Proposed Marvin Nichols site

SULPHUR SPRINGS — Opposing sides in the long-standing controversy about the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir in Northeast Texas are expected to clash Tuesday at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.

A meeting between representatives of Region C Water Planning Group in Dallas-Fort Worth and Region D in Northeast Texas is set for 9 a.m. and is open to the public.

Public comment is expected, with speakers limited to three minutes each, according David Nabors of Paris, a member of the Region D sub-committee on Marvin Nichols.

Proponents of the proposed 72,000 acre lake in Titus, Franklin and primarily in Red River County, argue the land will benefit future development around the lake and supply much needed water to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

In addition to lake acreage, opponents of the reservoir argue the lake will take additional valuable farm and timber acreage for mitigation required by the federal government to compensate for lost wetlands and wildlife habitat.

In a Facebook post Friday, Aaron Rolen of Cuthand encouraged participation at the Tuesday meeting.

“Anyone concerned about Region C (DFW) Water Board’s attempt to force Marvin Nichols Reservoir back into Northeast Texas needs to be at the upcoming meeting,” Rolen posted.

Although there are no plans to build the reservoir in the near future, for the past 50 years the lake has been in the State Water Plan, a combination of 16 regional plans.

Region C and Region D sub-committees focused on Marvin Nichols have been meeting off and on since 2015 when the Texas Water Development Board, after litigation forced its hand, declared a conflict between the two regions and encouraged cooperation to solve the conflict.

In a formal agreement at the time, the two regions agreed that Region C would move Marvin Nichols as a designated strategy to the year 2070 in its 2016 regional water plan and would support Region D’s efforts to study alternate water supplies, resulting in the development of the 2021 regional plans, according to the official document.

Region D agreed to not challenge the reservoir through the end of the 2021 cycle of regional water planning.

The groups further agreed to “work more cooperatively in the next regional water planning process.” Those plans are due in October.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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