The Region C water board doesn’t care what residents in Region D want. They made that abundantly clear by not only continuing to include the proposed and controversial Marvin Nichols Reservoir in the state’s water plan, but moving the project’s date up 20 years from 2070 to 2050.

More than 200 people attended the Preserve Northeast Texas Stop Marvin Nichols meeting in Bogata on Tuesday, with many expressing their displeasure at how little Region C water officials care about local property owners wants and desires. Instead, Region C is focused on providing water to the growing Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and they’re willing to give up land in Red River and Titus counties to do so.

Why not find land in Region C? Why does it have to be in Region D, where for years residents have cried foul?

There are already two lakes under construction in Northeast Texas that will help provide water for the sprawling and growing Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Bois d’Arc Lake is already being filled and construction has begun on Lake Ralph Hall. Both lakes are in Fannin County. Without those lakes online, is it too early to demand a third?

As currently proposed, the Marvin Nichols Reservoir would flood 66,103 acres of land, if not more, and that’s land already occupied by families not ready to give it up — especially if giving their land up would serve a growing Metroplex more than an hour and a half away.

The idea of a reservoir in Red River and Titus counties to serve Dallas-Fort Worth is nothing new. It’s been in the state’s water plan since 1968, when it was called the Naples Reservoir. Along the way, the Legislature created regional water boards and tasked them with creating water plans every five years. Marvin Nichols Reservoir has been in every state plan since 2002. The latest plan suggests construction would cost about $4.4 billion if the reservoir is to be ready by 2050.

Region C needs two major permits before any work can begin — a Texas water rights permit, granted through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and a 404 permit through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bezanson said. If 2050 is the target for having the reservoir online, now is when Region C will be seeking those permits.

That means there has never been a more important time to voice a position on this land grab in service to the Metroplex. While there are benefits to having nearby lakes — both recreational and economically — it should not come at the cost of forcing landowners to give up what is rightfully theirs.

Klark Byrd

The Paris News Editorial Board publishes editorials on topics of local relevance on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

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