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2011-03-17

Water matters to activists in Bastrop County

Rural and urban citizens from throughout central Texas - similar to the grassroots coalition that killed the Trans-Texas Corridor - will meet Saturday, March 19, to consider several key water issues facing Texans.
An all-day conference, “Texas Water War: Is There a Solution and Who Decides?” will be held from 10 am to 5 pm, at McKinney Roughs Nature Trail, 25 miles east of Austin off Highway 71.
Ranching and environmental activists have begun referring to Bastrop County as a “crime scene.” It is one of several regions where the Texas Water Development Board has lined up with private water vendors and special interests who want to conduct “water grabs,” similar to the land grab behind the Trans-Texas Corridor. During this event, water activists, landowners and small farmers and ranchers will craft a joint action plan to address problems.
With a line-up of guest speakers and panel discussions, the conference hopes to find answers to these questions: What is driving Texas to become the fastest growing state in the country, with 1000 people moving here per day? Who is paying for this growth? Is there enough water to go around? What is the impetus for the plans driving the mismanagement of critical resources, like groundwater in Texas? What can ordinary citizens do to prepare for a growing water war in Texas, to protect local agriculture and quality of life in rural areas and to ensure safe affordable drinking water in cities? How can rural and urban communities unite, in the political climate currently faced under one-party rule and the pay-to-play politics of the Perry administration?
The final session of the day will be a strategy session to plan joint work.
Lea Silvernail, a Bastrop single-mother of two, who has been volunteering long hours to put the Water War event on said, “We all drink the same water. We cannot afford to let government or the political parties screw this up. We’re going to fight side-by-side.”
More information can be found at IndyTexans.org/itblog.
This event is free, but reservations are required due to limited seating. Contact Silvernail at silvernaillea@yahoo.com or call 512-535-0989.