|Precinct 3 Commissioner Patterson takes seat on Region D water board|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Sept. 10, 2006 -- Don Patterson, Hopkins County Precinct 3 commissioner, was recently named to serve on the board of directors of the Northeast Texas Regional Water Planning Group, also known as Region D. He fills a vacancy left when Precinct 1 Commissioner Beth Wisenbaker's term on that board expired.
Patterson said he felt the county needed to have a constant presence on that board to help ensure adequate water resources for the county in years to come.
"We need a voice that's local," Patterson said. "Ultimately, if they build the Parkhouse Lakes sometime in the future, that will be partly in Hopkins County, and we are going to want to draw water from those things, and I think it is very vital that somebody from this area is on there."
While Parkhouse Lakes I and II are still on the table for future development, the specter of Marvin Nichols Reservoir still lingers even after the Region D Planning Group removed it from its long-range plans. Cities in the Dallas area continue to look at the possibility of meeting their needs through the construction of the Nichols Reservoir.
Patterson said he thinks the metropolitan area will continue to work toward building the lake, but Region D has some alternatives he thinks will meet that area's future water needs that would not have the negative impact on the area such as loss of timber, historic homestead land and jobs.
"I think that the Marvin Nichols is kind of pushed back and they are now looking at alternate sources of water instead of building lakes," he said.
Among the options would be raising the level in Wright Patman and other lakes and piping that water to the Metroplex cities.
"They already own the property and flood grounds," he said. "They could do that and it is cheaper to build a pipeline than it is a lake so I think that is the direction it is going in right now."
The new director said that he felt the Parkhouse lakes would happen well before needs would mandate the construction of Nichols Reservoir.
"But, the drought we are in right now, I think we see the significance of water and it means to us," he said. "My main aspect of being on this board is to try to represent the area, the people and to preserve the water rights for this area."
Patterson has served as commissioner of Precinct 3 for more than 14 years. His election to the Region D Water Planning Group was a unanimous decision by that body.
He has also served as a member of North Hopkins Water Supply Board of Directors for four years. For more than 10 years before becoming a member of that board, Patterson played an integral role in the work being performed by the water supply corporation.