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Marvin Nichols--Just Say No

I have written a slew of columns that were very similar to what you are about to read now. But some snakes just refuse to die.

The issue of Marvin Nichols Reservoir is back, as those water greedy folks to the east of us are digging hard to get it included in the 2022 State Water Plan. It seems the fine folks in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex just can’t seem to find their way to doing things as complicated as water conservation, so they are once again talking about digging a huge hole out in the Sulphur River bottoms to make a reservoir. They, and those who are partners with them here in our neck of the woods, want to dig this big hole so they can make sure they have enough water to fill up their pools and run their water sprinklers 24/7 365 and not have to worry if the tap is going to run dry.
They are also raising the levels of Wright Patman. I wonder how many folks will lose their land in those lost feet?
Well, if you haven’t lived here long you might not know much about the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir.
This massive lake will flood thousands upon thousands of acres of timber land that is crucial to the economy of Northeast Texas. I don’t guess you see a lot of log trucks running up and down the roads around Dallas, but in these parts we all know that those trucks are providing a lot of jobs.
This hole in the ground that they want us to dig for them is about a 100 square mile behemoth that will put over 70,000 acres under water. It is proposed to stretch from a dam that is set to run alongside Hwy. 259 in Bowie County all that way back across the southern section of Red River County. 

Those here that do want the lake built look at the possible chances for recreation and related industries to be the draw for its construction, and then there are those who simply say it will get built whether we want it or not. 
By the way, for all of those who look to days in the sun out on a new lake, or maybe opening up a bait shop on its shores, we are talking about a lake that most likely wouldn’t get built until most of us are dead and gone, and also a lake that will most likely not have much use for recreational purposes. 

Mitigation will swallow up so much of the land around it, and the lake itself will be very shallow in most parts.
I have  seen the research that shows that raising the levels of Wright Patman would eliminate the need for a new reservoir, and I still believe today that if land is going to be lost to raising Wright Patman, that should be where it stops. Nobody else should lose their lands, homesteads and history to a watering hole for Dallas.

For 20 years now, I have sat in meetings and heard the people of Northeast Texas talk about the negative impacts of this proposed reservoir and heard the overwhelming majority of folks say they do not want it built.
Last week, at a public meeting on the water plan in Austin, Janice Bezanson, of the Texas Conservation Alliance said, “The timeline for Marvin Nichols Reservoir, which was 2070 in the 2016 Water Plan, has been moved in the current draft Plan to 2050.  This ignores the enormous potential the DFW area has for increased municipal reuse and recycling of its return flows.  The Plan recommends construction of Dallas’ Mainstem Balancing Reservoir.  This reservoir could be used to develop hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water by taking return flows from the Trinity River and pumping them back to DFW area lakes.
Region C is also undercounting the region’s current supply.  The vastly increased amount of impervious cover from urbanization since the yield of area lakes was calculated has resulted in substantial amounts of runoff that are not being counted as supply.”

Those here that have fought the lake for decades do so to protect the bottoms and forests that they have called home since the days they opened their eyes, just like the generations of their family before them.I have no doubt that they will do the same again now.
This lake may get dug out of our Northeast Texas land one of these days and it may be true that it will happen if we want it or not, but that doesn’t mean we should just let it happen without saying a word.

Talk to your representatives, mayors, and anybody else you can think of and tell them what you think about this giant hole in the ground.
If it happens, don’t let it be because we all sat back and let it.


Bowie County Citizens Tribune

139 E.N. Front Street
New Boston, Texas 75570