Support and Funding for Economic and Environmental Study of Hood County regarding Low Lake Levels on Lake Granbury
A growing number of Granbury and Hood County citizens are concerned that the unusually low water levels in Lake Granbury and the Brazos River are having significant negative impacts on economic and environmental conditions around the area. The effects are, and will be felt, not only by owners of lakefront properties but by residents county-wide. Area businesses dependent upon water and tourism activities associated with the lake, already have suffered downturns. Deteriorating environmental conditions are all too evident as the lakeshore recedes. Citizens are concerned that the Brazos River Authority’s application for control of additional water (some 400,000 acre feet) from the Brazos River Basin will further aggravate these problems. A grass-roots effort to focus the attention of the authorities responsible for the management and allocation of water in the Lake and Brazos River is underway. A coalition of citizens comprised of a broad cross-section of business leaders, homeowners’ association representatives, engineers, concerned individuals, as well as municipal and county officials, has met weekly for the past five weeks to develop a plan of action. The coalition believes professional evaluations of the impact of low lake levels on the Hood County economy and environment are necessary for our efforts to present factual evidence, and to protest BRA’s water permit application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The economic impact study, to be prepared by Austin-based TXP, will cost $37,500 plus travel expenses (see attached TXP proposal detailing scope of the work). For the environmental impact study we currently are interviewing qualified professionals who can prepare this essential data. Our coalition, working with the Lake Granbury Area Economic Development Corporation, has raised $15,000 to date toward our goal of $100,000, estimated to be the overall cost of the project. The City of Granbury has already made substantial contributions by hiring a hydrologist and an attorney to represent citizens’ interests at the TCEQ hearings later this summer, when the impact studies will be used. The City also is contributing staff time to the project. We request that Hood County Commissioners, Granbury Businesses, Local HOAs and the City of Granbury join in the effort by allocating funds to this important initiative. We must all work together to safeguard Lake Granbury and the Brazos River, and the beauty and vitality of our community for the public welfare.