Thursday, December 12, 2013

WHO is taking the water? And WHAT are they doing with it?

Despite the devastating drought, the river authority is pursuing an application to allow it to take even more water out of the Brazos –– in fact two-thirds again as much as it currently takes. The application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality doesn’t explain to whom the water would be sold.

Concerned residents from Possum Kingdom to Lake Granbury have banded together to contest the application, which many people fear would result in further shrinkage of those lakes. The authority also sells water (from Lake Granbury) to Luminant for Squaw Creek Reservoir near Glen Rose, which provides cooling water for the Comanche Peak plant. Water levels at Squaw Creek cannot be reduced because of the need to provide consistent cooling to the plant.

Water wars in Texas are only going to get worse, as the combination of population growth and climate change puts more and more pressure on resources that are fast running out. River authorities are fighting with one another. Small towns are losing both surface water and groundwater to cities, and in some parts of the state, oil and gas drilling is taking significant amounts of water permanently out of the water cycle.
Across the state, activists, officials, industries, waterside residents, and other stakeholders are watching the Brazos case closely. Its outcome could set a precedent for whether other river authorities can claim and sell even more water from their respective rivers.

Read "Drying Up" in Fort Worth Weekly.

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