potential water resource.

But the ultimate decision whether or not the lake would ever be constructed rests with a state agency.

At a meeting of the Region C Water Planning Group in Arlington this week, public input was sought on a water plan to carry the 16-county region that includes the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, through the next 50 years.

After the meeting, Region C Chairman Jim Parks, who is also executive director of North Texas Municipal Water District, said the controversial Nichols Lake remains in the Region C plan as well as his district's draft plan.

"In the plan, as it is currently drafted, the Marvin Nichols project still is shown as a water management strategy in North Texas Municipal Water District's plan and, likewise, in Tarrant Regional Water District's plan," Parks said.

The proposed Marvin Nichols I Reservoir, a 62,000- to 77,000-acre lake on the Sulphur River, was removed in June as a potential water supply/management resource for Region D Water Planning Group -- which includes Hopkins and 18 other counties in Northeast Texas -- because of the potential for economical loss in timber and related business and displacement of property owners.

Hopkins County Commissioner Beth Wisenbaker, who serves on the Region D Water Planning Group, does not think the Region C plans will have any impact on the Region D plan that omits the Nichols Reservoir. There is still time to make changes, however.

"I there was public hue and cry at the public meeting, there is still an opportunity for the Region D board to take another vote and change what is in the plan," Wisenbaker said. "The plan is not final until about the end of the year."

Like Parks, Wisenbaker said that any final plan would come from the state water board, which she said would "pull the best and the brightest" from the plans assembled by the 16 regional water plannning groups in the state.

"Once the state plan is in effect, that is the one you will go by," she said.

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