• August 30, 2014

County commissioners still riled up over water

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Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — Nothing gets the Coryell County commissioners more riled up than the county’s water supply.

The commissioners are still complaining that the Brazos Region G Water Planning Group is giving the county short shrift when it comes to setting priorities for water projects.

Brazos G, which represents 37 counties including Coryell, Bell and Lampasas, does not have a Coryell representative on its board.

Claiming the planning group is using inaccurate data to calculate Coryell’s water needs, County Judge John Firth and the commissioners asked the Texas Water Development Board for another water study. The state board referred them back to the regional group.

Commissioners then resolved to team with the dozen water-supply entities in the area to make their case to Brazos G. The message must not have gotten through.

The regional group, which will complete its priority list of water projects on Wednesday, underestimated the extent of service of one key entity, Multi-County Water Supply Corporation, said Commissioner Jack Wall.

Multi-County Water serves about 4,000 customers in Coryell, Hamilton and Lampasas counties, Wall said, while Brazos G planners figures only 500 served.

A 2012 water plan targets Coryell County for an off-channel reservoir north of U.S. Highway 84, but it won’t make the priority list unless Brazos G recognizes the county’s pressing need for water, Wall said.

“Looks like we’ve been jumped over again,” Wall said.

Commissioners and multicounty officials are scrambling to submit written comments to Brazos G before Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new definition of what water is controlled under the Clean Water Act. If state bureaucrats had the commissioners simmering, the feds brought them to a rolling boil.

Firth warned the EPA will be taking control of water in county ditches (assuming there is ever any water in county ditches again).

An April 23 email from the National Association of Counties urged county governments to submit written comments to the Federal Register by July 21.

You wouldn’t know there is a drought by the firewheels (aka Indian blankets) blooming along the roadsides at our place.

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