State Lawmakers Tour Odessa's Ft. Stockton Well Site 08/20/13
CBS 7 News
August 20, 2013
ODESSA, TX - The City of Odessa is searching for water below ground in Fort Stockton. Officials want to build a pipeline to the alternative source that will bring water to Odessa, if it's economically feasible. Water Quest has determined that the water below the ground in Fort Stockton is better quality than expected, good news for Odessa.
State lawmakers now want an inside look at the project that may provide long-term water for Odessa.
"The plans are to build a pipe that can deliver 50 million gallons per day," said Richard Morton, City Manager, City of Odessa.
But State Representative Poncho Nevarez says it's the water must be protected.
"Some of the protections that a legislature and a county can put into place with respective permits and how much water can be taken and when are important to protect this resource," said Rep. Poncho Nevares, Texas House of Representatives, District 74.
Nevarez wants this project to be an example for the state, that long-term water sources are needed, can be feasible and financing for projects like these is now in the hand of voters.
"We have a referendum coming up in November that will allow voters to decide whether to finance a water capital bank to allow financing for projects like this and get water from a place that has it to a place that needs it. I encourage voters to look very closely before voting and understand what's at stake in our state and it's our water plan going forward ," said Rep. Nevarez.
Odessa's City Manager Richard Morton says state assistance or not, Odessa plans to move forward.
"It would be nice to have lower cost money for this project but I don't think it's going to stop the project if that doesn't happen," said Morton.
Nevarez admires Odessa’s ambitious efforts.
"That's exactly what a city like Odessa needs to do, they can't let politics at the state level to decide what they're going to do with their future water," said Rep. Nevarez.
The next step is for a test well to be drilled within the next several weeks to determine the quantity of water is enough to make this project feasible. If the quantity is up to par, the City of Odessa will work on an agreement with Fort Stockton to build a pipeline and begin delivering the water to Odessa.