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Commissioners In Red River And Cass Counties Opposed To Marvin-Nichols Reservoir Project

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Courtesy: TWDB Annual Report
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But Janice Bezanson is among those living in Northeast Texas who are opposed to the reservoir. She’s on the steering committee of Preserve Northeast Texas, a group that wants the Marvin Nichols Reservoir project to be stopped.

DFW WATER NEEDS- Texas’ population has been growing and data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Dallas-Fort Worth is the country's fourth-largest metro area, with more than 7-point 6 million people, and predictions are the region will grow even larger in the next decade. Population growth means more water will be needed. And to meet that need, the Texas Water Development Board came up with the Marvin Nichols Dam and Reservoir project, a plan to create one of the largest reservoirs in Texas. It would take over thousands of acres of land adjacent to the Sulphur River in rural Northeast Texas. Much of the water would be piped roughly 170 miles to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

But Janice Bezanson is among those living in Northeast Texas who are opposed to the reservoir. She’s on the steering committee of Preserve Northeast Texas, a group that wants the Marvin Nichols Reservoir project to be stopped.

"Marvin-Nichols reservoir will inundate 66,000 acres of highly-productive bottomland. Much of it forest, some of it agricultural land," Bezanson said. "It will flood homes, it will flood cemeteries, it will take land off the tax rolls that's needed for schools, and have a tremendous impact on communities. And force thousands of Texans to sell land that they want to keep."

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Courtesy: Preserve Northeast Texas Facebook
Opponents of the Marvin Nichols project say the reservoir would impact the agricultural and timber industry in northeast Texas.

Bezanson says the reservoir will hurt the agricultural and lumber industry and other businesses, resulting in job losses, which will negatively impact surrounding communities as well. And this week the Commissioners of Red River and Cass Counties passed resolutions opposing the Marvin Nichols Reservoir and called for it to be removed from the Texas state water plan. Bezanson says the resolutions are just a first step in letting state officials understand the growing opposition to the reservoir. And she says DFW could meet their future water needs through conservation and recycling of their wastewater as well as tapping into reservoirs that are already established.

"They can get water from Lake Texoma that's very, very close to the DFW region, or they could go to Toledo Bend Reservoir over on the coast of Louisiana which has like five times as much water sitting in it as will be developed in Marvin-Nichols," Bezanson explained.

To learn more there are two websites: The Texas Water Development Board at TWBD.texas.gov for the feasibility studies and PreserveNortheastTexas.org to learn more about why people are opposed to this project.

Those promoting the reservoir can use eminent domain to take tens of thousands of acres from Texas landowners. Work could begin on the reservoir in the next few years.