Advocate editorial board opinion: Dam would adversely affect environment, community

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 23, 2010 at 5:23 a.m.

Any time dams are discussed, you can safely bet that property and people will be affected and usually in a negative way.

We are referring to the recent findings of a consultant commissioned by the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority, whose boundaries do not include Calhoun County. The LNRA's primary water concerns are within the boundaries of Jackson County.

Although the study shows that such a dam on the Lavaca River to create a reservoir to supply water to Formosa in future years would be bad for the environment and the community around it, the project remains a possibility. Here are the facts:

Environment - A dam would reduce Lake Texana yield of water by 6,600 acre-feet a year.

Community - Most of the area proposed for the dam would inundate people's property.

Formosa, the LNRA's second largest customer, unofficially notified the authority that it would need an additional 10,000 acre-feet of water by 2015. Formosa is located in Calhoun County, and the LNRA is not responsible for water needs in Calhoun County.

It seems to us that the LNRA should formally accept the consultant's recommendation against a dam and get everyone on board again with finding an alternative source for future water. Perhaps an off-reservoir (channeled from the river) might be a better alternative. We should not rule out dams completely as an option, but they should be the choice only after all other alternatives have been explored.

We also suggest that eastern Calhoun County be moved into the Region P water planning area, which includes Jackson County and part of contiguous counties in the Lavaca-Navidad River Basin.

This move would take Calhoun County out of the Region L SB1 water planning area (San Antonio-Guadalupe River Basin), which does not provide water to eastern Calhoun County, while LNRA does.

In so doing this move officially, LNRA would be better inclined to solve the water needs of eastern Calhoun County.

In the mean time, we think a dam is not the way to solve the needs of eastern Calhoun County.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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