Marvin Nichols

Water board expected to rule on Marvin Nichols

Jan 7, 2015
Large parts of Red River County, including the area pictured, would be covered by the Marvin Nichols Reservoir.
Mark Haslett

A long-running dispute over the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir in Northeast Texas tops the agenda Thursday for the Texas Water Development Board in Austin.

Dallas-Fort Worth’s Region C Water Planning Region and East Texas’ Region D will each have 10 minutes before the three-member panel.

Jim Thompson, chief financial officer for Ward Timber Co., in Atlanta, Texas, will speak on behalf of Region D. The board is deciding whether Marvin Nichols should be allowed to stay in Region D’s 2011 water plan.

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Van Zandt county retired businessman Bob Hall rode a wave of Tea Party support to defeat longtime state Senator Bob Deuell in a Republican Party primary runoff last month. Having won the GOP nomination, Hall is considered a safe bet to win the general election in November. 

NPR

Northeast Texas Municipal Water District administrator Walt Sears discusses the three hurdles that any new reservoir in Texas must clear. A project must first be included in the state water plan, which is published by the Texas Water Development Board. Then, another state agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, must issue permits for the project. Finally, the new reservoir must receive federal approval.

Sears also mentions that Sen. Kevin Eltife, an East Texan, serves on the new legislative oversight committee set up to assist the Texas Water Development Board. 

  The mayor of Mount Pleasant, Paul Meriwether, and the mayor of Mount Vernon, Margaret Sears, both support the proposal to build the Marvin Nichols Reservoir in Northeast Texas. Meriwether and Sears addressed the public at a forum on the issue hosted by the Texas Water Development Board and held in Mount Pleasant on Apr. 29.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The testimonials have been given and now the waiting begins. The Texas Water Development Board’s public commentary period on the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal ended May 2. 

Mark Haslett

In Mount Pleasant on Apr. 29, over 400 people attended an Apr. 29 public forum on Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal hosted by the Texas Water Development Board.

The Texas Water Development Board’s public comment period on the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal continues through 5 p.m. Friday. The agency is receiving written comment by email (RegionCandD@twdb.texas.gov) and mail (Office of General Counsel, Attn: Connie Sanders, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701).

Audio transcript

Texas Parks and Wildlife

After over a decade of public discussion and commentary, the Texas Water Development Board should be coming to a decision on the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir soon. The public commentary period ends 5 p.m. Friday, May 2. The board is accepting emailed and written comments.

Most of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir would be in Red River County.
Northeast Texas Water Coalition

The Northeast Texas Water Coalition, based in Mount Pleasant, is a group that includes supporters of the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir. The organization's president, Ty Abston, discusses how he wants to make sure that if the project goes through, that whichever areas use the water are also those areas that have to give up land to the federal "mitigation" requirement.

    

Texas Water Development Board

The Sierra Club of Texas, along with other environmentalist organizations, opposes the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir in Northeast Texas. Ken Kramer of the Sierra Club says that the development is not necessary for the region's future water needs. 

NPR

The City of Dallas has a reputation for being slow to pick up water conservation practices. Ken Kramer of the Sierra Club says that while some other Texas cities have more developed conservation practices, but Dallas is catching up.

NPR

Talk about the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal often refers to "bottomland hardwood forest." What makes these forests different from other types of wooded areas? KETR spoke with Janice Bezanson of the Texas Conservation Alliance to find out.

TCEQ

With all the attention on the Texas Water Development Board, it's worth noting that there's more than one state agency involved in the construction of any new reservoir. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality must grant a license for any new reservoir construction project. The licensure process is a long and complicated one.

TWDB

On March 4, the State of Texas gave preliminary approval to the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal. The public commentary period on this issue will continue through April 15, with the final decision due May 15. The destiny of the other proposed project in the Sulphur River Basin - the George Parkhouse Reservoirs - will be determined after the Marvin Nichols proposal gets its final thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

TWDB

The two proposed George Parkhouse Reservoirs would both be built in eastern Delta County - one along the North Sulphur, one along the South Sulphur. There are no immediate plans to build the lakes, but they remain as "alternate" sources of water that could be developed in the future.

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The Texas Water Development Board divides the state into 16 regions for the purposes of water planning. The Northeast Texas planning group (Region D) and the North Texas planning group (Region C) disagree on one huge question - the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir. State Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), whose district overlaps both regions, favors alternatives to Marvin Nichols Reservoir.