Water experts host 21st Annual Bell County Water Symposium

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:13 PM CST
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - Water experts met in Bell County to discuss the county’s state of water and ways to improve meeting the need due to the growing population.

The 21st Annual Bell County Water Symposium also allowed experts to inform folks why Williamson County should have a ground water conservation district.

Folks were all eyes at the event.

Bell County Judge, David Blackburn, said the goal is for officials to inform the public about the current state of water and ways to keep enough supply of it.

“Whether it’s water from the lake, water from the river, or water from a well. All of those are important day to day, both for our businesses and for our homes,” said Blackburn.

Experts said Williamson County’s population has grown tremendously and could experience water supply shortages.

General Manager of Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District for Bell County, Dirk Aaron, said taxpayers need to pay more to establish a ground water conservation district.

This helps regulate the usage of water.

“These people have to have assurance that water is going to be there for 30 years. They can’t get a mortgage if they don’t have water, right? It’s all about the health and safety of the future homeowner, not the developer,” said Aaron.

However, some people disagree.

Some guests in the crowd spoke about how ground water districts are not the savior of all the issues for property owners’ groundwater.

Some Williamson County residents formed the Aquifer Conservation Alliance group to push for ground water conservation district

Keith Elliston, president of the Aquifer Conservation Alliance, said it’s crucial for the county’s growth and water supply.

“If you’re buying a home on a piece of property, you need to know that you’ll have water for the next 30 years. Everybody has a right to water, but not at the expense of others. We want to help the county promote healthy growth. We want to have a mechanism to help review these plans,” said Elliston.

Aaron said he appreciates the amount of people who showed up because it shows their interests in the issue.

“The amount of people, the volume of concern and the willingness to coalesce is far beyond occurs in most places, we’re unique,” said Aaron.

Experts said Clear Water can’t annex Williamson County without voter’s approval.

If the annexation is passed, some Williamson County residents would pay roughly $2.70 per year.