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Judd Bradbury

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  Water Rights

11/16/06

In an interesting turn of events the City of Irving is seeking additional water supplies from the City of Dallas. It seems that the City of Irving, along with a growing number of Dallas suburbs is getting nervous about their dwindling water supplies and lack of planning. There is no question that this is a serious issue for those communities. However, this is an issue for Dallas only so far as state law requires.

Through a contentious session last year, the Dallas City Council voted to fund an expensive consulting study to develop new water resources for the future of Dallas. This advanced planning required Dallas tax dollars to continue a long track record of proactively developing and managing water resources.  The City Council vote was contentious for good reasons and the city took some real heat statewide for its aggressive approach. Now that difficult planning seems genius.  Dallas is the 800-pound gorilla and everyone wants our water.

In an appropriate manner Dallas should avoid the temptation of providing long-term fixed-rate water supply agreements to other municipalities. Transferring Dallas water resources at equivalent rates would subsidize a lack of planning by other municipalities. Metaphorically it would deliver a load of fish, instead of teaching other governments how to fish. Dallas paid the piper. The residents of Dallas should not have to restrict their water usage or pay higher rates to provide for cities that lacked similar vision.

For years, Irving, Arlington, Plano, Richardson and other communities have snared real estate deals and corporate locations away from the City of Dallas. Now they come calling, hat in hand, talking about all the great cooperation. Dallas should cooperate, but water, like oil, has a price. The price for out of city water provisions should double when Dallas is under water restrictions.

Some may suggest that this market driven approach lacks cooperation with the North Texas Council of Governments or other municipalities. When one of these cities sends the next corporate location like Exxon, Nokia, or Countrywide to Dallas instead of collecting the taxes for their own, we should be happy to send them some cheap water.

 Until then, pay up.

 Judd D. Bradbury

 

                                        

    





                            

 

  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8