Water planning group seeks area legislators’ assistance
From Staff Reports

Dec. 3, 2006 - Having lost in an effort to remove the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir from the new Texas Water Plan, members of the North East Texas Regional Water Planning Group plans to seek support from state legislators in the 19-county region.

Meeting at Mount Pleasant this week, the group voted to ask the area’s House and Senate members to oppose the designation of the Marvin Nichols site on the Sulphur River as a unique reservoir site.

The 62,000 to 77,000-acre reservoir, which  has been proposed as a water management strategy for the North Texas Regional Water Planning Group. If built, the lake would primarily supply water needs for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

George Frost of Bowie County, a planning group member, said the Dallas area “appears to have the philosophy that if you are a prosperous area, that entitles you to waste water resources and take water from other regions.”

Richard LeTourneau of Harrison County, also a group member, said options exist for creating new water supplies “without building a costly new reservoir which hurt people and consume land.” 

He said raising the level of Wright Patman Reservoir and importing water from Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Sabine River are two viable options.

Walt Sears, administrator of the North East Texas Group, said an effort will be made “to illuminate to our legislators on the feelings of people who live in their districts.” He said the Texas Legislature has the authority to designate or remove the designation for unique reservoir sites.

The Marvin Nichols dispute is one of six water issues which the group will identify for local legislators when the Texas Legislature begins its new session in January.

The others are:

�-- Maintaining the current law on interbasin water transfers.

�-- The ramifications of land acquisition policies for water management strategies.

�-- The clarification of the impacts that occur when unique stream segments are designated.

�-- Reconciliation of differences in water plans among adjoining planning regions.

�-- Joint planning and coordination with the new groundwater management areas established by the Texas Water Development Board.

In other activity, David Weidman, general manager of the Franklin County Water District, was named to the group board, succeeding Eldon Wold, also of Franklin County, who recently resigned.

The North East Texas Planning Region includes all or portions of Bowie, Camp, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Hunt, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Red River, Rains, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties.

� Information from Bob Bowman on behalf of the North East Texas Regional Water Planning Group

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