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Let’s suck it up and guarantee ample water
by Chip Latcham
Mar 09, 2012 | 712 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although a cold, wet weekend has been forecast, many residents are encouraged by the promise of spring and an improving economy.

Bluebonnets and other wildflowers are popping up around the county, with the wetter start to this year adding to the general positive feeling.

However, city officials are facing a dilemma, partially caused by the growth thanks to the Eagle Ford Shale development.

In addition to the problems with traffic and housing, city leaders now have learned that to ensure an adequate water supply for the future, we are looking at an expenditure of $7 million to $15 million.

A front-page story today reveals that at a meeting with City of Beeville and Beeville Water Supply District board members with City of Corpus Christi officials, they learned that the district has no choice but to relocate the raw water intake structure in the Nueces River near Swinney Switch.

Because of the lower lake level, the Beeville water intake structure is almost high and dry – “about three miles from the main lake,” Jim Crumrine, water board president, said.

According to Crumrine and Stephen Grunewald, civil engineer from Corpus Christi, in order to have a dependable water source, we need to move our intake structure deeper into the lake to maintain the flow. That means the BWSD will need to approve a substantial bond sale soon.

Fortunately, the $10 million in bonds sold 30 years ago to build the existing system were paid off last year and bond rates are low, making this a prime time for governmental entities to go out for bonds.

Factoring in the business and population growth from the Eagle Ford Shale, it seems now would be a opportune moment for city planners to take into account all reasonable needs for the city’s water supply, including repairing the Morrill treatment plant equipment, the city’s old backup wells and leaks along the 18-mile pipeline to Beeville.

No one wants to see the city deep in debt, but if we run dry of water, our potential will die.

– Chip Latcham
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