Saturday, November 21, 2009

Don't squander groundwater resources in Eastern Central Texas

Following the article in the Austin American-Statesman on November 10 that was the subject of our previous post, the paper ran coverage on November 18 of a second large pipeline planned to bring water from the east to the San Marcos area, “Looking east for a water supply.”

Yesterday, the Statesman ran a thoughtful editorial discussing these huge depletions of our area’s water resources and what sort of controls could be implemented so that the available water will be used for the good of the public. Here’s the link to the editorial “Can’t let it come down to the last straw.”

Some excerpts:
“The American-Statesman's Asher Price reported earlier this week that the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is talking to a water developer firm about buying 45 million gallons of water per day from Bastrop and Lee counties for consumption in the San Marcos area.

Lee and Bastrop residents would have every right to question why ‘their’ water would be shipped elsewhere. Under Texas law, groundwater is a commodity, like any other, to be bought and sold to the highest bidder.

“’If they all ramp up in the next 10 or 15 years, we won't possibly be able to dish out that much water,’ said Pat Cooper, Lost Pines general manager. The amount Limmer [End-Op, the company directed by former Williamson County Commissioner Frankie Limmer] has applied to pump — if actually pumped — would ‘take us to our limit and beyond our limit when you look 40, 50 years out,’ Cooper said.

“That's a lot of pumps sucking up the water underneath Bastrop and Lee Counties with minimal objective oversight . . . Given the competition that already exists and the increased demand for water, the Legislature is going to be asked to referee. . . . Inaction risks exhausting the supply so that everyone loses.”

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