Ft. Stockton Needs Additional Funding for Odessa Water Project

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It's been in the works for months, the proposed water project between the cities of Fort Stockton and Odessa has come to a standstill but this snag in plans doesn't mean the deal is done.

"The project itself was not terminated," Fort Stockton City Manager Raul Rodriguez said. "The only thing that was postponed was the agreement itself."

Odessa wants to pump water from the Capitan Reef Aquifer that's located in Pecos County, but that agreement fizzled after the City of Odessa voiced concern about the amount of money they're shelling out for a project that's not set in stone.

They've already spent over $800,000 to drill the first test well.

"There's no guarantee that the groundwater district will allow the City of Odessa to obtain water," Andrea Goodson, Public Information Officer for the City of Odessa, said. "The City of Odessa is asking the city of Fort Stockton to get the export permit from the groundwater district."

But before that can happen, the City of Fort Stockton has to prove how much water the aquifer can supply.

Odessa is requesting for 50 million gallons of water a day to be pumped, but Ft. Stockton's not sure they can meet the demand.

"It's kind of an assurance for them moving forward but with the data we have now, we cannot back that number," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said finding money to research the aquifer is an issue but they're determined to make it happen.

He said the city is looking into bonds and possibly reaching out to energy companies for help with funding.

"If we find a good source of water, not only will it help the community but it will also help the energy industry," Rodriguez said. "It's difficult but we believe in this project too."

Once more funding is available, a new agreement will be drafted and presented, officials said, hopefully by the end of the year.

As for Odessa, we're told they're keeping every option open.

"We're still looking toward the future at supplying water for our community, that is a priority for city management," Goodson.