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County leaders hard work on stored water pays off

By Victoria Advocate
Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:16 a.m.


BY MITCH THAMES

President, Bay City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture

All of Matagorda County applauds the LCRA Board of Directors moving forward on stored water projects.

This move will allow a rural economy to survive.

Too many times there have been arguments about who will benefit from the Highland Lakes water supplies. The Matagorda County team lead by County Judge Nate McDonald has said time and again the answer was to create new water sources. “We are proud of the LCRA Board and staff for their bold move” said Judge McDonald. “It is time to move forward.”

Matagorda County will continue to partner with LCRA to promote water to existing water customers, future water customers, and agriculture interest. Mitch Thames, the President of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture said “the decision to store water when the run of river water is in excess of what the environment needs is a great move for a rural economy.” We have heard many times that a hand full of rice farmers use valuable water, the truth is those crops are what fuels our local businesses. You can’t remove an $80 million industry without causing a hardship for the entire region. It’s the same as low lakes levels hurting the tourism industry along the lakes.

This move will require all of us to pull together and help LCRA execute this bold plan. We understand the costs and the possible road blocks that will happen. We can’t expect one organization to complete this massive undertaking. We need to work together and use the knowledge and professionalism that LCRA brings to this project and support the efforts with community, county and state resources.

Understanding the various interests up and down the river basin will allow our leaders to create enough water to take care of our environment with fresh water inflows, our industrial partners, cities and water districts, and the recreation interest along with Lakeside homeowners. “Each one of us voluntarily doing our part will make this project a success”, said John Dickerson LCRA Board member.

Thousands of times we have heard from groups and individuals from shrimpers, industry, cities, and the organized lake interest say they would be glad to help pay for stored water, now this is the time to start offering plans to raise the money needed to help LCRA store the water needed to keep our economy bold and growing.

Laura Mitchell, President of the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce and Mitch Thames, have been working for months to come up with a solution. They both agree that together we can have the best of both worlds.

It is time we pull together and use our resources to make an example of team work and sacrifice for the entire State of Texas.

Let’s show Texas how leaders take charge and provide for future generations.

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