Use water district fees to reduce property tax

Dear editor,

Our groundwater conservation district must think they own all of the groundwater.

Why else would they give it all away without our consent, and at a bargainbasement fee of 5/1000 of a cent per gallon?

The groundwater district has granted water marketers the right to pump and export all of the available groundwater in the Simsboro Aquifer, although the water marketers only have groundwater leases for less than 10 percent of the land in Milam and Burleson Counties.

Owners of the remaining 90 percent of the land may feel their groundwater flowing to water marketer pumps, but won’t receive any compensation for their groundwater as it is used by others to make fortunes.

This is not right. At the minimum, we believe that the millions in fees collected by the groundwater district should be used to reduce the property tax rates in our two counties.

And if state law prohibits this, the district should work to rectify this shortcoming.

This inequitable situation is a result of the groundwater district stating that two acre-feet of groundwater can be pumped per acre per year. There is no scientific basis for this arbitrary number.

As if to assist in the export of our groundwater, the groundwater district declared in August that their “desired” goal is for groundwater levels to drop 300 feet in the Simsboro Aquifer, about the height of the Texas State Capitol.

How does this “desired” goal fit with the district’s state-mandated responsibility to protect and preserve the aquifer?

So the present situation is this: The soon-to-be completed pipeline will be able to transport 23 billion gallons of our groundwater to I-35 urban areas annually.

The water marketers and owners of 10 percent of the land will make their fortunes, and the rest of us will watch our groundwater levels drop.

Something is wrong. Curtis Chubb, Ph.D. Central Texas Aquifers Coalition

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2010-09-30 digital edition

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