More concerns over Alcoa water plans

Dear editor,

Questions are posed by Alcoa’s intent to sell its real property while at the same time applying to drill 24 wells into the Carizzo Wilcox aquifer group.

Perhaps I am seeing phantoms but:

• Was Alcoa in negotiation for the sale of its property to LCRA at the same time as it sought the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District’s (POSGCD) permit to drill 24 new wells for the stated purpose of ten potential industrial pursuits?

• Why are the proposed wells positioned on the southern edge of Alcoa’s property? I don’t believe locations that require water to be piped across the entire breadth of its property to the improved locations where business can locate would pass even a casual cost-benefit analysis? It would be much less expensive to drill closer to the end user. The position of the proposed wells does however make for efficient transport of water out of the district.

• What are the new power lines strung by Bartlett Electric Coop along the route of the Western line of wells to support if not the new well pumps? I first noticed their installation in 2010, long before the filing of Alcoa’s permit application. I highly doubt any alleged new business would accept a location on the narrow dirt roads near the line of wells. There are no telephone lines.

• Is the application that POSGCD will consider on Sept. 11 only a stalking horse for LCRA instead of a business undertaking by Alcoa? Did Alcoa ever actually intend to find businesses that would use up to 25,000 acre feet of water or is a completely different scenario more likely?

I have reached my conclusion for these questions based on the sequence of events and actions that Alcoa has taken. The reader should reach their own.

My reading of the district rules finds that further investigation is called for and that the permit application should be tabled while that investigation takes place. Administrative correctness of Alcoa’s application does not relieve the District Board of its responsibility to manage groundwater based on the most accurate information available as it pertains to all resource users.

I don’t think they have it and if inquiry proves that, the application should be voted down by the board.

Jim McDaniel
Fairfax Station, VA 22039

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2012-09-06 digital edition

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