Fort Stockton Holding's Permit Application "Incomplete"

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

Another battle in the war over water in Pecos County was fought on Tuesday afternoon.

While the outcome may look like a blow to Clayton Williams' attempt to transport water out of the area, but it just may be a small defeat in the long run.

"Incomplete," that's the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District's decision concerning Fort Stockton Holdings' permit application to transport and sell water out of the county.

"There are statutory laws in the Texas Water Code," General Manager Paul Weatherby of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, said. "There are elements that have to be met to support these types of applications and we review all applications the same way and either they are complete or not complete."

The board claims Clayton Williams' company, one, didn't show a real need for the water and two, provided too broad of a location of use.

"We're very disappointed in the decision and we believe our application is complete," Paul Latham, Executive Vice President of Fort Stockton Holdings, said. "But we have strong ties to the City of Fort Stockton and Pecos County, and we continue to support them."

But they would not say if they planned to resubmit their application.

It wasn't a surprise that the opposition liked the verdict.

"They did not submit a complete application and the City's very happy," Fort Stockton Mayor Ruben Falcon, said.

Right now, this battle looks like a loss for Williams, but he's still trying to push a bill through Austin to help him accomplish his goal.

His adversaries are growing in number, one man came all the way from Laredo ready to fight.

"This is a form of violation," Jay Johnson-Castro of the Rio Grande International Study Center, said. "This is a form of exploitation abuse. And we want to encourage the folks of Pecos County and Fort Stockton not to relax and enjoy it. Put up a fight."

For now, this battle's at a standstill, but there may be more fearsome fights in the future.