Archive for September, 2014

SAWS Deal a Trans-Texas Water Highway!

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For Immediate Release:
September 30, 2014

Is it a take AND pay water “deal”,
a Trans-Texas Water Highway or both? 

San Antonio Water System’s unanimous vote yesterday to rush a $3.4 billion deal for a 142-mile water pipeline from Burleson County, began hitting a few road blocks when two public finance attorneys showed up in opposition to the project. SAWS Chair Berto Guerra delivered a 15-minute monologue extolling the virtues of SAWS’  Vista Ridge “deal of the century”, but then reduced public comment from the standard five minutes to two minutes because there were “so many” speakers. There were nine.

Michele McFaddin is an environmental/natural resources attorney with more than 27 years of experience and was the former lead attorney for infrastructure loan programs at the Texas Water Development Board between 2007 and 2013. McFaddin now represents the League of Independent Voters, which has been fighting a virtual siege of private water marketers on the slow-recharge aquifers east of Austin. McFaddin said today, “SAWS has indicated that Abengoa-Vista Ridge accepts the regulatory risk of making 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater available but has neglected to mention that it has pay for the water AND reimburse Abengoa for its financing, design, construction, treatment and operational costs. Allowing a foreign company to finance, build and operate this project rather than financing and implementing this project itself does not benefit SAWS or San Antonio ratepayers if (1) Abengoa does not possess an investment grade rating for purposes of financing (unlike SAWS which has an excellent investment rating); (2) is in questionable and deteriorating financial condition according to its own regulatory filings with the SEC; and (3) will be implementing this project through a subsidiary that is a Delaware-based limited liability company. This project is a clear example of a public/private partnership gone awry."

Michele Gangnes, a founding board member of the League of Independent Voters and a Lee County landowner who lives over the Simsboro, also has 32-years’ experience as a public finance attorney. After hearing Interim San Antonio Mayor and SAWS Board member, Ivey Taylor, ask serious follow-up questions, Gangnes said, “Mayor Taylor seems open to hearing our concerns. She gave us hope she will call a full public hearing to do just that. Shifting the risks of a firm water supply to Abengoa and Blue Water but also promising to buy 50,000 acre-feet of very expensive water whether San Antonio needs it or not has consequences. San Antonio ratepayers could be put at serious risk of both uncertain supply and unaffordable rate increases if the San Antonio City Council fails to opt for lower interest rates by either financing the project on its own or with state assistance. Better yet, if the economic and environmental sustainability of the project is as questionable as the undertones San Antonio citizens are hearing, the city should abandon the project altogether and focus on desalination and other strategies.”

Linda Curtis, Executive Director of the League and longtime independent activist known for bringing together environmentalists with tea party Republicans, said, “Not long after a united citizens movement across partisan lines successfully stopped the Trans-Texas Corridor, we started calling plans to pipe large exports of water from the Simsboro the ‘Trans-Texas Water Highway’. Little did we know that today we would be fighting Abengoa, yet another Spanish company that, just like CINTRA, is being met with open arms by local power brokers who operate just like Governor Rick Perry. Let’s hope this project – as it stands today – meets the same fate.”

Media is invited to reach the 5-minute comments offered to SAWS in writing from McFaddin posted here and Gangnes posted here.

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Michele Gangnes’ Comments to San Antonio Water System

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PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE ABENGOA VISTA RIDGE/SAWS/BLUE WATER DRAFT CONTRACT

Prepared by Michele G. Gangnes
Resident Landowner, Lee County and Licensed Attorney
Founding Board Member, League of Independent Voters of Texas
Vice President, Neighbors for Neighbors

(September 29, 2014)

My name is Michele Gangnes. I own land and groundwater in Lee County, and I have been a water activist since the day after SAWS signed the Alcoa water contract on New Year’s Eve, 1998.

I am a founding board member of the League of Independent Voters of Texas, I am a licensed attorney, and I have practiced law with a specialty in municipal and corporate finance for about 32 years of my 36-year law practice in the Pacific Northwest. I do not serve as legal counsel to the League, and I’m no expert on Texas public finance, but I have been eligible for inclusion in the so-called “Red Book” of public finance counsel since 1987.

I also devoted some time to reading this contract. I share Ms. McFaddin’s concerns and would amplify them on the subject of take or pay contracts. My ex-husband devoted about 8 or 9 years of his life as a securities fraud litigator to unwinding the multiple take or pay contracts that were directly responsible for the famed multi-billion dollar Washington Public Power Supply (aptly named “WPPS”) default. Those contracts were hastily signed, too.

Take or pay may be Abengoa’s favorite contract, but why did SAWS expose its ratepayers to paying for more water than they need? SAWS obviously had the superior negotiating position in this contract. The City of Hutto was recently advised to raise water rates by 20% in one year to accommodate a take or pay water supply without enough customers. I can only conclude you have become part of the municipal gravy train of special interests that feed off of growth in places without water of their own.

Someone said to me last night, “There is nothing creative about what SAWS is doing in bringing water to lure in growth --- they are failing to realize they look just like Los Angeles all those years ago.”

Your take or pay contract with our water is an insult to rural Texans --- you are already looking to offload excess water, and you are using our water to do it. You will have joined the ranks of Central Texas water speculators.

Instead of telling ratepayers you are risking their water bill, you say you have minimized or even eliminated their risk in this contract. And then you show them an impressive slide about “re-delivering” $2300/acre-foot water to others through an ERCOT-style, Trans-Texas style water pipeline running up and down IH-35. Good luck with that. But I suppose any number of water speculators and special interests will help you do it.

Do you realize that your paltry 3% of the population who are selling you water in 1 million acre Burleson and Milam counties don’t even begin to counter the resentment in our counties toward San Antonio --- for the second time in 15 years? (And by the way, Alcoa closed its doors and left just like we told you they would.) You put yourselves, the enrichment of water speculators, your aquifer and your urban sprawl ahead of people who choose to live differently than you do but need and deserve water for their future generations as much as you do.

Do you realize that right across the ”street” as far as the aquifer is concerned, water marketers want at least 75,000 acre-feet from Lee County and another 16,000 from Bastrop County to compete in your “take or pay” market along IH-35? Or are you planning to help your competitors develop their markets with your short-term water?

And did you know that concerns about potential contamination of our precious Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer from the fracking uptick in Burleson County are apparently leading the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District to institute a water quality monitoring system for the aquifer. That’s a water treatment issue for you to consider!

Don’t take more than you need ---- don’t rush into a contract whose upside to San Antonio is certainly not clear if you don’t have time to read it. And shame on you if you do vote on it without reading it, carefully.

Thank you for allowing the League of Independent Voters to make public comment on behalf of its statewide membership.

 

THE LEAGUE OF INDEPENDENT VOTERS OF TEXAS

Michele G. Gangnes

512-461-3179

mggangnes@aol.com

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Michelle McFadden’s Comments on SAWS Deal

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PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE ABENGOA VISTA RIDGE/SAWS/BLUE WATER DRAFT CONTRACT

Prepared by Michelle A. McFaddin, Attorney at Law

(September 29, 2014)

My name is Michelle McFaddin. I am a licensed attorney retained by League of Independent Voters of Texas. Between 2007 and 2013, I was employed by the Texas Water Development Board as the lead attorney for the federal and state water and wastewater infrastructure loan programs. In that capacity, I assisted SAWS in financing its Brackish Groundwater Desalination Project through the state Water Infrastructure Fund program. In my experience, SAWS is a sophisticated borrower with staff that is knowledgeable and experienced in implementing large-scale, complex projects.

I obtained a copy of the 581-page September 25, 2014 draft contract, related appendices and reference documents on Friday and my reaction is simple - why isn't SAWS financing and implementing this project itself using the heavily subsidized financing options available through either state infrastructure loan programs or through the market at rates significantly lower than those proposed by Abengoa. I feel confident that the Board must have asked itself these same questions over the weekend.

  1. SAWS is effectively in control of the project

Although the risk of project financing, design and construction as well as ongoing operation of the groundwater wells, water treatment facilities and transmission line appear to have been allocated to Abengoa affiliates, in reality:

  • SAWS is required to reimburse Abengoa for the costs of financing and designing this project up to $40,100,000 even if Abengoa can't obtain financing or is unwilling or unable to perform its obligations pursuant to §4.6(a) and Appendix 18 of the draft contract;
  • SAWS is required to reimburse Abengoa for all reasonable costs of operating and maintaining the Project facilities pursuant to Art. 17 and Appendix 19 of the draft contract;
  • Although it may appear that construction and operational risks have been transferred to Abengoa, in fact SAWS retains significant control over project implementation which suggests to me that the Board has concerns about whether Abengoa has the ability to perform under this contract. SAWS has (1) an option to purchase the initial securities (bonds) used to finance the project; (2) the ability to purchase project assets at any time after closing; (3) the ability to force the design/construction contractor as well as the operating service provider to follow its instructions rather than Abengoa's at any time without cause; and (4) the ability to terminate the Agreement at any time prior to closing unless there is an offering of securities pending and thereafter if Abengoa defaults on its obligations;
  • SAWS has not in fact shifted all of the risk to Abengoa. SAWS still bears the risk that (1) groundwater cannot be produced up to the baseline amount of 50,000 acre-feet per year; and/or (2) that the groundwater will require extensive treatment before it can be used by SAWS - and the raw water permitting and treatment costs are not factored into the cost of water under this agreement; these are hidden costs that may be significant.
  1. SAWS or a newly-created Municipal Water District or Regional Utility Authority can obtain financing for this project at significantly lower cost
  • SAWS and/or an MWD or Regional Utility Authority could obtain heavily subsidized financing through the TWDB's tax-exempt water infrastructure loan programs - saving 200-300 basis points. In order to qualify for funding from the state water infrastructure funds, the project needs to listed on the 2017 State Water Plan. There is no need to get listed on the State Water Plan in order to obtain funding using Texas Water Development funds although the interest rate for DFund loans is typically higher. Currently, the interest rate for tax-exempt financing under the Water Development Fund (DFund) program is 3.18% as opposed to the max. 6.04% rate proposed by Abengoa.
  • SAWS borrowing costs will be substantially less than any rate charged under this draft contract since Abengoa's credit rating is two levels below investment grade. A private entity like Abengoa may not be eligible for or credit-worthy enough to qualify for tax-exempt financing. Its proposed financing options are 1) the issuance of private activity bonds - if these bonds are even available, the actual feasibility of PAB financing is not addressed; 2) the issuance of corporate bonds that do not have any investment grade rating requirements, perhaps like the "Green" Euro bonds issued by Abengoa recently - it should be noted that this offering was not fully suscribed at an interest rate of approx. 5.5%, half of the offering had to be sold at 6.5%, suggesting that SAWS will be looking at the max. 6.04% interest rate; or 3) through the issuance of municipal bonds. Abengoa's eligibility for tax-exempt financing through the issuance of municipal securities is questionable.
  1. If a private partnership is required to finance and implement this project either because of political concerns or because SAWS already has too much outstanding debt, why contract with Abengoa to finance and implement this project?
  • Abengoa is a risky choice because Abengoa's ratings with Moody's, Standard & Poor and Fitch are not of investment grade and have been consistently downgraded over the past 2 years.
  • According to Abengoa's most recent annual report to the SEC, it already has a high level of indebtedness (11,975 million Pounds total with only 581 million Pounds left for additional corporate borrowing). It is not clear whether the recent "Green" Euro offering used up some of this remaining borrowing capacity.
  • Its SEC Form 20-F report also indicates that Abengoa has generated significant negative cash flows in the past three years and its liabilities at the end of these fiscal years have exceeded its tangible assets.
  • Should Abengoa default on its obligations under the contract, SAWS only recourse will be to take over the project since any judgment rendered by a U.S. Court based on breach of contract or securities fraud may well not be enforceable in a Spanish Court of law.
  • Texas residents have recently experience significant difficulties with another Spanish company that was brought in to finance and construct another infrastructure project, the Texas Tollways project; the bonds issued to pay for Texas Tollways are in trouble; there has been talk of possible default and ongoing service-related problems.
  • Bottom Line - does San Antonio need these kinds of problems with its future water supply?
  1. Conclusion
  • SAWS has indicated that Abengoa-Vista Ridge accepts the regulatory risk of making 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater available for the next 30 years but neglects to mention that it has to reimburse Abengoa for its financing, design, construction, treatment and operational costs. Moreover, SAWS still has the risk that it will not be able to acquire 50,000 acre-feet/year of useable quality groundwater whether or not Abengoa risks the lost revenue.
  • SAWS argues that by executing this agreement, it will cap interest rate exposure but neglects to mention that the maximum capped rate of 6.04% under this Agreement is significantly in excess of the tax-exempt interest rates that would apply if the project were being financed through the TWDB's water infrastructure loan programs (3.18% today for the DFund program) and even the market-based taxable rates being used by the TWDB.
  • SAWS suggests that it is imperative that it sign a contract to ensure that it obtains up to 50,000 acre-feet/year of water right now for possible delivery as soon as 2019 but has not demonstrated that it needs this entire amount by 2019. SAWS has time to work with the TWDB and, if needed, the legislature to get the project onto the 2017 State Water Plan if it wants to avail itself of the state water infrastructure fund rate subsidies. Moreover, it has the time to create a water district or regional utility authority to obtain tax-exempt project financing and to implement this project if it does not want to bear the risk of project financing and implementation.
  • SAWS has argued that it benefits its ratepayers to have a private, third party build the well-field infrastructure, pipeline and related treatment and transfer facilities rather than implementing this project itself but is it advantageous if (1) the third party does not possess an investment grade rating for purposes of financing (unlike SAWS which has an excellent investment rating); (2) the third party is in questionable financial condition according to its own regulatory filings; and (3) the third party's American subsidiary is a Delaware-based limited liability company? The whole reason to create a limited liability company is to LIMIT LIABILITY.

There is no reason for SAWS or the City of San Antonio to rush forward to commit to a 581-page contract that was only released late last week - not with the questions, concerns and issues that you no doubt had when you reviewed the draft contract over the weekend as well as those that have been raised during the public comment period this morning. Thank you for this opportunity to present public comment.

 

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Don’t Fail us Now! Be in San Antonio — SOON!

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THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED. WE ARE NOW TRYING TO GET A FULL PUBLIC HEARING ON THE SAWS DEAL -- BE SURE TO SIGN UP TO GET OUR EMAIL ALERTS!~

We were in San Antonio on Monday to witness (SAWS) unveil a $3.4 billion contract for 50,000 acre-feet of Simsboro water. Yes, that's the same aquifer Lee and Bastrop counties have been fighting to protect-- for years. Even according to the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (the one that's been handing our permits like candy) says the aquifer recharges only 12,500 AFY,. Meanwhile, water profiteers and hydrologists-for-hire keep calling the Simsboro "drought-proof" -- just like they said 50-years ago about one of the world's largest aquifers, the Ogallala, now dying in West Texas.

Folks, the SAWS contract was 522-pages still in DRAFT on Monday. But, SAWS is still planning to ram through this $3.4 billion complex contract this coming Monday! Then it will go to the San Antonio City Council for approval on October 30th.

The Vista Ridge consortium, (Spanish-based Abengoa and Bue Water Systems) will require at 140-mile pipeline to move the 50K AFY from Burleson to San Antonio.

Like a car salesman, SAWS Chairman Berto Guerra calls it "the deal of the century." So, what’s the big hurry and what's the big worry? A lot.

  • San Antonians will be forced to pay at least a 16% rate increase just the first year.
  • Landowners along the 140-mile pipeline will face eminent domain land seizures.
  • Communities north of San Antonio will be sold water for 5-10 years until San Antonio “grows into” this massive 50K AFY contract, then they can be cut off!
  • Folks around the Simsboro in Burleson, Milam, Lee and Bastrop counties (and Brazos County that depends on the Simsboro) are looking at aquifer depletion.

We need YOU NOW folks. Will you stand up to this water theft?

We need you to be at San Antonio’s City Hall on Thursday, October 2 at 5 pm.

PLEASE RESERVE A SPOT ON THE BUS NOW!
We also need donations to cover our bus costs.

STARTING FROM GIDDINGS AT 2 PM NEXT THURSDAY, October 2nd.
We'll be back between 9-10 pm.

JOIN US ON SATURDAY’S CONFERENCE CALL AT 9 AM. CONTACT US FOR DETAILS.

We can also use donations to pay for the bus. Give on this secure website, or send us a check to League of Independent Voters, PO Box 651, Bastrop, TX 78602, but email us to let us know it's on the way:  info@independentleaguetx.org (or call 512-535-0989)

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San Antonio Water Pipeline Watch Out!

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This San Antonio water pipeline sounds the alarm to any community in Texas that
 wants to Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.01.43 AMprotect their aquifers from sharks -- the sharks in the
 Chamber of Commerce who want YOUR water for unbridled
 growth and its intimate partner...unaffordability.

San Antonio Water Systems is set this Monday to ink a $3.3 BILLION water grab from counties 140-miles to their northeast. The good news is this has to go to the San Antonio City Council, so it's not a done deal.

Robert Puente, SAWS CEO, was against this bad deal for San Antonio's ratepayers until the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce decided they "own" the utility and put their foot down. Don't believe us -- read this.

JOIN tomorrow's (Saturday) conference call tomorrow at 9 am. (Reply for call instructions)
Step up to the plate to make some calls from home and come to the Alamo City with us on October 2nd!We also need funds to pay for a bus San Antonio. Donate on our website or send us a check but let us know it's on the way.
 FlierOgallalaAlamo-final

You might also read my letter to the editor about the Hays County water forum last week: Well Meaning People Can Still Poison Your Well.

We have the other central Texas water grabs on hold. The SAWS deal needs to be put on hold too until the ratepayers and the Council have a chance to review the contract.

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Well Meaning People Can Still Poison Your Well

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By Linda Curtis, DirectorIMG_0353

On September 11th, I attended a forum in Hays County put on by the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD). I have good friends in CARD and I think they mean well. But, they gave this event over to people who are poisoning our well of public discussion and real public debate on the water debate. I also believe, they had no intention of letting this happen.

Hays County Commissioners, Will Conley and Ray Whisenant, together with San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) Senior VP CEO, Steven Clouse, stole the show peddling their respective plans to drain the deep Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in rural counties just east of Austin where I happen to live.

The confusing blather of the Hays County Commissioners had many scratching their heads. But it was the scientists on the panel who really got to me. They began with a conclusion. The conclusion is that our growth rate in central Texas will continue for decades, ignoring the basic truism we all learn in Biology 101:  The number of organisms will increase exponentially until an essential nutrient is exhausted. In this case, that nutrient is water.  In Austin, they are already choking on out-of-control growth and its intimate partner – unaffordability.

It is important that citizens understand that the projects being sold on Thursday night represent a virtual siege by water marketers and some municipalities on an aquifer that serves Burleson, Milam, Lee, Bastrop and other nearby counties. It also surprised me that no one from Hays County took on their Commissioners for using their tax dollars for a “reservation agreement” with Forestar Real Estate Group for 45,000- acre-feet per year. This contract came after the Lost Pines District (Bastrop and Lee counties) granted Forestar a more reasonable 12,000 afy based on a desire not to mine (and harm) the Simsboro Aquifer.

Hays County doesn’t even have the capacity to deliver, much less need, for this much water until maybe 2060! What’s more, ask the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District that represents you if they would ever agree to the amount of drawdown on their aquifer (currently about 30 feet) as is being asked of (forced on) Lee and Bastrop counties’ district – an average of 200 feet – with a much slower recharge rate. I already know the answer is no, or more likely, hell no.

In my view, any organization with “responsible development” in their name must understand that responsible development is impossible without taking on the real estate lobby and land speculators who are forcing us to pay with our tax dollars and our water for in-migration (1,000 people per day) to Texas. Let’s make them take their foot off the growth pedal and stop building in areas without their own local water supply.

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On the road to protect our water and wallets!

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I about to hit the road to this event in Wimberley at 6 pm hoping to unite us to stop the water grabs!

Don't forget the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Conference this coming Monday and Tuesday at the Bastrop Convention Center. Our own Michele Gangnes and Steve Box (Environmental Stewardship) are on the water panel on Tuesday morning. At least come to the movie on Monday night! Details here.

Last night, the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District sent the End Op permit back to SOAH (State Office of Administrative Hearings) for clarification before they act on the permit.We support their decision -- to be conservative and cautious. (Unfortunately, they also denied several landowners a voice in the battle with End Op LP's permit request for 46,000 acre-feet of groundwater. Stay tuned on this.)

We remind you that San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) is back again through their allies in Milam and Burleson counties working a deal for 50,000 acre-feet per year from the same aquifer. We are finding Burleson and Milam landowners and residents who are not hot-to-trot on this deal either!

We hereby throw down the gauntlet to unite the region, including San Antonio,
to protect ratepayers and all of our aquifers.

Please plan to join us on October 2nd in San Antonio.

You can even catch a bus -- details here and please share it!FlierOgallalaAlamo-jpeg
Please revisit our events here. We hope to see you in Fayette County on September 27th for a local candidate forum with the cooperation of the Republican and Democratic county party organizations.

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Alert: Lost Pines Water Meeting Location Changed!

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ALERTThe location is for Wednesday night's critically important Lost Pines Water Meeting has changed. It is NOT Bastrop! It's in Giddings at the American Legion Hall, 1502 Highway 77 at 7 pm. Local paper's deadlines were missed, so we need your help to reach your neighbors! THERE ARE ALSO NEW THREATS TO OUR WATER SUPPLY THAT WE WILL SHARE VIA A FLIER FOR YOU TO TAKE TO YOUR NEIGHBORS -- so show up and do your part please! (Click here if you have trouble printing the flier below). (Use your creativity to help us get the word out, please!) Use our Facebook page or website to share, put up your own sign on the back of our yard signs -- whatever works!

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Release: Central Texas Landowners Join Forces to Protect Water in Face of Out-of-Control Growth

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A critical decision about the rights of landowners who do not want to sell their water, is coming to a head at a specially called meeting of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District next Wednesday evening at 7 pm at the Bastrop Convention Center PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LOCATION OF THIS MEETING IS NOW AT THE AMERICAN LEGION IN GIDDINGS, 1502 US 77, Giddings, Texas.

The Central Texas groundwater war, radiating from four rural counties down the IH-35 growth corridor to San Antonio, is getting lots of coverage these days. But the most important voices seem to be missing. They are the hundreds of landowners in Lee and Bastrop counties who are coming out to meeting after meeting of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District and putting out “Stop the Water Grab” yard signs. And they are the thousands of landowners in 21 additional Texas counties, including Bexar, who are fighting development over their sensitive Edwards Aquifer watershed.

            Michele Gangnes is a Lee County landowner, water activist and attorney who sits on the board of the new non-partisan, non-profit League of Independent Voters of Texas. On Labor Day, Gangnes filed hard-hitting comments with the Texas Water Development Board on the agency’s rules for disbursements of funds under Prop 6, the water constitutional amendment passed by Texas voters in 2013. Gangnes said, "The SAWS project currently does not qualify for Prop 6, but it’s an example of the mega-projects to feed growth that TWDB will prioritize under its new rules. Ten years ago SAWS wisely decided not to drain our Simsboro aquifer and not to saddle its ratepayers with too expensive water, electing conservation instead. But they never stopped looking for more water, because San Antonio won’t stop enabling development in areas without enough water of their own."

            Annalisa Peace is the Executive Director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, which represents landowners in 21 central Texas counties, including Bexar County. Peace said, “GEAA especially objects to the prospect of depleting one aquifer in order to impair another. The members of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance oppose the Vista Ridge project due to SAWS commitment to use these new supplies to expand service and encourage high-density development on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge and contributing zones.”

            A recent article in the respected Rivard Report by Dr. Curtis Chubb, a scientist/journalist/landowner in Milam County, examined SAWS’ plan to buy water from The Vista Ridge Consortium, a partnership of Spain-based Abengoa Water and Austin-based Blue Water Systems. Blue Water has permits for the Simsboro and Carrizo portions of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer under Burleson County. Dr. Chubb made the case the Simsboro under Burleson and Milam counties, which most observers expect will supply the Vista Ridge water, cannot sustain the 16 billion gallons a year project. Meanwhile, Lee and Bastrop countians are trying to protect their portion of the Simsboro from two additional mega-projects.

             Central Texans are organizing a series of events over the coming weeks to bring Texans together across the region and across partisan lines to preserve our most precious resources – our water and the land that depends on it.

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Central Texas Landowners Join Forces to Protect Water Supply in the Face of Out-of-Control Growth

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Some of us were working this Labor Day for you because, well, you'll see. Don't feel guilty, just read this press release, "Central Texas Landowners Join Forces to Protect Water Supply in the Face of Out-of Control Growth". We're very proud of these Comments on the_Proposed Rules we filed on Labor Day, thanks to board member, Michele Gangnes, with the Texas Water Development Board on how Prop 6 money should, and should not, be spent on water projects. Last, kindly show up at any and all of these events! (Spread the word y'all -- use the share buttons at the bottom.)

  • THIS Saturday, 9 am Conference Call with Janice Benzanson, Texas Conservation Alliance. We'll be talking water policy and strategy. Reply for conference call details or call us. Use this link to invite others.
  • Wed., Sept. 10, 7 pm: Lee and Bastrop countians - come to a specially called meeting of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District, American Legion Hall in Giddings. Click here for details and show up! (Need fliers? Just reply or call us. Note: the location of this meeting was changed -- it is NOT at the Bastrop Convention Center!)
  • Thurs., Sept. 11, 6-9:30 pm, Wimberley, Hays County, Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD) forum, "Water Crisis: Time to Get Serious" -- more details here.
  • DON'T WAIT TO REGISTER!!!!   Mon-Tues., Sept. 15-16. DO NOT MISS THE FARM AND RANCH FREEDOM ALLIANCE Annual Conference, Bastrop Convention Center! Hear the latest news on the laws and regulations that govern our food supply, connect with individuals, organizations, and small businesses who are passionate about our food system, and get the tools you need to make a difference in the coming year! Click here for the program and registration details. Several of us from the League are on the program!
  • Sat., Sept. 27, 5-6:30 pm, La Grange (Fayette County), La Grange ISD (LDISD K-6 Campus on Travis Street (BUS 71 - across from Farmer’s Lumber and Sonic) Candidate debate Sponsored by the League with Fayette County Republicans and Democrats between the two candidates running for Fayette County Judge -- Ed Janecka and Cecile Webster and a debate between the candidates for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1. Use this link to spread the word about this event.
  • Have you heard about the Earth, Wind and Fire Summit in Dallas, October 4-5? If you're interested in energy, this is the place to be! Sponsored by the Sierra Club: Read more here.

          We commend Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape for his op-ed about the Ogallala and his concern about mega-permits being sought locally for our Carrizo-Wilcox water here in the Statesman.

          We better see you soon, y'all. Things are heating up and we need to step up our efforts!

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