To the editor:
Hays County is suffering the worst drought in the last 100 years according NOAA, and thousands of residential water wells are increasing at risk.
Our local Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) can’t stop the drought, but it could be doing more to protect our wells if it had full Chapter 36 (Texas Water Code) authority.
With full authority and responsible funding, the district could reduce water waste, mitigate irresponsible over pumping by some well owners, and protect existing wells from depletion by developers as occurred in the Northridge subdivision.
The bill creating HTGCD was concocted in 2001 by a small group of Good Ole Boys. Their legislation ensured the new district had only BB guns to protect existing well owners from the wolves.
State Representative Patrick Rose has steadfastly refused to work for full Chapter 36 authority. Many citizens ask why he denies them the protection of Chapter 36.
Rose argues that he won’t sponsor taxation legislation. This is just another Rose smoke screen. Chapter 36 only authorizes HTGCD to “ask local voters” to approve a small property tax – a couple cents per $100 valuation. Why does Rose deny citizens the right to decide?
Consider the HTGCD a cheap insurance policy to protect our wells from being sucked dry. These unpaid elected officials have earned our trust by their tireless efforts on our behalf despite not having essential tools the legislature provided.
Contact Rep. Rose and let him know that you want our GCD to have full Chapter 36 authority, and you expect him to get it done in this legislative session. If Rose can’t serve the public good then we need a representative who can.
Phone (512) 463-0647, email: firstname.lastname@example.org fax to (512) 473-9946, or snail mail:to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78701.
Charles O’Dell, Ph.D.