by Christa Lollis
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -The East Texas Regional Water Planning Group is on a mission to keep other regions in the state from getting East Texas water for free. Chairman, Kelly Holcomb said, "We really can't stop any entity from outside of region 9 from getting the water."
But they can make sure the counties and cities within this region are compensated if other areas tap into the water supply here. The plan is to charge a fee for any water taken from this region to another one. "To protect the future demand for East Texas and surplus water is going to be sold that resource, those financial resources will come back to benefit the East Texas region 9 water basin," Holcomb explains.
The income can be used for improvements within the county it comes from. That's why the planning committee has been focusing on how much water East Texans use and how much surplus there is to make a profit on. Holcomb says, "It identifies by entity who has the water supply, who needs that water supply by entity, by basin, by region all across the entire state."
The problem is the smaller, rural areas may not be represented within the group. "If we don't get data from small water supplies small municipal governments that typically don't have the staff or resources to deal with this then we have to make basic assumptions for them," Holcomb told KTRE.