A mandatory public hearing of the Texas Water Development Board was held by the City of Wimberley on January 10th and because of the high level of concern and engagement by Wimberley Valley residents, there was an audience of nearly 300 citizens.
Ninety Five Wimberley Valley residents signed up to speak, but only twenty seven people were allowed to give public comment to the council. Many in attendance were upset that people were not allowed to speak in the order they signed up and that everyone who wanted to express their concerns did not have an opportunity to get their views on the record. It is unknown at this time if the TWDB will be required to hold another public hearing in the future.
We believe a city managed plan is the best option and gives us the most leeway for responsible growth, stewardship and the reuse and benefit of our water resources.
We do not believe any plan that would insert a high pressure raw sewage pipeline directly under Cypress Creek is an environmentally responsible proposition. Drilling a pipeline under the creek could damage karst features and a sewage leak would pollute Cypress Creek and potentially contaminate the aquifer and local drinking water supplies. The WVWA request that TWDB require a full environmental impact assessment of the new change of scope and require the City to assess the impacts to the Wimberley fault zone and geologic features below Blue Hole.
Investor owned utilities like Aqua Texas are devoted to making money for their shareholders first, not taking care of local stakeholders, ratepayers and the environment. Private water utility corporations also export millions of dollars out of local communities that could be reinvested in local water infrastructure through a community owned system. As such, we believe it would be fiscally irresponsible to use public funds from the Texas Water Development Board to expand the profits of a private corporation.
WVWA supports a locally owned water and wastewater system because we believe that will give Wimberley the ability to manage economic growth in a sustainable way in the future and reinvest in local solutions that protect both water quantity and water quality in the Valley. We advocate for creating a no discharge, one water solution for the entire Wimberley Valley to take care of the aquifer and our creeks and rivers as an example for the rest of the Texas Hill Country region.