by Victor Lopez
WEST ODESSA-- Right now, there are between 7 and 10 thousand people living in West Odessa, who have water wells that are either drying up or have already gone dry.
That's why the West Odessa Water Supply Corporation wants its members to get out and make their voices heard. "We've really got our backs against the wall. The people need to become vocal out there to ever get anything done," President Lynn Dudney, said.
For one family, getting water into their home has become a weekly chore. They're forced to drive into the city and back again. "They have to go get water once or twice a week. It's not enough, but they do what they can, bringing in that water. You need it for everything," family friend, Delia Carrasco, said.
Two water wells on their property are completely dry. "This isn't the only property with dry wells. There are others. For example, next door, they don't have water either. On the left side, they have very little. That's why we're asking them to do something," Carrasco explained.
Dudney says they've got one shot left to bring good water to West Odessa. It's all part of ten year contract negotiations, "We have a good water contract, Texland Great Plains Water Corporation has tried to work with us. They've really tried to ammend the contract to suit Rural Development in every way."
But those negotiations have hit a snag. "We're really hung up on 2 items on the contract that Texland Great Plains won't give on and Rural Development are being real hardnosed about it too," Dudney explained.
The project received a $3 million grant back in 2003, but it had to be postponed because of timing issues. The West Odessa Water Supply Corporation has already secured land to build a pumping station, when and if it's approved. "We have bought a couple of lots on 42nd St. We will actually build that pump station to get the water to the people and then see where it goes," Dudney said.
Dudney adds, he'll fight until the very end, "I've got this theory. 'You've never lost until you quit trying. We can't afford to quit trying in West Odessa because we've got to have water out there."
The West Odessa Water Supply Corporation is holding a public meeting on Tuesday night at 7:00 at the West Odessa First Baptist Church. The offices of Representative Tryon Lewis and Congressman Mike Conaway say they're each sending someone to listen in on the discussions. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison says she also supports the project.