Lawsuit Filed in Fort Stockton Groundwater Battle

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON- Oilman Clayton Williams will continue his fight to bring more water into Midland and Odessa.

It's a battle that's been raging on for over two years. Currently, a major move has come into play.

Clayton William's company, Fort Stockton Holdings, has filed a lawsuit against Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District. Pecos County Judge Joe Shuster confirmed that to NewsWest 9 on Thursday .

Williams wants to pump millions of gallons of water from an aquifer on his land in Pecos County over to Midland and Odessa. Both cities are in desperate need of water.

The district has continuously shut them down through a series of denials and appeals. They fear the aquifer will eventually run dry.

Judge Shuster says both he and the county are totally against having Fort Stockton Holdings take so much water from their county.

"I don't think the records will show that the water tables here can sustain that [pumping] and that's how I think we'll have to do it. We'll have to wait and have the facts show that it will not sustain that [pumping]," Shuster said.

The attorney for Fort Stockton Holdings says that within this lawsuit is really just a summary of their arguments they made to the district back in the summer. The district now has about three weeks to file a response. Following that, there will be a series of courtroom briefings.

The general manager for the district, Paul Weatherby, told NewsWest 9 he had "no comment" on the pending litigation.