Whenever a proposed enormous public project requires intrusion on private property and interruption of the lives of hardworking individuals, it undoubtedly will generate an outcry from those most affected.
That’s especially true when the project calls for flooding more than 70,000 acres of farmland, forests and marsh areas to create a reservoir for the future water needs of urban dwellers about 200 miles away.
That is the tension that the planned Marvin Nichols Reservoir in East Texas has generated for decades. It intensified this month when the Texas Water Development Board voted unanimously to keep the large lake in the State Water Plan.
While also objecting on environmental and economic grounds, East Texans complain that their sacrifices will benefit the people of the Dallas/Fort Worth area rather than their own communities.
Recent long-term drought across the state magnifies the need for more water sources, and Texas must look at many options, including major conservation, efforts to address those needs.
It is easy to understand our eastern neighbors’ sense of loss if such a project were to move forward, although it’s still possibly decades away. But they must realize that such endeavors are not designed to pit region against region — to harm one while benefiting the other.
It is simply one of many efforts to keep the state prepared for the future.