Saturday, February 1, 2014

West Texas Water Partnership Plans for Tremendous Economic Growth

The City of San Angelo is a one third partner with Midland and Abilene in the West Texas Water Partnership.   The topic arose three years ago in a City Council meeting:

Mayor Alvin New noted negotiations look promising between Midland, Abilene, and San Angelo for a regional water supply.

Just days ago San Angelo Mayor Duane Morrison talked about the importance of the project.  His fellow mayors weighed in:

“The people know that an abundant water supply is key to our prosperity and our quality of life,” Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald said. Midland Mayor Jerry Morales added, “This undertaking has the potential to yield tremendous economic growth for our region.”
Oddly, the Water Partnership mentions San Angelo's reclaimed water, currently used for irrigation, and the Hickory pipeline project.   San Angelo City Council will consider authorizing staff to negotiate a contract with Alan Plummer Associates for reclaimed water alternatives. 

The study will explore nonpotable and potable reuse, offer a summary of state regulations and identify potential projects.

“We don’t have any specific projects in mind,” Krueger said. The study’s purpose is to look at some options for the city.

Funny, I recall Carollo Engineering's Hutch Musallam offering to explore the city's reclaimed water and possible uses.  Why was that task not accomplished?

Alan Plummer Associates was one of five firms that sent in qualifications to the city, Krueger said. The firm submitted qualifications as part of a team of other consultants, Krueger said, with which the city would be negotiating.

Out of the five, the city selected three to interview and has narrowed it down to Alan Plummer based on the qualifications, as state law requires.
Who rides in with Alan Plummer, i.e. the other members of the team of consultants?  Is it Carollo Engineering, Wilde Engineering, Stephen Brown or other firms/consultants?  Will they be named at Tuesday's council meeting?

The West Texas Partnership claims it is dedicated to transparency and public input.  Let's hope its individual members behave in a similar fashion.

Does the timing of the WTWP have anything to do with the West Texas oil boom – specifically in Midland? 
The significant recent, fast-paced growth experienced in the Midland area underscores the need for proactive long-range water planning. Coming together now to pursue future regional supplies will ensure that West Texas can continue to be an important economic engine for the State.
Fracking requires massive water use, most of which is bound up underground and taken out of the water cycle.  Oilfield trucks destroy our roads.  Drillers demand for water is the tipping point for our local water nightmare.

Bonus Tips for the Water Partnership webmaster.  One, please finish this sentence under FAQ:
How will the WTWP pay for any water projects?  Each city in the WTWP will retain local control in deciding how to generate the funding necessary for new water projects. By pooling financial resources and developing projects for the cities’ cumulative population base of more....

Two, December 2013 daily water use for the City of Midland was not 11,536,000 acre feet as stated.  I believe the correct metric is gallons.

Update 2-8-14:  City Council approved negotiations with Alan Plummer on the reclaimed water study.   The Standard Times stated the reclaimed water irrigation deal Wilde sealed requires parties give a year's notice before backing out. 

Alan Plummer Associate's partners on this study include Enprotec/Hibbs-Todd and LBG-Guyton Associates.  If a Wilde were to work on the project it would have to be a secondary subcontractor role.  That is one level deeper than Blake Wilde's work on the Hickory pipeline.  As of now it appears no Wilde's will be on the reclaimed water team.

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