Thanks to the lovely people of Bastrop & Lee counties for your words of wisdom last night in Giddings.
Today (and Monday) is the day to flood the legislature with water calls! Let them hear you!
Quick update on Lost Pines Water War: We have a temporary win in Giddings, thanks to the participation of hundreds of citizens and the intervention of Aqua Water Supply. Aqua has filed for a “contested case hearing” — the first one will be at 5 pm, Wednesday, May 15th in Bastrop (location to be announced) just prior to the next meeting of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District! More analysis coming and our own citizens’ meeting…so keep an eye out.
CLICK HERE FOR YOUR UPDATED (also pasted below) INSTRUCTIONS ON YOUR CALLS TO BE DONE TODAY AND MONDAY. If you received the flier at last night’s meeting in Giddings, be sure to read this updated flier by clicking on the link above.
CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ANALYSIS from Jimmy Gaines, Texas Landowners Council! Don’t forget to ask Rep. Ritter to move House Bill 3250. Then call your Farm Bureau and ask them why they have not gotten behind HB 3250 and why they’re not representing the small landowners and the aquifers!
TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY OF THE SMALL FARMING COMMUNITY, the animal tagging bill moved out of committee. We will add some more calls to your list in an email next Monday.
ONCE YOU’VE COMPLETED YOUR CALLS, please comment at the end of the posting of this message so others can see how it’s going.
What More Can YOU Do to Protect Texas Aquifers & Landowners?
FLOOD the Capitol with phone calls into the Texas legislature now! Just pick the phone and once you’ve made your calls ask your friends and family anywhere in Texas to do the same.
Note: Call your State House Representative and State Senator. These are the folks that represent you in Austin (not Washington). If you don’t know them you can simply call the Capitol Switchboard at 512-463-3630 and they will connect you!
You can also find them: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us on the web and ALL your state and federal representatives. Note: If Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt is your State Representative (district map here), he has leased his water rights and will benefit if Forestar Real Estate gets a 45,000 acre-feet permit approved in the Lost Pines (Lee and Bastrop counties) Groundwater Conservation District. Therefore, writing letters to the local newspaper editors might be more effective.
Please also note: Sen. Glenn Hegar (whose district is VERY rural and includes Lee County and parts east – see map here) helped open the door in the 2011 legislative for the water marketers to pressure groundwater districts for increased permitting. It’s a complicated mess, but trust us and call Rep. Hegar! State Senator Kirk Watson (Travis and Bastrop counties map here) is very connected to the growth push in central Texas. Call him!
Then call your local Farm Bureau and ask them why they have not supported House Bill 3250, sponsored by Rep. Bill Callegari upon the request of the Texas Landowners Council (small farms). TLC analysis here and here.
No matter where you live, call these two committee chairs of Natural Resources in the Senate and House. They are:
*Rep. Allan Ritter, Natural Resources Committee in the House: 512-463-0802 (in addition: ask him to release HB 3250 from his committee)
*Sen. Troy Fraser, Natural Resources Committee in the Senate: 512-463-0390
Here’s a sample message:
Note: If you call the Capitol Switchboard 512-463-3630, just ask for your State Representative then call back for your State Senator.
My name is ________ and I live in _______________ (your city and county).
When you get to the right place:
I am calling to ask Representative/Senator ______________ for his/her help to protect our aquifers and the property rights of Texans living near them in rural Texas. Before we start exporting water, everyone — rural, suburban and urban — must conserve. We should not start with expensive pipelines and reservoirs before we are seriously conserving. Citizens are beginning, on their own, to do this. State leaders must lead by example and be honest about Texans’ limited water supply, rather than catering to the special interests hooked on growth.
If they ask you what you want them to do exactly, tell them: It is your job to figure this out, but you can start by making sure that you stop any legislation like HB 1796 and HB 2740 (still pending the Natural Resources Committee), that would grandfather permit holders such that no reductions over 5% can be made. You can start holding town halls across the state, which includes the organization for independent voters – Independent Texans. And, last you must acknowledge that Texas is in a water crisis. Citizens will work with you on what we can accept – but you’ve got to start with honesty. Water is scarce – more pipelines to move it won’t make it rain.