Pipeline proposal bad for Wimberley

The Wimberley Valley and western Hays County are noted for open spaces, flowing water, and a relaxed life style.  That could all change if a proposal currently proposed by two state water planning groups were adopted.

Two water planning groups, under state guidance, are proposing to bring an 18 mile 36” diameter water pipeline into Wimbeley/Woodcreek along RR 12 from San Marcos and then extend it from Wimberley/Woodcreek to Dripping Springs along RR 12.  This pipeline could carry up to 13 million gallons per day.  That’s enough water to supply 40,000 households. The cost of that pipeline is $50 million with annual operating costs over $6 million.  Think enormous water bills!!

Wimberley/Woodcreek does not need such an expensive pipeline. Our area population is currently 15,000 people or 6000 households.  Our water supply is adequate from commercial and private wells and from rainwater collection.  Most of us don’t waste precious water on grass, and are very conscious of water conservation. We will grow, but slowly. A water study by Hays County, adopted in 2011, called for a future 16” water supply pipeline extended into the Wimberley Valley in year 2030.

So what is really going on with this huge 36” pipeline proposal that none of us can afford? It is an attempt to grab low interest loan funds. But, the only way such a pipeline could be financed is to develop a new base of customers. That means massive development and new residential subdivisions. This 36” pipeline proposal is a developer’s dream come true. Roads guide growth and can open new land for development, but new water supplies are a major stimulant for accelerated growth.

A better option would route a pipeline directly to Dripping Springs from Buda avoiding the Wimberley Valley.  Put the water where growth is occurring, where water is needed, and where developers want to pay for it. That preferred plan is attached. A future pipeline to Wimberley can be built when needed.

Tell Commissioner Will Conley and the Texas Water Development Board to adopt the plan that sends a pipeline directly to Dripping Springs from Buda, not through the Wimberley Valley.

 

Jim McMeans

Wimberley

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