Today neighbors from Bastrop and Lee counties traveled to San Marcos to speak to the Hays County Commission about our water. We were delighted to see other good neighbors from Hays County there to speak up and say they did not think their Commission should be trying to take Bastrop and Lee counties’ water without our consent.
Hays County Judge Cobb and several others on their commission appear to be playing a little dirty pool with Forestar Real Estate that is seeking to take large amounts (45K acre feet/year) of groundwater from our aquifer (the Simsboro) to Hays County for growth. Right now they are entertaining to enter into an agreement with Forestar that will give Forestar the legal cover they need to claim that they’ve been harmed by the decision by the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District to ratchet back Forestar’s permit to 12K acre feet.
Two of our stalwart aquifer guardians, Michele Gangnes of Neighbors for Neighbors, and Steve Box of Enviromental Stewardship, were there to set the record straight. It was apparent that the Hays County Commission is either ill-informed or being played by some bigger players. For example, they were under the impression that our aquifer recharges quickly, like the Edwards Aquifer that recharges with each rain. The Simboro’s recharge rate is 2,000 years – similar to the Ogallala Aquifer. Similar to the Ogallala, if we don’t guard this aquifer from the purveyors of out-of-control growth, we are setting the stage for draining our aquifer.
The word “NIMBY” (Not in Our Backyard) is now getting around about us. Forestar Real Estate Group, in fact, called us just that in one of their legal briefs and one of the Hays County Commissioners was whispering this about us. They also called us “anti-growth people.” We would like to set the records straight. Yes, we are NIMBY people – Now I Must Beat You – Forestar (and EndOp, for also trying to conduct a raid on the Simboro).
And as far as growth is concerned, it’s pretty clear to anyone who opens their eyes or just reads the newspaper that growth is choking us. It is choking our roads, it is choking off our water and it’s choking affordability especially in our urban areas. There are limits to water and land. Any good steward knows this. But speculators have no common nor good sense and they’re terrible neighbors.
Come to the Independent Texans Convention on September 21st at the Bastrop Convention Center. That’s where good neighbors will meet other good neighbors all across Texas.