Still buying tickets on the EP Titanic
But never let sound judgment get in the way of a desire to provide a plan that is actually better suited for a carnival sideshow.
EP and their handful of supporters have demonstrated throughout this controversy that they have no idea how much water is available to meet the contracts, nor do they have a viable plan to produce and transport the water – if such a volume could even be produced. But they have acknowledged that neighboring wells (which include the author’s well), which number in the hundreds if not thousands, will suffer a negative impact. This is an understatement to say the least as many wells will go completely dry and the property owners will be forced to find other sources of water or deepen their wells.
To date, in spite of many opportunities to present an honest, objective plan, EP and their supporters still cannot honestly say what the total cost will be – both for the purchasers and those neighboring well owners who will be impacted by this scheme. In contrast, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) has stated that they can pipe water via San Marcos and Kyle – both of which are in agreement with this proposal – that can be delivered by 2017, and at a cost lower than what EP is promising.
The public outrage expressed throughout the Hays County has been channeled into common sense legislation by Rep. Jason Isaac and Sen. Donna Campbell that has broad support from Hays County Commissioners, numerous city councils, school boards, water supply companies, neighborhood associations, churches, individual property owners and many people who are part time residents in Hays County. If the legislation is passed, this unregulated area will be placed under the jurisdiction of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. This will provide a sound, objective and scientific approach to address the EP proposal and any future demands on the aquifer, as well as a level of protection for all who rely on this groundwater for their wells.
Just this week, the Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed Rep. Isaac’s bill to expand the BSEACD into the area of Hays County where EP is drilling. Similar legislation by Senator Campbell has passed a Senate Committee and will hopefully be taken up for a vote soon. While there are differences in the legislation, the central aim is certain: provide oversight and regulation by the BSEACD and mitigation should any well owner be damaged. This is the proper and necessary role that the groundwater conservation district plays.
The battle is far from over. We must continue to support our legislators in Austin to pass this critical legislation that will expand the jurisdiction of the BSEACD.
For our part and in the long term, for everyone who knows and loves this part of Central Texas, we must change our perspective on our water resources. Improved water conservation, water reuse, rainwater harvesting and applied technology are essential as we move forward. Residents, businesses and government must all recognize the finite nature of our water resources that must be conserved, protected and respected for the benefit of all.
Patrick Cox, Ph.D.
Author: Patrick Cox, Ph.D, Wimberley, Tx. President – Patrick Cox Consultants. Long time Hays County resident and homeowner, former BSEACD Board President and Director, Current PEC President and Board Director, and resides within the 2 mile radius of the EP test wells.