Letter to the Editor | Re: The Groundwater Conservation District Proposition | by Diane Davis

April 29, 2016

To Whom It May Concern:

Normally, I stay as far away from politics as I possibly can, but the recent developments regarding the Groundwater Conservation District proposition has more than gotten my attention.

From my viewpoint, I am very disappointed that our local elected officials appear to have thrown something as serious as groundwater control out to the public in the form of an election with little to no explanation or made any serious effort to notify each and every property owner in Aransas County of what was to come. Even more concerning is that if you question what the action plan impact is for county residents, you will be told that a plan won’t be formalized until they are voted in. WHAT?  Think about it, if voted in this board will have the power to put monitors on wells, impose fees on well water usage, impose restrictions, pay themselves salaries, etc. I am not saying this would occur, but this board would have the power to do all of the above. I want to know much more before I give anyone that kind of authority. Oh, and of course, our taxes will go up.

I did have a telephone conversation this week with the Chairman at Large of the proposed board. In my conversation, I was told that this Board was going to “keep us safe from big business”. Sounds good, right? – the problem with that is it’s not exactly true. The Board, should it be voted in, has absolutely no way to stop anyone from pumping as much water as they want from their wells. All it can do is impose permit fees or attempt to make it financially difficult to operate said wells. In fact, in the April 12 City Council Agenda, it states as one of the downsides of forming this District that, “a GCD cannot prevent water from being exported outside the boundaries of the District.” So where is the benefit and just how are we being protected?

I am also concerned with a board of individuals being appointed to control our groundwater resources in this county and we have been given no information about them except their names. What criteria did our Judge and Commissioners use to select these individuals – what are their credentials, what guidelines were established for their selection process? Again, we all need more information.

I am a realist and I know that if this does not pass this time around, it will be attempted again. My hope is that by the next time there will be more available data and that those involved will be able to answer any questions raised in a straight and forthright manner.

Diane Davis

Opinion pieces/submitted articles and comments are the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the WWN.

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