A coalition of landowners, business owners and environmentalists are leading the effort to stop the Marvin Nichols Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Preserve Northeast Texas.

Oct. 7, 2022

More than 2,000 Texans have expressed their opposition to the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir by signing a petition that condemns the controversial water project. 

"The proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir would rob Northeast Texas of land, valuable jobs, and precious water, devastating the region’s economic vitality, heritage farmlands, and natural resources,” according to the grassroots organization, Preserve Northeast Texas, which created the online campaign.

Preserve Northeast Texas was launched last summer after the timeline for the Marvin Nichols Reservoir was pushed up in the 2022 Texas State Water Plan.

The coalition includes landowners, business owners and environmentalists aimed at stopping the reservoir from being built in Northeast Texas, saying it will destroy 200,000 acres of private land, including thousands of acres of hardwood forest, heritage farmland and wetlands.

The group is hosting a public engagement event at the Mount Pleasant Civic Center in Mount Pleasant on Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Janice Bezanson, policy director for the Texas Conservation Alliance and a member of Preserve Northeast Texas, said she has been fighting the Marvin Nichols Reservoir since it was first included in the state water plan in 2001. 

Opposition to the Marvin Nichols Reservoir stepped up after the target date for construction completion on the project was moved forward in the State Water Plan last summer from 2070 to 2050.

According to critics, the Marvin Nichols Reservoir is the costliest project in the Texas State Water Plan, estimated at $4.4 billion and growing. The reservoir would flood 66,000 of acres of hardwood forest, farms and ranches, and irreplaceable wetlands. An estimated 130,000 additional acres would also be removed from private land ownership for environmental mitigation. This means an estimated 200,000 acres of Texas land would be taken out of production. 

“Texas is growing, and water is a vital resource necessary for life and commerce,” said Bill Ward, president of Ward Timber Company. “That’s why the DFW Metroplex must do more to conserve and reuse this precious resource, rather than use eminent domain to take away the homes and heritage lands of fellow Texans. Reservoirs like the proposed Marvin Nichols project are an outdated solution to meet our water needs.” 

Read the in-depth Green Source DFW article about the fight against Marvin Nichols Reservoir.

To sign the petition or see the full list of petitioners pushing back against Marvin Nichols Reservoir, go to PreserveNortheastTexas.org.


New group gears up to fight Marvin Nichols Reservoir

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