PITTSBURG — The Region D water board agreed Wednesday to hold off on conflict-resolution planning between regions because of one major bone of contention between East Texas and the Dallas metroplex.
“I know this is a personal matter, and it’s common knowledge here there’s been several planning cycles when there’s been a conflict over Marvin Nichols,” Region D Chair Jim Thompson said at Wednesday’s meeting in Pittsburg.
“I think at this time, we’re just getting started, and let’s revisit this issue and put it on a future agenda.”
In 2019, the state Legislature passed a new requirement for water planning boards to — at the beginning of the water cycle planning process — identify any potential conflicts and discuss coordination and strategies with other regional groups, according to Carollo Engineers Project Manager Tony L. Smith. They also will form an interregional committee, he said.
“Each region gets one board member, or one person from that regional water planning council,” he said. “They discuss water planning goals and so forth.”
In his presentation to the board, Smith listed 27 potential conflicts with other regions in the state, with the majority of them being small agreements along the border of the region between one water user group and another where coverage overlaps. Of the conflicts, only two had a source region in East Texas, Region D, and those two’s sponsoring region for the project was Region C, the Dallas metroplex area. The projects are building Marvin Nichols Reservoir and the reallocation of water from Wright Patman Lake.
The meeting Wednesday featured several public comments against the building of Marvin Nichols Reservoir, which is slated in the 2022 state water plan to be in production by 2050.
Though the first interregional council only started in 2020, Thompson was appointed to that board. He said the state is trying to head off major conflicts, and one of the biggest conflicts around the state is the possible future East Texas reservoir.
“If there was a conflict foreseen, we need to notify the other region involved,” Thompson said. “The interregional water planning council said whether it’s conflict or coordination, that needs to get started as early as possible in the process.”
A new interregional council will form at the beginning of each planning cycle, Smith told the board, and in the next meeting or two, the board will have to appoint someone to the next council.
Thompson suggested the group needed a little more time to think this over, so the agenda item was pushed to a future meeting.
At the meeting, the board also agreed on successors for expiring voting member positions, with each appointment lasting three years. Lamar County resident Sharron Nabors’s position was on the list, and with her agreement, the board re-appointed her.