With the start of the new millennium another issue began to brew, which is still going today. “A new reservoir is coming to your area,” we heard. The first picture painted seemed oh so beautiful. New lake front property, nice homes, great views and endless recreation! What is not to love? All this smoke looks good until you realize it could destroy the way of life of thousands in our region. The people who want to build this lake look at concrete and skyscrapers all day, not forests and rolling pastures.
Texas has regional water planning groups that submit a water plan for their area to the Texas Water Development Board. They submit these plans every five years. Northeast Texas is in the Region D planning area, and Dallas/Ft Worth is in the Region C planning area.
Around the year 2000 the Region D water planning group (Northeast Texas) started to learn the impacts of the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir. First and foremost it would take away a lot of land from landowners. Second, this reservoir would have a negative impact on the economy of Northeast Texas. Once the facts became clear on the negative economic impact, the Region D water planning group removed the proposed reservoir from their water plan in 2001.
Region D does not want Marvin Nichols constructed because it is concerned about the potential socioeconomic, environmental, and private property impacts of the reservoir. Estimated at 66 to 70 thousand acres in size, Marvin Nichols is projected to impound thousands of acres of forest and wetlands — all for a project that does not serve, and is not needed by, the residents of Region D. In addition, up to 683,000 acres could be required for environmental mitigation. Required by the federal government, mitigation land has to be as close to the impacted area as possible.
Throughout the past fourteen years, Region C (Dallas/Ft Worth) has not lost focus on this proposed reservoir. Region C says their need for the water is because of their projected population growth by the year 2060. Region C has been offered available alternatives, (ssshh….don’t say that too loud – I think they hate the word alternative.) but they continue to push for this reservoir even when the alternatives would replace the same water that could be provided by the proposed Marvin Nichols reservoir. Their real drive for wanting this water is the power to sell the water. It’s high time Region C called a spade a spade and let everyone know they are after our water rights.
(Part 2 is here)