“Does LCRA need Bastrop groundwater? They already have all that water in the Highland Lakes.”
That was my Llano friend’s response when she saw this news on KXAN-TV that LCRA was in a legal proceeding pressing their demand on Bastrop landowners for a 25,000 acre-feet of groundwater (a "mega-permit") from the aquifer underlying the Boy Scout Property – the Griffith League Ranch at FM 1441 and Highway 21.
I sat through hours of testimony on Thursday and Friday. The testimony by Andy Wier, Board Member of the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund (SAWDF) was riveting. Wier's testimony was remarkable, even to seasoned attorneys representing private marketers with whom landowners are fighting in other forums involving other mega-permit disputes, including Vista Ridge ('the San Antone Hose'). One of them, Paul Terrill, who represents the “dark side” of Vista Ridge said of Wier's testimony:
"It was the most informed citizen testimony I have ever heard.”
The hearing will continue on Monday and Tuesday (October 21 – 22) in Austin, from 8:30 am and even through a portion of the evening at 300 W. 15th Street at the State Office of Administrative hearings.
Many of our readers have been following the “water wars” east of Austin for years. LCRA has joined a chorus of public and private interests who, in our opinion, have fully heeled to the Big Real Estate Lobby’s obsession for building out a metroplex in central Texas. Therefore, it's a good bet that those pushing for mega-permits are HOPING TO CREATE a need in a highly speculative game that is putting a sustainable water future at stake.
Watch the KXAN report, come to the hearing if you can. But, here's your real charge. Call your state legislators (House and Senate) and ask them to get involved in ending these unnecessary and potentially destructive water wars. They can tell LCRA, a public agency and river authority, to back off on joining the chorus with privateering groundwater marketers looking to make a quick big buck off our most precious resource.
Call us or send us their responses or give them our number 512.213.4511. We’re happy to follow up or answer any questions you have before or after you make those calls.
For you deep water policy divers, please visit these posts by the dynamic duo non-profits, Simsboro Aquier Water Defense Fund "The Emperor Has No Clothes" and Environmental Stewardship in depth update here. They form the core of the landowner/scientific team that has taken a piece of LCRA’s hide in these proceedings. Fun to watch!
The most imminent water war threat in Texas is Vista Ridge, aka the San Antone Hose, slated to start pumping from a barely recharging aquifer (largely the Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer underlying Burleson, Milam, Lee and Bastrop counties) in April 2020. Visit our Vista Ridge page here.
Posted by Linda Curtis.