Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 11, 2013

Conservation District to meet

Discussion to include items of concern to the 3-county area

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Texas’ future water needs are a concern to the thousands around the state who own water wells.

That’s one of the major concerns of the Neches and Trinity Valleys Groundwater Conservation District. The district includes Cherokee, Anderson and Henderson counties, with its office in Jacksonville.

District Manager Roy Rodgers has estimated that the 3-county area it serves has more than 10,000 water wells.

When the TVGCD board meets at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, the discussion will include items that could have a long-lasting effect on the district. One major change could be the addition of Van Zandt County to the district. On Nov. 5, voters in Van Zandt County will decide for-or-against inclusion in the district.

Those in favor of the inclusion say it will help control the drawdown of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, a large source of water for the area. The aquifer slices through a large portion of Texas from Bowie County in the Northeast to Maverick County in the Southwest.

Another item on the agenda addresses an upcoming staff vacancy. Rodgers, the longtime manager of the district, has expressed a desire to retire.

Henderson County currently has two members on the seven-person board. They are Vice President Sam Hurley and Donald Foster. The Commissioners Courts of Anderson, Henderson and Cherokee Counties  each appoint two directors to the board. One represents rural water, utilities and small municipal water supply interests, while the other represents agricultural, industrial and landowner interests. The cities of Athens, Palestine and Jacksonville share a seventh director on a rotating basis.

The term for Hurley, who is Henderson County’s representative for agriculture on the board, will expire this year. He has conveyed to Commissioners Court that he would be willing to serve another term.

Also scheduled for the Wednesday meeting is a discussion of Constitutional Amendment Proposition 6, to be voted on in November. The amendment proposes creation of the State Water Implementation Fund and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund to provide revenue sources for future water projects.