Northeast Texans fight against proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir Project

The project aims to create the reservoir right in-between Titus and Red River Counties. Using the Sulphur River to help create it.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas — Experts say the Dallas/Fort Worth area needs five new reservoirs to sustain the metroplex’s growth.

In order to make a reservoir, a designated river is damned and floods cleared farmland.

Residents living in the current proposal are asking the DFW metroplex to find a different option in finding a new water source.

The proposal is being called the Marvin Nichols Reservoir Project.

That’s why Northeast Texans gathered Monday night to talk about continuing the prevention of the reservoir from being built on their land.

“It was over 20 years ago that we found out that they were going to try to build a lake on our family land,” said Gary Cheatwood, a landowner on the proposed reservoir.

When looking at a map of the proposed reservoir Cheatwood’s land that his family has owned for generations in right in the heart of the flood zone.

The project aims to create the reservoir right in-between Titus and Red River Counties. Using the Sulphur River to help create it.

Many residents who attended the meeting are in Cheatwood’s shoes. Even businesses like the lumber industry.

“Taking 200,000 or 300,000 acres of timber producing properties out of production would dramatically impact us,” said Jim Thompson, the chief financial officer or Ward Timber.

Thompson said if this proposal is enacted it will impact the 125 direct employees they have along with drivers, contractors, and even a nearby paper mill company.

According to Janice Bezanson, the senior policy director for Texas Conservative Alliance, the demand for more water in the DFW area comes from residents watering their lawns. Not for business uses like restaurants or everyday home essentials.

“So we’re asking the people of Northeast Texas to give up their land, their livelihoods, and in many cases their homes so that people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area can water their lawns,” Bezanson said.

“I hear politicians and elected officials all the time say we’re going to stand up for private property rights,” Thompson said. “If you’re standing up for private property rights you will not be in support of this project.”

A project continuing to haunt families who’ve been fighting for their land for years.

“My dad showed me what we can do to help prevent this, and we’re showing the next generation what they can do to help prevent this,” Cheatwood said. “So we’re gonna keep battling as long as we can, and then our kids are too.”

Many residents and business owners in the path of the project say they have yet to hear how much the state would compensate them if they decided to move ahead.