By Karl Richter
Texarkana Gazette, November 29, 2023
Those who want to add their comments to a study of the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir are running out of time.
Friday is the final day that the Texas Water Development Board will accept public comments for its feasibility review of the reservoir, which the Texas Legislature ordered this year.
Those submitting information to be considered in the feasibility review may provide input on the implementation timeline, associated costs, land acquisition considerations and/or economic impact, according to a news release from Preserve Northeast Texas, an activist group that opposes construction of the reservoir.
Commenters may email their input and any supporting documentation to TWDB at firstname.lastname@example.org. Preserve Northeast Texas has also created an online form to facilitate commenting.
“While the Marvin Nichols Reservoir has been under discussion for decades, opponents have thus far been able to successfully push back against the largest planned land-grab in recent Texas history. This is a chance to let water planners know why Marvin Nichols is an outdated solution to our modern water challenges and to hear the stories of what will be lost if the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir is allowed to be built,” the release stated.
The reservoir would be on the main stem of the Sulphur River in Red River, Titus and Franklin counties. It would flood more than 66,000 acres of ranch land, hardwood forest and wetlands in Northeast Texas to pipe water 150 miles to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It also would require that at least another 130,000 acres be taken from private ownership for mitigation purposes.
The cost estimate for the project is about $4.58 billion, with material costs rising steadily.
The reservoir was adopted by water planners based on a predicted strain to the DFW water supply. The prediction is based not only on expected population growth, but also continued high per capita water use.
The target date for completion of the reservoir was moved forward in the state water plan in summer 2021 from 2070 to 2050.