HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Houston company wants to pump more than two million gallons of water a day out of the ground in Hays County. Property owners in the area say they thought they’d already beat the same company three years ago in the Texas legislature, but they were wrong.
“This is what we live off of, so we take care of it. It’s like a little fortress in here,” Chris Elliott said, who has lived just outside of Wimberley for the past five years.
Elliott pumps water from the well on his property. The water from the Trinity Aquifer allows him to live here with his wife Sue and to grow his food from a garden.
“I got good water now, but I have no guarantees what kind of water I’m going to get after this,” said Elliott.
The Houston-based company Electro Purification bought the rights to wells right next to his land. They want to pump the water to the Goforth Special Utilities District for future development in the area.
It would take water from under the Elliotts. They say if the company gets its way, they’ll have to dig a deeper well, costing tens of thousands of dollars.
“What you do is, you get up every single day. You’re going to go to your tap and you’re going to hope the water is there,” said Elliott.
KXAN reached out to Tim Throckmorton, founder and manager for Electro Purification and Goforth SUD, for an interview. They have not yet returned a phone call.
Workers for the Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District recommend approving a permit that starts at half-a-million gallons a day. The amount can be raised if certain conditions are met.
During the public comment period, the Conservation District received several requests to contest the claim. Their board will have a meeting on July 12 to determine whether they want to hold a hearing on the issue or send it to the state for arbitration.
This is all deja vu for people who have dealt with Electro Purification before. A few years ago, Electro Purification wanted to pump five million gallons a day out of the area wells. At the time, the district was not part of any conservation district so neighbors had no say. But in 2015, the state representative in the area, Jason Isaac, filed a bill (which became law) to lump the area into the Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District.