from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2007
Contact: Jody Withers

Senator Craig Estes pleased with local voter approval of Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District

AUSTIN -- State Senator Craig Estes is pleased to see 78 percent of local voters confirming the creation of the new Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District in Montague, Wise, Parker, and Hood counties.

"I am very pleased to see overwhelming local support for the creation of the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District in each of the four counties included in the new district," said Estes. "Voters understood that this was not a choice between a groundwater district or no district, but rather a choice between a locally managed groundwater district, or a district imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality."

Estes authored and passed Senate Bill 1983 during the 80th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature to allow for the creation of a locally approved groundwater conservation district. Without this legislation, or the confirming vote, Montague, Wise, and Parker counties would most likely have been included in a state drawn mega district with as many 10 other counties, including Tarrant County.

"Working with local officials in these four counties, we were able to craft a new groundwater conservation district that is financed by user fees rather than property taxes, and with no eminent domain authority," added Estes.

Estes also pointed to a new provision he sponsored to empower the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District to require industrial users, such as the oil and gas industry, to report there annual water usage. "Without this reporting on water use, the conservation district cannot effectively plan for the future," said Estes.