About Air and Water

Monday, June 4, 2007

Reservoir for D-FW included in bill

By AMAN BATHEJA - Star-Telegram Staff Writer - May. 29, 2007
AUSTIN -- After tense debate laced with talk of backstabbing and betrayal, lawmakers sent sweeping water legislature to Gov. Rick Perry that includes a proposed reservoir in Northeast Texas that would serve Dallas-Fort Worth.

The bill designates sites that would be suitable for construction of reservoirs.

The proposed 62,000-acre Marvin Nichols Reservoir, between Mount Pleasant and Clarksville, would be a major source of water for the Metroplex.

Opponents say that the reservoir would lower property values for residents and that the Metroplex should do more to conserve water.

"We knew it was a blood and guts deal from day one," said Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco.

Rep. Stephen Frost, D-Atlanta, said in a speech that earlier in the session, he had used a point of order, a parliamentary maneuver that would have killed the bill. Frost said he removed the point of order after getting assurances from Rep. Robert Puente, D-San Antonio, and Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, that the compromise bill would leave out the reservoir.

The bill's final version includes the reservoir.

"This is the first time in my life that I have been intentionally deceived in that manner," Frost said.

Talk on the bill quickly turned to the overall sense of distrust that has permeated the House this session due to some representatives' desire to replace Craddick.
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