Nacogdoches County commissioners take next step towards securing Lake Naconiche water rights

Nacogdoches County commissioners take next step towards securing Lake Naconiche water rights
Updated: Jul. 17, 2019 at 1:38 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County Commissioners heard presentations Wednesday in the what was the next step towards securing water rights for Lake Naconiche.

The presentation given Wednesday concerned plans for water conservation, drought contingency, and water emergencies, which are required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for county water rights.

KTRE 9′s Ryan Ordmandy spoke with a county commissioner about the status of acquiring those rights, and where the process goes from here.

“It’s strictly in the hands of TCEQ to grant us these rights," commissioner Jerry Don Williamson stated, “This lake was originally built as a watershed lake and a recreation lake by the Army Corps of Engineers.”

Now, commissioners in Nacogdoches County want expand the uses of that water. However, they need to acquire the county water rights to the lake, something they’ve been trying to do for almost five years.

“We’ve got so many communities that can draw water from this lake and use it for the local community water systems and that could buy water and use it,” Williamson said.

In order to acquire these rights, commissioners say they have to go through a series of steps, including coming up with water conservation and drought contingency plans.

“If we have a drought like we had in 2011, we can only pull this lake down so far to try to conserve the water,” Williamson added.

Commissioners say that it’s important to have these water rights so that in years to come, communities in the county will have access to this water. They also say that if the rights aren’t acquired by them, they could be picked up by other outside entities.

“One day, we will need this water," Williamson said. "If we don’t get it locked in now, we probably won’t ever be able to get it.”

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