San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 19th, 2009
Will Conley Blog: Water and power

Hays County Precinct 3 Commissioner
(R-San Marcos)

A few weeks ago the Commissioner’s Court, in a bi-partisan resolution, voted 4-0-1 (our Judge decided not to vote) on a resolution asking the Texas Legislature to give our local groundwater district more authority in the western portion of the county.  It’s a good resolution that gives the Hays Trinity Groundwater District (HTGCD) full chapter 36 authority on all new development, puts everyone under a drought contingency plan, and allows the HTGD to gather fees and information to better understand the Trinity.  It also protects existing residential well owners and platted lot owners from intrusive, unnecessary government intervention and production fees.  I don’t support everything in the resolution, but it is necessary in order for us to gain more control over new development that is needed in our area.

For some in our community this wasn’t enough.  It’s not enough to say every new well in the western part of the county is going to be fully regulated; it’s not enough to say we all must register our wells and follow drought contingency plans; it’s not enough that the HTGD board members will have longer terms, no county oversight, and have the right to call an election for voter approved taxes.  For Judge Sumter and the environmental left, it isn’t enough until they have complete control over all of your resources. They want to meter your well, come on your property without your permission, restrict your pump size, and tax you with production fees.  If you own property in the western portion of the county and haven’t drilled your well yet, you may not get the chance.  You may be told that the water budget is tapped so you need to haul your water in from another source or use only rainwater harvesting (by the way I believe I am the only member of the Court who actually owns a rain harvesting system).  If you own an existing well and want to sell your land, you may be told the water budget is tapped, and you need to sell your land without the use of your well.  In short, we would have no historical rights and our private property rights would be drastically reduced.

Fear – You have been told, without a doubt, that the Trinity is out of water.  You have been told that our water resources are tapped, and that this government takeover is necessary, in order for any of us to have water in the future.  This, however, is untrue. We still don’t know the full capabilities of the Trinity.  The scientific studies are incomplete and anyone who states otherwise simply hasn’t reviewed the facts.  Now I believe it would be unwise to continue to let development of new wells go unregulated.  The scientific studies I have seen led to my support of full chapter 36 authority on all new development, but I haven’t seen anything that gives me the impression that those of us who are already here need full government regulation.  The Edwards Aquifer for example has been studied for many years and they just recently started to regulate existing well owners through ownership changes and they still have some historical rights after the fact. Why not wait until we have a clear picture of what is necessary before we start regulating everyone in our community and infringing on private property rights?

Why? Control and Power!  These big government promoters know that if they can control your water resources it will give them almost unlimited control and power over all citizens in the western portion of the county.  By fully controlling water resources, they can run the cost of living up, tell you when and where to use your water (i.e. land use control), and continue to promote their own special interests.  All of this would be done on your wallet and on your private property rights as a U.S citizen.  If we are going to have this type of government influence in our lives, the least we can do is call for an election of the people to see if this is what our citizens really want, just like we did when the HTGD was formed a few years ago.  It’s not right to have so few determine the future of so many citizens.

Water is an extremely important issue for the future of central Texas and our state as a whole.  We have many challenges that must be met.  In Hays County we need a combination of water conservation, surface water, grey water, land conservation, and rain water collection in order to meet future demands.  Let’s take a deep breath, truly evaluate the situation and take action.  Let’s not jump to conclusions and use the current drought as an excuse for big, intrusive government to jump right in our back yard.

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48 thoughts on “Will Conley Blog: Water and power

  1. I definitely agree with you on the point that all-out regulation at this point may be unnecessary, but the Commissioner’s Court is using a tool that they feel is available to them to ensure future water supplies for the county. I can’t necessarily fault them for wanting to take action of this issue which has a tremendous amount on unknowns especially when dealing with a groundwater source.

    As you stated in the last paragraph, the county needs to promote the reduction of water use through water conservation and source diversification. The county needs to implement policies that help support their position of water security. My contention is that there needs to be rules which ensure the implementation of the “new” water conservation technologies. In Texas, builders are not required to dual-plumb a new home so that the future owners can install a graywater reuse system. There are no requirements on the type of landscaping that should be installed so that we aren’t using 50% of our water supply in the summertime for irrigation. At this point, there are policies that could be implemented that could have a much better effect than an all-out regulation of water wells.

  2. While I agree with much of what Comm. Barton says here, I don’t know why he [like so many officials] must be “reductionistic” in making it sound like only “liberals” want to regulate well water and/or have power & control issues and wanting government oversight.

    We have seen how various parties have and continue to play politics with our lives constantly promoting for their special interests.

    I am a fiscal conservative who feels that SOME regulation is needed re: many areas of concern otherwise greed for endless profiteering enters the scheme of things, as our current economic plight indicates.

    As a well owner, I prefer to monitor my own responsibility and water intake as I have for the past 11 years.

    The issue I just can not comprehend is why Democrats and Republicans don’t want to get along and work together for the community good. If we all care about the county let’s work together and stop playing politics.

    There is no real reason why all parties and individuals can’t be intelligent and accountable in providing leadership that will make Hays County a better place for all of us to live in together.

  3. The Politics of Fear Mongering a la Will Conley

    This opinion letter that was also sent out as e-mail from Hays County Precinct 3 Commissioner, Will Conley regarding his support/opposition to granting Chapter 36 authority for our Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (GCD) is classic Conley fear mongering politics.

    Conley’s rambling is full of contradictory and false statements meant to create voter fear through misinformation, a la Karl Rove.

    Conley begins by calling the Resolution passed in commissioners’ court bipartisan (four votes for, none against and one abstention). What a joke. Conley knows the Resolution was going to be approved with or without his vote.

    Talking out of both sides of his mouth Conley then writes: “I don’t support everything in the resolution, but it is necessary in order for us to gain more control over new development that is needed in our area.” Who is this “us” Conley thinks is necessary to gain more control?

    Folks with well problems know about Conley style control, and they would rather be guided by locally elected District officials who are professionals in groundwater management, than by county officials who won’t say no to developers even when nearby wells are going dry. Hello Northridge subdivision.

    Then Conley has the audacity to call the groundwater district “big government,” after he votes for a $207 million road bond, $19.5 million special tax bond, promoting a $90 million bond for a new government center, and my favorite, $2.4 million for the Wimberley First Baptist Church property. Next to Commissioner Barton, Conley is the BIGGEST spender in Hays County…but he does his 4-1 tax vote act when its time to pay for all his spending. Conley wants to have it both ways come election time.

    It was officials like Conley who oppose responsible management of our Aquifer and who set up the GCD for failure when they wrote the disabling legislation, but voters confirmed our GCD by a two to one margin. Chapter 36 authority will once again give voters an opportunity to express their wishes regarding protection of their water wells.

    Conley and his developer supporters (Winton Porterfield, Loomis, Quicksand, etc.) want what they consider to be their inalienable right to build, drill and run with their profits while neighboring wells go dry. That’s the old Rule of Capture mentality that has no place in a civilized community of neighbors with limited groundwater supply.

    Conley has bragged that Karl Rove is his hero and so it’s no surprise when he deploys Rovian political fear mongering tactics.

    Shame on you Commissioner Conley. A reliable supply of clean water for our citizens should not be a matter of politics…of any kind, much less your fear mongering politics.

  4. The Trintiy aquifer obviously needs futher study. We know very little about the resource of the lower Trinity formations. The model a lot of these assumptions are based on has a grid cell size of 1 kilometer. That means it is very generalized and Dr Mace of the Texas Water Development board has always been very upfront about that fact. I could not help but notice that some of the people making the most comments saying that everything had to be based on the model are not licensed geologist. Another thing many folks apparently do not understand are the limits of authority over these matters that the legislature has granted to the counties or gcd’s. Since the board of directors of the Hays-Trinity gcd are elected anything that they enact that the voters do not agree with can ultimately be overturned. Now that people realize the importance of the decisions of the board on their lives they will take a greater interest in these elections.

    I have been involved with a group of volunteers, many geologists, that has been working on providing good sound science to the Hays-Trinity since before the gcd was officially created. Due to much work by members of the group we now know a lot more about the rocks and waters beneath your feet in western Hays. There are still a lot of questions.

  5. “We know very little about the resource of the lower Trinity formations.”


    You are a licensed on-site septic system designer. While you admittedly and obviously know very little about any aquifer, the HTGCD scientists have been studying all layers of the Trinity Aquifer (not just the lower Trinity) for at least nine years and have published much new information about the geology and the water “resource” of all layers.

    Name dropping doesn’t make you a scientist. Can you give us a brief listing of your credentials? That would be very helpful for readers who want to evaluate your comments.

    “I have been involved with a group of volunteers, many geologists, that has been working on providing good sound science to the Hays-Trinity since before the gcd was officially created.”

    Pray tell Andy, what is the group of volunteers that you have been “involved with” and specifically in what good sound science have you participated? Please describe for us what your active participation was and in what capacity did you serve with this group of unnamed volunteers?

    Thanks for not attempting to snow the readers about your scientific credentials.

  6. what a bunch of hogwash from mr odell. I do the best geology and the absloutely best topography of anyone in the county. Any number of state agency, or water district personell will tell you that. back when mr odell was faking some more numbers, lying to his boss and getting fired from another job I had been doing dye traces for 10 or 15 years. It is very easy for everyone to see where the deepest well of hate is around here. It would be interesting to run the numbers on how much negativity and trash talking there is in the comments of newstreams and see how much originates with mr odlle. that would be more of the meaningless sort of statistics a worthless liberal arts degreed “economists” would do. back when I was undergraduate we were cursed by a generation of academic draft dogers, who stuck around to get phds as they hid from the draft behind academic deferments. The folks older that them always despised them for their obvious cowardice, we just thought they were stupid. quite obviously mr odell comes from that crowd.
    back in 1989 I gave what was the first paper on the role of sulfur reducing bacteria in the deep parts of the Edwards aquifer. the reference can be found in any of the current studies related to that subject. Real science requires hard work, it does not tolerate fools and punishes those who lie. our numbers have to actually be real.

  7. Come on Andy.

    No need to get upset. Just give the readers your credentials and the name of the volunteer group you referenced.

    How about naming the references you referred to in your last post.

    Can you point us to the 1989 paper you presented? What was the meeting at which you presented?

    Just point us in the right direction.


  8. Charles, I think he’s on your side on this. You’ve become so obsessed with this one septic system that you can’t think straight. You have a degree in economics. This makes you qualified to comment on geology and biology, how? You have no scientific credentials. I happen to know Andy, and while I don’t always agree with him, my understanding is that he has both a degree in biology and is a state licensed Geologist. Please take your paranoid ramblings somewhere else and quit hijacking threads to promote your political agenda. You aren’t helping your cause. I can’t stand Conley, and I’d consider voting for him just to see your head explode.

  9. Hey Mr. Ph.D. – Why don’t you use your great investigative research skills and look up Mr. Grubbs’ references yourself.

    This is a blog, not a dissertation. We don’t have to footnote every reference we make.

    I didn’t see a single reference to your accusations against Conley …. Where are your citations for your so-called facts?

    And on the subject of water, is it really true you own a swimming pool?

  10. Jesse B.

    I also know Andy, but this is all I could Goggle on Andy. Seems he was requesting a waiver to be licensed as a P.G.

    Do you happen to know where Andy earned his biology degree?

    February 13, 2004, 10:00 a.m.
    William P. Hobby Jr. Building, Main Lobby
    Texas Department of Insurance Commissioners’ Hearing Room 100
    333 Guadalupe Street

    Q. Discussion and possible action on recommendations of the Application Review Committee on the following waiver requests and/or approval of applications.

    Application review – Requested work group review and recommendation.

    (9) Andrew G. Grubbs

    So can we establish Andy’s educational and professional credentials or is he reluctant to share that information with the public?

    The only thing I know for sure about Andy is that he is a licensed OSSF designer and based on at least one OSSF he designed, not a very good designer at that.

    As for my credentials:

    “You have a degree in economics. This makes you qualified to comment on geology and biology, how? You have no scientific credentials.”

    Actually, I have three degrees and many certifications and have published extensively.

    More over, why do you jump to the conclusion that I have no scientific credentials? Perhaps you mean natural scientific credentials. Even then you would be incorrect.

    I watch a lot of NOVA on PBS. LOL

  11. Hi Lila darling,

    I was wondering when you would jump in and try to change the subject.

    Andy G. Grubbs posted a comment that to the uninitiated reader my appear to demonstrate Andy was a scientist.

    That led me to question Andy’s scientific credentials that he implied in his post he had.

    So far, he as refused to do so and now everyone has jumped in to change the subject that Andy precipitated with his post, i.e., what are his credentials.

    How did you find out that I was indeed awarded a Ph.D. from Maryland University? You looked me up.

    Lila darling, would you do the same for Andy G. Grubbs and report back to the board what you find?


  12. Everyone:
    When we begin to require everyone to post their credentials for their respective authorities we will all lol. Many speak because they have either an interest or are well read in any particular subject. Charles may well have more credentials than many of us know of, even in natural sciences – he is I believe a “Master Naturalist” as awarded or earned through the Hays County Extension Service – but I believe his primary job (career) has been in the field of economics (specifically agricultural economics).

    As for Andy, he is a licensed geologist as certified by the State of Texas (he can tell you the story behind the waiver request, and it had to do with the requirements for certain classes to be taken, of which he had many equivalent classes, but was a legitimate waiver request which was issued/approved by the State Board of Geologists). He also has a bachelor’s in biology from UT as I understand it. Why do I know any of this? I don’t have to look it up; I took the time to get to know Andy face to face, and not over the one-eyed cursed monster we call the internet, which I believe hurts civil discourse more than perhaps anything to come along. We can hide behind our computer screens and act uncivil towards one another while in public we are loathe to behave in such a manner due to common decency which we are raised to expect from everyone. Accusations can be pointed in all directions when it comes to being uncivil, so please no one think that I am pointing to them specifically, but to all in general.

    As for Andy’s septic design skills – to judge a man on one design out of hundreds? How is that even a fair assessment of the quality of his work? You have to remember that a designer is not an installer in most instances, and a good design can be ruined by a bad installer, or by even worse maintenance (no matter the type of system, whether recirculating sand filters or aerobic spray systems). Andy from my understanding over the years has designed good systems, and to document these one can go to the Hays County Environmental Health office and see his work under the permits issued for his designs, and then look at the installer, and then look to see how they are being maintained. The accusation stands thinly by the pointing to only the designer, when the stool actually has four legs – designer, installer, maintenane provider, and yes, the user of the system (who if he abuses it can ruin even the best system as supported by the other three legs of the on-site sewage facility, i.e., septic system, process).

    Again, just my thoughts…

  13. mr odell is like a spoiled little child who demands to be the center of attention. It does not seem to matter what the subject of a thread is he wants to hijack it for himself. for him to say he knows me is just another one of his many many lies. I have never spoken a complete sentence to him. I dont have to prove anything to him or anyone else for that matter. If a person cant find the article in time -lifes “library of curious and unusual facts” volume “ODD JOBS” page 32 – 33 the section on dangerous jobs they are not much of a researcher.

    I would request the moderator to get this thread back on to the subject of the H-T gcd

  14. Andy,

    You got me Andy, and Goggle. I thought we were looking for a scientific paper you presented at some meeting of scientists, not a news article about Odd Jobs.

    See, I just don’t have my head screwed on straight when it comes to researching scientific papers.

    Forgive me.

    Now we know you really are the scientist you implied you were in your post.


  15. Mr. O’dell:

    I am just a occasional newstreamz reader. It appears to me that you are going “off the deep end.” It might be beneficial to you to seek counseling instead of ranting and raving on an online newspapers.

    You appear to have other issues than “Hays County.”

  16. Counseling really might well do you some real good Charlie. The lower Trinity won’t ever solve any of our water problems around here, but it’s nice that many of you devote so much time to “scientific” study. For any of you who’ve dealt with water issues here, it’s overly apparent that we have too much government intervention in the water you should already own. Private property and mineral rights have been stripped away. It’s a real shame when a private property owner is worried about having enough water just for residential use when so many pump extreme amounts with commerical and agricultural use. I always laugh when you have to ask for a glass of water in this town because someone had the great idea that maybe serving water with every meal is causing some sort of water shortage.

    It would be wise to work together to solve these problems.

    P.S. Although I generally support Will Conley, his letters are a bit inflammatory.

  17. Hi Jon,

    Do you suppose it was appropriate for you to disclose to readers that you were the Hays County Development Coordinator in the Environmental Health Department, so that your comments might be read with a recognition of your bias? And since you did not evaluate Andy’s OSSF designs, you are only relying on others in the EHD for your information.

    And finally, Hays County EHD is notorious for permitting almost any OSSF design submitted.

    I know from first hand evaluations by three professional engineers that the Grubbs OSSF design I referenced was totally non-compliant with state and county OSSF Rules, and yet the EHD approved it. Surely you read the two Snowden reports that reached that conclusion. There are other reports by engineers that reached the same conclusion.

    The public safety importance of enforcing our OSSF Rules and development regulations can’t be over stressed…for lots of reasons. The only way for that to happen is to have accountability for government officials and for those who work with them to circumvent our laws.

    Reporting official bad behavior to the public is what our non-profit organization does.

  18. Charles, live up to your own standards. You have a PhD in economics. What are your BS and MS in? The Master Naturalist program is a great program, and I’m glad you went through it. It’s great to see people interested in the world around them. However, it is not a biology degree or geologist certification. It does not qualify you to interpret biological or geological data. All you do is throw around personal attacks and cast aspersions on other peoples credentials. Put up or shut up. (I know, the shut up will never happen…) I’m done with this argument…

  19. Hi Shelley,

    As an occasional newstreamz reader may I suggest that you not reach snap judgments but rather read for content and follow the arguments being made and evidence presented.

    If credentials were unimportant than why waste time and money becoming educated or trained?

    Do you give more credence to your physician when he/she diagnoses or to your next door plumber neighbor?

    And of course I shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about whether you are qualified to diagnose those who need counseling based on your occasional readings. Keep an open mind.

  20. O’Dell, for the love of God, will you shut up? Please. Just shut up.

    You have to be the most pompous individual I have ever read. The fact that you list your Ph.D after your name ONLINE reminds me of how Stephen Hawking said that only jerks brag about their IQ.

    Very few people like you. Nearly everyone considers you to be a grade-A nutcase. Quit hijacking these threads with your insane, self indulgent theories.

    Look around. They aren’t getting much traction, are they? I don’t see any supporters coming to your defense. Every time things get rough in the comments you accuse the site of censoring you, or you say there’s no use and you give up. Yet, you keep coming back.

    Which is it: lonely and bored, or masochistic and nutty?

    On second thought, don’t answer. Just shut up. Stop hijacking the comments. You’ve made all you points in triplicate. No need to go on, and I’ll do my part by going back to ignoring you.

  21. Charles:
    Yes, my career has included six years at Hays County Environmental Health. I know that there a group of very dedicated and competent wastewater individuals there who work diligently to protect the health and welfare of this County. They, who possess the background and knowledge of over 30 years of OSSF designs and reviews, would not and could not approve designs if they did not comply substantially with the State’s rules for OSSF (TCEQ, Ch. 285). So, when I state that I know of Andy’s ability to design OSSF is not primary, but secondary, much the same as all of your knowledge related to OSSF’s (as any good scholar knows, this is just but one source of information, and for most “scientists” is the source of most of their information as they are too busy writing papers to actually conduct their own experiments, or studies to come up with primary information).

    The engineers you mention – Snowden being the only one by name that you allude to – what are their backgrounds, and what are their biases? Snowden happens to have his own propietary OSSF system that competes with Andy’s designs, and to boot engineers are not entirely congenial to those who are not degreed in engineering, but are licensed by the State to design septic systems, which engineers assume that they are the only ones knowledgeable to do.

    Would it be appropriate for you to disclose your other engineers? And their reports? Would one of them happen to be David van Huisen? I am sure it is, and would it be appropriate to acknowledge that David also has a design bias towards his own particular system of OSSF – recirculating sand filtration? So that way everyone knows that David also has a bias, and an opinion regarding anything to do with aerobic treatment OSSF’s and even more so in regards to spray dispersal of the treated effluent.

    Lastly, either by design or default, you leave out of the discussion that the design of an OSSF is only one of four legs of a system – design, installation, maintenance, and operation.

    Wasn’t this string supposed to be about the WCD? How in the world did this devolve into discussion of personal design criteria and design of OSSFs and why do you make it personal against anyone who disagrees with you? Remember Charles civil discourse. Andy was making a statement and you wanted to know his specific qualifications for being able to comment on the aquifer. You actually have never quite honestly stated your ability to speak on it either, and to the best of my knowledge, you are not a geologist, nor a “scientist” in regards to hydro-geology, or “science” of any kind dealing with water, though if you are so willing to share you credentials, I for one would like to know for the sake of just knowing, so that when you speak about the gcd or the aquifer, we would know where you are coming from.

    With that, good evening.

  22. My issue with the HTGCD is they have rules in place today that allows them to put restrictions on non-exempt wells? Just so everyone is clear non-exempt well is any well that provides water to more than one single family residence. I brought this issue up with Judge Sumter yesterday, provided an example of a property that is on a well servicing a multifamily residential unit that I obtained from the Hays County appraisal district and suggested to her that the data collected in by the appraisal district be used to identify violators. The response to me looked like a firm grasp of the rules in place today are not well known or understood and I was told to take it up with the HTGCD. Before we put in place more rules I think we should be asking the HTGCD what they have done to proactively identify those wells that are operating outside the current rules and if they haven’t consider using the data already collected by the county to do this. Rather than creating more rules so the government can help us why not take a hard look at the rules currently in place to see if properly managed whether they would be enough.
    My parting comment is for our elected officials, and anyone who is truly interested in this issue, to take the time to read the draft legislation with a critical eye to see whether the points agreed to in the resolution have been written into the legislation in such a way that it binds the HTGCD to what was agreed upon by the commissioners. It might or might not surprise you.

  23. Hi Jon,

    This discussion began with Commissioner Conley’s fear mongering about the HTGCD with his false and misinformation letter above.

    Anyone is free to post comments about the letter, and once posted those comments are fair game to be tested, questioned or challenged, including my comments and yours. Posted comments are not without bias or perspective, and can even be purposefully false and/or misleading.

    Following years of researching operations of the Hays County Environmental Health Department the evidence is clear showing EDH failed to enforce the laws that ensure your “four legs” for treating wastes that would otherwise pollute our groundwater and create public health and safety risks.

    HCEHD has the same duty that you have as the Development Coordinator for Dripping Springs…to enforce our laws.

    Andy Grubbs is a Conley supporter and close ally of a Hays County EHD that has permitted faulty design on-site septic systems, approved numerous systems EHD personnel knew were improperly installed, and have ignored many system owners who complained about violations of maintenance providers and other citizens who complained about failed septic systems. We have documented many of those cases.

    Andy is part of the problem and when he interjected himself into the online conversation about Conley’s fear mongering, and misrepresented and overreached his professional capabilities regarding the Aquifer I took him to task.

    Online readers, especially those occasional readers, rely on the content of comments posted for forming their opinions. Questions, inquiries and debate are in order to ensure full information is made available.

    I know for a fact that you have a substantial operating understanding of the Dripping Springs Development Ordinances, but I would not rely on your knowledge or experience of OSSFs gained while employed at HCEHD as the County’s development coordinator.

    Why did the City of Dripping Springs obtain a $15 million loan to install a central sewer system? It was because of all the faulty design septic systems the HCEHD had permitted over the years and did not bring into compliance when they failed. I know those systems in detail because we have documented many of them one by one over the years.

    So your perspective on Andy and HCEHD is not as objective as you might believe or project in you comments…but its your perspective and that’s fine with me.

    Open discussion can be enlightening if you have an open mind and a desire to be informed.

  24. I believe the part of granting full Chapter 36 authority to the HTGCD that Will Conley doesn’t like, really, is the part where all those thousands of imaginary wells are perhaps not granted the right to exist.

    Conley wants to grandfather in thousands of platted lots that have no house, no plan for a house and certainly no well. They just want to reserve their “right” to pump water out of the aquifer in the future whether there is enough water to do that safely as regards all the current residents’ needs.

    He is using this idea of a “government takeover” as cover for his real fear: Losing the ability to pave over the hill country with countless houses and roadways.

    Is this the vision of Hays County that we want to see?

    Conley and his developer supporters want the continued ability to promise future landowners and homebuyers an unlimited supply of groundwater.

    This just isn’t possible because there is not an unlimited amount of this finite natural resource.

    We need to be smart about water. Not political. Smart….and Conley’s hyperbole about “power” and “control” and “takeover” and “the environmental left” is completely unhelpful…and frankly sounds a bit paranoid to me.

    Tying future commercial, agricultural and residential development to whether or not there is an adequate water source for these projects is paramount in this discussion.

    Too many of our local political leaders are in the pockets of developers, their lawyers and the engineering firms that build the roads and other infrastructure to support this development.

    When you can pay a politician to ensure that your ability to sell land, houses and ideas, then the rest of us are not being represented properly.

    I know that politicians need money, but as Jesse Unruh once said, “If you cannot accept a man’s campaign contribution today and kick him in the balls tomorrow, you have no business in politics”.

    I want there to be water for today, for tomorrow and for all time. I want good science to determine how we achieve this, not some developer’s political lackey who doesn’t care what damage he does to our lakes, rivers, streams, wells and hills.

    Take the money and run?

  25. What don’t ya all plant a garden and water it with some recycled bath water!!!! Maybe, if each of us start doing what we need to do in our own backyards, this bickering would stop!! We all need to be accountable for the precious resources available, especially in a time of drought.

    I have a green thumb degree.

  26. Onlooker,

    If you really believe this is nothing more than just bickering, you have missed the point of it all.

    How disappointing. More apathy? Maybe you don’t want to get involved, simply believe you can’t make a difference, of just don’t care.

    Hey, you mustered the courage to post! That’s a good start.

    What are your views about the content of Commissioner Carwash’s letter?

  27. Onlooker,

    Glad you asked.

    We catch our shower water in a wide mouth flexible bucket and water our garden with it.

    The nice part is that its rainwater.

    After each rain our system collects about 350 gallons in the pipes and a trash tank.

    We also use this to water our garden.

    As you posted: “We all need to be accountable for the precious resources available, especially in a time of drought.”

  28. Charles:
    You failed to answer my question in my previous post. Is it really true you have a swimming pool? Just curious.

  29. Mr. O’Dell,

    I read the news and blogs on newstreamz because it helps me to understand issues I do not have the expertise or time to follow as intensely as those who are the specialists in particular fields.

    My comment about using recycled bath water was intentionally written to lighten the discussion and voice an opinion of the common person who is not able to jump in and debate as skillfully as those with personal, professional, academic or political knowledge.

    Mud slinging takes the focus off the issue and discourages others to partake in the discussion for fear of being caught in the middle of the mud slinging.

    Your comment about my being apathetic or not caring about this issue is a perfect example of attacking someone whom you have no knowledge of.

    I appreciate your demonstration of practicing what you preach on an individual level when it comes to your own efforts to conserve water.

    In respect to water conservation for the county, I agree with Mr. Conley’s statement, “We have many challenges that must be met. In Hays County we need a combination of water conservation, surface water, grey water, land conservation, and rain water collection in order to meet future demands.”

    As stated by Mr. Stern…The issue I just can not comprehend is why Democrats and Republicans don’t want to get along and work together for the community good. If we all care about the county let’s work together and stop playing politics. BINGO!

    Questions Mr. O’Dell

    How can the citizens who vote for the elected representations get the facts while sifting through the bias of political views?

    Are there any unbiased studies accurately indicating the level of sustainability the county can assimilate with it’s current and/or future level of water usage?

    Are you able to focus on the topic with real hard facts and not attack the politicians in charge?

  30. Onlooker,

    Three quick responses.

    My comment about apathy was a question, not a statement.

    For studies indicating the level of sustainability of ground water use within the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District I recommend you go to their website. This is where the scientists studying the Aquifer are.

    You won’t find any politicians who are not biased, especially those who are dishonest.

    It is because of the real hard facts we discover that we expose the behavior of politician…what you term attacking the politicians in charge.

  31. Lila,

    There you go again trying to drop hints that you want to get invited to Charles’ next pool party.

    Maybe if you would just be nice to him, he would ask you to join him and his Special Interests at the next Government Watchdog Pool Party and Gray Water Surfing Competition.

    Lila, Lila, Lila….

  32. To Charles O’Dell, Ph.D. (piled higher and deeper) and all those who defend and grow government as if it is a necessary “good”, rather than the EVIL we were warned it truly is:

    Government’s only duty is to protect our God-given, as opposed to man-granted, RIGHTS. Humans have a God-given Right to water use. The government, elected or not, does NOT own the Earth’s water. Should the people EVER give up their Rights in favor of having to ask for govt. ‘permission’, what then will the thirsty do when the government’s answer is “NO”.

    The advocacy for control of water, ALL water (meaning every DROP from every source) in the United States is coming from the UN Agenda 21. It is anti-American, as well as anti-human…as simple as that.

    The Air we breath is next on their list.

    Additional comments:

    In my lifetime, America’s waters were clean, plentiful and free (after minimal cost in the city). Then, the government involved it’s brainwashed “professionals”, it’s fictional ‘corporations’, and shady practices and changed all that. Now we have polluted lakes, streams, rivers, seas, oceans. City water is grossly polluted with fluoride, prescription drugs, chlorine, etc. All for our own ‘good’, says the government, its studies, and the professionals turning them out.

    So you say we need MORE controls by the exact same power hungry government which fomented all these problems in the first place? I believe this is the definition of insanity, is it not? Looking to government to solve the problems they alone create is absolute and complete insanity.

    I’m pretty sure, from the look of things in this country, that the People themselves will again soon be correcting their servant government, whittling away what they don’t want their government servants involved in. A good place to start is to cut their pay by half and remove their abilitiy to vote themselves raises.

  33. For Charles, Andy and Jon, Charles first.

    Charles Odell: you said “If credentials were unimportant than why waste time and money becoming educated or trained?”

    Answer: Sorry to burst your bubble there, but government education has only one purpose: To train humans to follow mandatory directions without having to think for themselves, yet think of themselves as “educated”!

    Truth: One is NOT educated in government controlled schools. Brainwashing is the modus operandi. Graduates will have the ‘appropriate’, elite approved opinions and thoughts…for the betterment of society, of course. When do you think the Federal Dept. of Education was created? When do you think America ceased to be number one in math and science (and English, Civics, Sciences, Math, economics, etc.) in the world?

    Jon Thompson,

    People don’t have to behave in publically “acceptable” ways which are devoid of emotion. The Forefathers of our nation nearly killed each other when debating the issues regarding the start this country. Perhaps when we hear something we don’t agree with, we should stay calm and respectful… but I do not advocate remaining calm as our freedoms are being ramrodded away by those who simply have a sick need for power and control over others. There comes a time for drawing a line in the sand … and staying your ground.


    YOU have a REAL SKILL and have learned some knowledge that complements thar skill. It’s called Applied knowledge. It’s the best kind. Your numbers can’t be wrong or the project won’t be successful. Not so with Ph.D’s.. Their numbers are just their opinions. And, when their opinions change, so can their numbers.

    However, I also beleive humans have been effectively dealing with their own waste for generations upon generations, long before there were STRICT, INVASIVE, ABUSIVE govt. regulations on private property… It’s almost as if people believe that without government, people just wouldn’t know what to do about anything!


    The internet gives people the opportunity to say EXACTLY what they mean, regarTless (intentionally misspelled)of the interference from change agents who want to hijack the topic using their communist and/or Delphi tactics. The internet just keeps people from the potential physical harm which might belie them if they spoke the Truth out in public!

    Andy, I am a highly educated person, myself. BUT, everything I learned in school was communism in a nutshell. Apart from learning an actual skill, there is little useful information in school at any level these days. I’ll be Mr. O’dell with his piled higher and deeper in economics doesn’t even know that the federal reserve is not even FEDERAL, and that there are NO reserves. I’ll also bet that Mr. O’dell doesn’t care that his federal government servants abdicated their duty to coin and mint our money without interest to a cabal of private bankers who have no loyalty to any country, and whose money financed BOTH sides of all the wars fought in modern History! So much for joining the armed forces. You NEVER know who you are really fighting for. Personally, I think the only war worth fighting is for our PROPERTY RIGHTS, as ALL RIGHTS are derived from property.

  34. Mr. Odell..

    regarding that rain water collection system you have… did you get government/county approval for the system?

  35. This thread might be dead, but the sentiments expressed here, especially those of Commissioner Conley and his ilk resonate every day as our water table drops, more wells draw mud instead of clear water and our local citizen-geologists have to come begging to the County for enough funding “just to keep the doors open”.

    Water woes are getting worse, not better, and our local state rep turned his back on his constituents when it came time to support the Hays Trinity GCD and protect the water supply for the western part of the county.

    The HTGCD is not “big government”, but small government as its best. These are our fellow citizens who give their time to help us protect our water supply.

    Until our politicians help us rather than the deep pockets, we are in deep trouble.

  36. Whoa. Bellatruth is freaking me out. I hope there aren’t too many people like that out there. This person makes Chucky look sane – wait a minute – is that you posting under another name Charles? Is that what’s going on here? Stop messing with our minds. That’s just not nice O’Dell.

  37. “keeping the doors open” in this case involves theft of resources from all of the residents of the county who do not use trinity groundwater. there are more residents on the edwards zone who have serious complaints about personally experiencing heavy handed government action from the EAA than the number of people who even bother to vote in the Hays-Trinity board elections.

    for a law to be passed in Texas legislators must fashion something that properly addresses a situation that will then be approved by both houses of the legislature and then can get the approval of the governor. additionally, in the case of a groundwater conservation district, it must be approved by a vote of the residents of the district. I invite all interested parties to go to the Hays-Trinity gcd’s website and check out their proposed alternative legislation to what Rose and Wentworth were offering. I think you will see numerous flaws that would have kept it from getting all of these necessary approvals.

    Residents of the EAA (big edwards) part of the county did not get this same opportunity to vote on the gcd that they now have to deal with. It is extremely unfair to make them fund Hays-Trinity with no voice in it, or benefit from its resources.

    A number of commenters on this blog make a lot of negative, scornful comments about individuals they do not like or do not agree with. most of those commentors use pseudonyms. Cowards

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