By Lisa Morton
The evolution of the water market may place water conservation districts under review with the submission of a bill to the Texas Legislature. The bill was introduced after some water districts including neighboring Pecos County Water District gained notoriety when citizens received inconsistent rulings. “There is an impression of the good ole boy’s interests influencing some rulings and that is not how these determinations should be made”, said Texas State Senator Lyle Larson, who is considered well-versed on Texas water.
A very dismal portrait on the history of Pecos Counties Comanche Springs near Ft. Stockton is circulating on social media by opposition that continues to villainize Clayton Williams as the sole source of the natural waters demise. It is posted under Pecos County Water District as a YouTube video. The brief documentary narrates Williams’ recent plan to run his water threw a 100-mile pipeline out of the county to Odessa for sale to the highest bidder, comparing it to a scenes from the 1970’s film “Deliverance.” It also states that Williams is attempting to disband the water district which would deregulate his water interests. Rep. Larson told The Advocate that the abolishment clause was taken out of the Bill with a focus on the overview of districts following state law. Larson said, “We expect there will be significant changes to districts rulings that are not based on science or competing information that impede on Texas landowner rights. What Mr. Williams does with his permitted acre feet of water is not for the district to regulate and a proposal to export water allotted for crops cannot be a reason for denial”, Larson adds.
Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District has had some questionable actions according to Larson. “When a district board member represents his own personal interests and pushes for water allotments of up to 5 acre feet to grow pecans in the desert, then turns around and denies an adjacent landowner the same allotment, that’s an inconsistency that cannot be allowed”, Larson said.
Larson said that the water our desert has is bountiful with over 1200 feet of saturated thickness in comparison to other areas in the state at just 400 feet. It was only a matter of time before the water market interest took notice.