by Nick Lawton
MONAHANS - It all started when the Colorado River Municipal Water District began building a new pipe out of a groundwater well site they own in Ward County earlier this year.
That line is meant to be for emergency water supply to Odessa should their lakes run out.
The project has people in Ward County honestly fearing for their water supply, and what prompted this meeting to take place.
Every resident gathered at the Ward County Convention Center, whether from Monahans, Reeves County, or as far away as Odessa, was united in wanting to save their groundwater, keeping control over what is done with it.
"We're backed into a corner before they're coming from all directions trying to get our water," said Ward County resident, Sandra Morgan. "We'll have local control run by local people. We will set out local rules. It is a local-run thing."
Ward County, along with five other counties including Winkler, Reeves, Crane, Loving, and Pecos, sits on top of the small Pecos Valley Aquifer.
Residents like Morgan helped organize this water meeting to talk about forming a multi-county groundwater conservation district, granting them more control over who takes from their water.
Officials from the Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality were on hand to talk about the current water supply and how to form a district.
There are more than five billion gallons of water available in the aquifer in 2012, and that pipeline is projected to pump 45 million gallons of water a day if needed.
"Our second big task is to plan for water. Planning." said Texas Water Development Board Representative, Robert Bradley.
The manager of a groundwater conservation district in nearby Fort Stockton also came to talk about how much the district could cost county citizens.
"It's 0.025 per $100 valuation," said Water District Manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, Paul Weatherby. "With a $20 taxing year, probably, or $30."
All in all, residents said water is far too valuable not to watch.
As NewsWest 9 reported to you in earlier stories, the CRMWD did purchase the well site the pipeline is coming from.
The district told us in the past it would only be used as an emergency, and wouldn't take any more water than has been taken from the site in past years.