Bettter East Texas: Water rights should be growing issue in upco - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Bettter East Texas: Water rights should be growing issue in upcoming elections

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What is the biggest issue that Texas and our elected officials face over the next two or three election cycles? Is it education, immigration, transportation? All of those may pale in comparison to the growing issue of water rights.

This is especially important in East Texas. The state defines water essentially into two categories – surface water and ground water. Ground water is the property of the land owner while surface water is the property of the State of Texas. The definitions are pretty clear cut, but the issue we should be asking all our elected officials is – how are you going to protect our water rights? And I am yet to see a TV commercial or a website the addresses this issue.

My hunch is that it is largely ignored during campaigning because it is just not a sexy enough topic. Either way, East Texas has water and the metropolitan cities need water and, in many cases, they have a right to the water in our part of the state. The City of Dallas has water rights to Lake Palestine, for example, and a pipeline is in the planning stages with a construction completion date of 2030. It seems a long way off, but it will get here sooner that we’d like to think.

So our politicians must be in the planning stages now to combat or come up with a local solution so that east Texans have the water we need for the foreseeable future. It just cannot be ignored any more. So if you see a candidate or an elected official, ask them their plan to protect our water rights, they will have to answer and developing a solid plan with the future in mind will make it a Better East Texas.

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