Letter to the Editor

April 27, 2013

Lake issues put

future at risk

Hood County has prospered greatly over the past 40-plus years. The driving force behind this prosperity was the creation of Lake Granbury and the growth it spurred in new residents and the resulting commercial activity.

Lake Granbury and the Brazos River are the resources that must be made the top priorities of public stewardship, for they are the linchpins of Hood County’s future. And today Hood County’s future and the quality of life of its residents are at risk, make no mistake about it.

Led by the Hood County Economic Development Foundation, a coalition of local property owners, businesses, government officials, as well as business and neighborhood associations (the Coalition) have come together to preserve Lake Granbury and the Brazos River, their water levels, and to recognize the vital roles of these resources to all of Hood County and the Upper Basin of the Brazos River (the Basin).

This Coalition is preparing to contest the Brazos River Authority’s (BRA) application before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for the granting of a large increase of water rights to the BRA, as currently submitted. The BRA’s request to sell more water must not be taken lightly, or its potential negative impact for Lake Granbury and the entire Basin. 

This past Tuesday the Coalition presented a letter to the Commissioners Court urging them to join in with the already sizable commitment by the city of Granbury and to assist the private sector to fund this campaign. The request provides confirmation that the citizens of Hood County support the Judge and Commissioners’ efforts in this matter, and to give the Coalition the necessary tools required to make our case before the State Administrative Law Judges (ALJ), the TCEQ and the elected representatives of Texas.

We must fund both environmental and economic impact studies for presentation before the ALJ hearing this fall, and include a public relations campaign to effectively coordinate and communicate this issue and its importance to our fellow citizens of Texas. With legal representation, this campaign may run $50,000 to $75,000.

We must make this issue the highest level of importance for Hood County, the Basin and ultimately, if need be, all citizens of Texas.

Continued low lake levels throughout the Basin, exacerbated by BRA’s current management policies, will have lasting negative impacts to our environment and habitats, water quality, shoreline erosion as well to our economy and ad valorem tax base affecting every Hood County resident.

Additionally, extended low lake level conditions throughout the Basin will impact Texas’ ability to achieve the goals set out by the 60-year Texas Water Plan recently approved by our state Legislature.

It is important to emphasize that this issue is not confined to lake and river front property owners. These facts and related issues must be communicated throughout Hood County, the Upper Basin, and to Governor Perry.

It is time all citizens and governmental entities of Hood County come together in this single-minded purpose and demonstrate collectively to the river authorities the critical need for stable lake levels throughout the Basin.

Now is the time for local governments and agencies to set aside differences and to work together, hand- in-hand with its citizens, leaving no stone unturned to achieve mutual objectives. We also ask that the BRA’s Board of Directors and our appointed representatives join with the Coalition to seek common ground for an acceptable and fair resolution to this matter coming before the ALJ and TCEQ, so that we might forge a lasting working relationship today and for the future generations of Texas.

Ken W. Hackett

President

Brazos River

Conservation

Coalition

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